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Our music

Capoeira angola music consists of a 'bateria' comprising an orchestra of different percussion instruments.

The instruments

The unique and most important instrument in capoeira is the berimbau, a single-string instrument that resonates through a gourd. In the 'roda', the circle where capoeira is played, there are three berimbaus,

  • the 'gunga', normally the largest berimbau directing the rhythm,

  • the 'médio', that holds the rhythm,

  • the 'viola', that plays melodic variations on the gunga's rhythm.

The orchestra normally also has a few more instruments

  • two 'pandeiros' (tambourines):

  • one 'agogo' (a cow-bell)

  • a 'reco-reco' (a wood scraper)

  • and the 'atabaque' ( aconga-style drum).

The practice

Musicality is a fundamental skill for capoeira angola practitioners. The true 'angolero' masters the capoeira moves and spirit as well as its music and is capable of playing all instruments. Mucambo Capoeira Angola students are encouraged to learn to play all the instruments and sing traditional capoeira songs in Portuguese. This can be quite challenging but is often the most rewarding and fun part of capoeira. The aim is ultimately to collaborate in the 'roda' while developing a new artistic life skill. 

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