Capoeira Instruments

A couple capoeira instruments of BrazilWhat’s the first thing that stands out to you when you see capoeira?

For me it was the capoeira instruments.

When I saw the berimbau for the first time, I had to ask myself, is that thing an instrument or a weapon?

It’s the instruments that really set capoeira apart from all other martial arts. This isn’t only because of their unique look and sounds. These instruments also play a huge role in the art.

Without the instruments and music, there would be no capoeira. They literally set the tone.

Importance of the Instruments

As covered in the history of capoeira, the instruments and music were added in an effort to disguise the fighting taking place. By adding instruments, it made it look as if the players were dancing for fun instead of training for combat.

This is why the instruments became essential to capoeira. To the players it was a matter of life and death.

The instruments that are used in a game tell a lot about the style of capoeira being played. In Regional style, one berimbau and two pandeiros (tambourine) are used. This is different from Angola style where three berimbaus are used at the same time.

Types of Instruments

The instruments of capoeira are just as diverse and complex as the art itself. Check out more detail about each one below.

  • Berimbau - This principle instrument is also the most unique in look and sound. Learn more about its importance to the art.
  • Panderio - At first glance this little drum looks like a simple tambourine. Learn about the complex rhythms that it can produce and its importance in Brazil.
  • Atabaque - The atabaque really keeps the rhythm in capoeira. Learn more about this special drum.
  • Agogo - This simple instrument adds a unique touch to the music of capoeira. Learn more about its different varieties and uses.
  • Reco-Reco - Another diverse instrument in the world of capoeira is the reco-reco. Learn more about its use in the art.

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