What Instruments Are Used In Capoeira?

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Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music. One of the defining features of Capoeira is the use of music and instruments, which add a unique and powerful dimension to the practice. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common Capoeira instruments and their significance in the art form.


What are Capoeira instruments?

Capoeira instruments are musical instruments that are used during Capoeira performances and training sessions. These instruments provide the rhythm and energy that drives the movements of the Capoeiristas and add an element of excitement and intensity to the proceedings.


What are the most common Capoeira instruments?

The most common Capoeira instruments are the berimbau, pandeiro, atabaque, agogo, reco-reco, and caxixi.


The berimbau is perhaps the most iconic of all Capoeira instruments. It’s a wooden bow with a single string that is played with a stick and a gourd resonator. The berimbau is used to set the tempo and rhythm of the Capoeira game, and its sound is deep and resonant. The player can change the pitch by adjusting the tension of the string with their foot while playing.


The pandeiro is a type of tambourine that is widely used in Brazil. It’s made of a wooden or metal frame, with a drumhead made of animal skin and metal jingles around the edge. The pandeiro is used to provide rhythm and accompaniment to the berimbau, and it’s also used as a solo instrument in certain Capoeira songs.


The atabaque is a type of drum that is used in many Afro-Brazilian traditions, including Capoeira. It’s made of a wooden frame with animal skin stretched over the top and bottom. The atabaque is played with a stick and provides a deep, resonant sound that complements the rhythms of the berimbau and pandeiro.


The agogo is a type of bell that is used in many different types of African music. It’s made of two bells joined together, which are struck with a wooden stick to produce a high-pitched sound. The agogo is used in Capoeira to provide a counterpoint to the rhythms of the other instruments and to signal changes in the tempo or mood of the game.


The reco-reco is a percussion instrument made of a hollow tube with ridges on the surface. It’s played by running a stick or scraper along the ridges. The sound produced is a series of clicks and rattles that add texture and energy to the music.


The caxixi is a type of shaker that is made of a woven basket or gourd filled with seeds, beads, or other small objects. It’s played by shaking the basket or striking it with the hand. The caxixi adds a bright, percussive sound to the music and is often used in conjunction with the pandeiro and atabaque.


Why are Capoeira instruments important?

Capoeira instruments are an integral part of the art form, providing both rhythm and structure to the movements of the Capoeiristas. They also serve as a way to communicate with the other players, signaling changes in tempo, mood, and style. In addition, Capoeira instruments are an expression of Afro-Brazilian culture, which is an important part of the history and identity of Brazil.


What is the role of music in Capoeira?

Music plays a central role in Capoeira, serving as the driving force behind the movements and creating a sense of community and shared experience among the players and spectators. The rhythms and melodies of Capoeira music are closely tied to the movements of the art form, with each instrument providing a unique and vital contribution to the overall sound.


How do Capoeira players learn to play the instruments?

Capoeira players typically learn to play the instruments through observation and practice. They watch other players, listen to recordings of Capoeira music, and experiment with different techniques and rhythms. Many Capoeira groups also offer workshops and classes specifically focused on music and instrument playing, where players can learn from experienced teachers.


What are some famous Capoeira songs?

There are many famous Capoeira songs that have become staples of the art form. Some of the most well-known include “A Chula de Bambuluá,” “Hino de Capoeira Angola,” “Lamento de Angola,” and “Paranauê.” These songs are often sung during Capoeira games and training sessions, providing a sense of tradition and continuity to the practice.



In conclusion, Capoeira instruments are an essential part of the art form, providing rhythm, structure, and energy to the movements of the Capoeiristas. The most common instruments are the berimbau, pandeiro, atabaque, agogo, reco-reco, and caxixi, each of which has a unique and important role to play in the music of Capoeira. Overall, Capoeira instruments are an expression of Afro-Brazilian culture and a testament to the power of music to connect people and communities.

Maxim Tzfenko

Maxim Tzfenko

"I live and breath Martial Arts"

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