In capoeira, music sets the rhythm, the style of play, and the energy of a game.
In its most traditional setting, there are three main styles of song that weave together the structure of the capoeira roda. The roda represents the most strict and traditional format for capoeira and is ideally suited for an introduction and discussion of the music. Though we may consider the music traditional, because it has been passed orally from one to the next until the early - mid 20th century when songs and rhythms began to be notated and recorded, there is no record of to what extent and exactly how the music has evolved over time. Capoeira's Brazilian heritage plays a heavy role in the way capoeira is perceived by its practitioners and understood at a subconscious level. It is a common feature of many Brazilian ethnic groups, for instance, as well as others throughout the world, that music is not so much a form of personal entertainment as it is a medium to bring about group cohesion and dynamic. Music in the context of capoeira is used to create a sacred space through both the physical act of forming a circle (the roda) and an aural space that is believed to connect to the spirit world. This deeper religious significance exists more as a social memory to most capoeira groups, but is generally understood as evidenced in the use of ngoma drums (the atabaques of Yoruba candomblé), the berimbau whose earlier forms were used in rituals in Africa and the diaspora in speaking with ancestors, the ever-present term axé which signifies life force, the invocation of both Afro-Brazilian and Catholic spirituality, and certain semi-ritualized movements used in Capoeira Angola that bring "spiritual protection".
The instruments are:
up to 3 berimbaus
up to 2 pandeiros
1 reco-reco (notched wooden tube similar to a guiro)
1 atabaque or conga
Not every roda will contain all these instruments. Mestre Bimba, for instance, preferred only one berimbau and two pandeiros in his rodas, but there will always be at least one berimbau in any roda.
The berimbaus preside over the roda, their rhythmic combinations suggesting variations in movement style between the two players in the roda. Some capoeira groups insist that among the three berimbaus, the lowest-toned (called a gunga or berraboi) is the lead instrument, while other groups follow the lead of the middle (medio or viola) berimbau. The roda begins and ends at the discretion of the lead berimbau player, who may determine who plays next, can stop games, set the tempo of the music, and calm the players if they get too rough. There appears to be agreement that the treble-most berimbau (viola or violinha) is an accompaniment instrument, freely improvising based on rhythms of the middle instrument.
Understanding songs in capoeira is a good way to grasp and put into some historical context early Brazilian life and history. If one can identify with the music on a personal level, it goes a long way in adopting the heritage vital in the maintenance of capoeira as a cultural force. The songs of capoeira partly play the role of cultural guide and teacher.
The songs, whether ladainha, corrido, or quadra, can be placed in many categories for comparison. The following list is not exhaustive
|Acknowledging folkway||the corridos Bate Dendê, Marinheiro Sou|
|Acknowledging Slavery||the corridos Návio Negreiro, a Manteiga Derramou, the interjections iaia and ioio (daughter and son of the slave master respectively)|
|Acknowledging symbolic aspects of capoeira||vadiação, mandinga/mandingueiro, malandro/malandragem|
|Acknowledging roots through place||Angola, Aruanda, Bahia, Pelourinho, Maranhão, Recife|
|Acknowledging Religion/Spirituality/Religious Syncretism||references to Catholic saints, God(s), orixás, Candomblé, Nganga, etc...|
|Biographical, Autobiographical, Mythological||references to Mestre Bimba, Mestre Pastinha, Mestre Waldemar, Besouro Mangangá, Zumbi, Lampião|
|Songs that comment on the game metaphorically||the corridos a Bananeira Caiu, a Onça Morreu|
|Songs that comment on the game directly||the corridos Devagar, Donalice Não Me Pegue Não|
|Greeting and Farewell songs (Despedidas)||the corridos Camungerê, Boa Viagem|
|Songs that welcome women into the roda to play||the corridos Dona Maria do Camboatá, Sai, Sai, Catarina, and the song Quem foi te disse Capoeira é só pra homem|
|Meta-Capoeira songs, that is, those that directly reference/invoke Capoeira by name|
Many songs can be considered cross categorizational, as well.
The roda commences with the ladainha (litany), a solo often sung by the most senior member present, usually the one playing lead berimbau. These songs may be improvised on the spot, but are most often chosen from a canon of extant ladainhas. The ladainha varies in from as little as two lines, to 20 or more. Topics for this song type include moral lessons, stories, history, mythology, can be topical for a particular occasion as well as pure poetry, and almost always metaphorical. The song is loosely strophic and the melody is pretty much the same throughout the entire ladainha repertoire, with some variations here and there. The ladainha uses quatrain form as a template, with the first line almost always repeated.
Eu já vivo enjoado
Eu já vivo enjoado
de viver aqui na terra
amanhã eu vou pra lua
falei com minha mulher
ela então me respondeu
que nos vamos se deus quiser
Vamos fazer um ranchinho
todo feito de sapé
amanhã as sete horas
nos vamos tomar café
e o que eu nunca acreditei,
o que não posso me conformar
que a lua vem à terra
e a terra vem à lua
todo isso é conversa
pra comer sem trabalhar
o senhor, amigo meu, colega velho
escute bem ao meu cantar
quem é dono não ciuma
e quem não é vai ciumar
I am sick
of living here on Earth
Tomorrow I'll go to the Moon
I said to my wife
And she responded
Then we'll go, God willing
We'll have a little ranch
All made of straw
Tomorrow morning at seven
We'll have some coffee
What I never believed
Nor could I ever confirm
The moon would come to Earth
And the Earth to the Moon
This is just talk
to eat without working
Sir, good friend, old colleague
Listen well to my song
He who is the master of his land doesn't envy
And he who isn't certainly will
An interpretation of this song could be: Nothing comes easy without hard work. The person who sings the ladainha cries out "Ieeeeeeee" (pronounced YaaaaaaaaY) to call to order the attendees of the roda, that the roda is starting. The ladainha ends with "Camará", "Camaradinho" (fits better rhythmically), or conversely, "É hora, hora" (It's the hour). This tagline marks the end of the ladainha and the beginning of the chula, or more properly louvação (praise).
The louvação begins the call and response section of the roda. The louvação invokes God, Mestres, capoeira, and gives thanks. This section are also called "Chulas. "(Italicized line is the chorus)
Iê, Viva meu Deus
Iê, Viva meu Deus, camará
Iê, Viva meu Mestre
Iê, Viva meu Mestre, camará
Iê, quem me ensinou
Iê, quem me ensinou, camará
Iê, a capoeira
Iê, a capoeira, camará
É Água de beber
Iê, Água de beber, camará
É ferro de bater
Iê, ferro de bater, camará
É ngoma de ngoma
Long live my God
Long live my Master
Who taught me
It is water for drinking
It is Iron for striking
It is from the sacred drums
The content of the louvação can be improvised as well, so having a good ear is critical to singing the chorus. The louvação, just as the ladainha, is strophic, but there is no variation in the melody from one louvação to another. However while it is most often sung in a major tonality, sometimes it can be heard in minor if the ladainha is also minor. The chorus is sung in unison, though an occasional harmonization, usually a third above, is sometimes used as a punctuation by one of the singers.
The two players/jogadores having sat at the pé-de-berimbau, or foot of the berimbau, during the ladainha, begin the game at the start of the corridos.
The corridos are overlapping call and response typical of African singing, and influenced by, and borrowing from the Sambas de Roda of Bahia. Unlike the Mexican Corrido which is a form of folk ballad, the Bahian corrido is a short song with a usually static response. The chorus is often indicated by being used as the first line in the song:
Ai, ai, aidê
oiá Joga bonito que eu quero ver
Ai, ai, aidê
oiá Joga bonito que eu quero aprender
Ai, ai, aidê
oiá nossa senhora quem vai me protejer
Ai, ai, aidê (a girl's name)
Play beautifully so I can see
Play beautifully so I can learn
Our Lady will protect me
The corrido communicates with the action in the roda (though without the level of interaction in a traditional samba de roda) to inspire the players, to comment directly on the action, invokes, praises, warns, tells stories, and teaches moral values. There is a corrido for welcoming the roda, for closing the roda, asking for the players to play less aggressively, more aggressively, to not grab the other person, and the list continues. Corridos can also be challenges (desafios). The lead will sing a corrido then after some time sing one very similar, requiring the chorus (everyone else save the two playing in the roda) to be paying close attention to sing the correct response or two singers can switch corridos on a certain subject. This use of the corrido in a roda is more rare, requiring a bit more expertise on the part of the singers than normal. The desafio/challenge can be used with ladainhas as well. The corridos have the broadest melodic variation from one to the next, though many corridos share the same melodies. Thus a vast repertoire of corridos can be learned and improvisation within corridos becomes a less daunting prospect. Like the louvação, the corrido response is sung in unison, and like the louvação an occasional harmonization, usually a third above, is used as a punction by one of the singers.
An innovation of Mestre Bimba, quadras take the place of the ladainha in some Regional and Contemporânea capoeira schools. They are four verse songs sung solo followed by the louvação. The main difference between the ladainha and quadra is that the quadra, like the corrido, doesn't have a standard melodic model and exhibits a greater variety melody. Quadras also exist as a special type of corrido with four line solo verses followed by the choral response, such as the following:
The term chula is often given to the call and response louvação immediately following the ladainha. By comparison, traditionally in Bahia the chula is the free form song text of the Samba de Roda sung between the dances (as in the samba parada) and defines the structures of the various other "styles" of samba de roda, while the samba corrido lasts as long as the singer feels like singing it before moving on to another. The chula is a poetic form based on the quadra (quatrain) form (which may have influenced Mestre Bimba's replacement of ladainhas with quadras) with its roots in Iberia. The word chula comes from the word chulo meaning "vulgar", common, rustic (similarly the Spanish word chulo/chulito is used for peasant Indians in the Americas), being often pastoral and sentimental.
How the term chula came to refer to the louvação isn't currently known. But its similarity to the ladainha and the use of corrido songs from the samba de roda tradition probably played a large role.
The melodies range from a fifth above (sometimes up to a sixth) and a third below the tonic: A (B) C D E (F) G (A), where C is tonic, the leading tone (B), fourth (f) and the sixth (A) are generally avoided. See Degree (music). The ladainha may include the fourth below the tonic at the cadence as a tagline with "camaradinho" to signal the beginning of the louvação. Rather than a tonic-dominant relationship, the ladainhas exhibit a tonic-supertonic progression (incidentally bossa nova exhibits a similar tendency for unrelated reasons) where harmonic tension is always on the 2nd scale degree, D in the key of C.
Rhythmically, the music is in 4/4 time, common for music in the Angolan region of Africa, where the rhythms of both Brazilian samba and Cuban guaguancó have their origins. The singing is in Portuguese with some Kikongo and Yoruba words and phrases. The lyrics align themselves with the rhythm of the music, sometimes coming in on the strong beats, sometimes on the weak beats and pickups, depending on the vagaries of the song. It is theorized that the rhythms of capoeira are indeed from Angola, however, the introduction of the berimbau to capoeira was relatively recent (at least since the late 19th century) and the original songs, instrumentation, and rhythms are now lost. Capoeira in its earlier form was accompanied by omar in kikongo, hand clapping, and percussion accompaniment on a transverse hand drum. Since then, a number of instruments, including whistles, castanets, and violas (small Brazilian guitars), and likely any instrument available, have been used into the early 20th century.
The berimbau itself has been a folk instrument for solo song accompaniment and worship and became a mainstay of the roda when metal wire was widely available for use as a string. Before then, berimbaus were strung with plant fibers and thus could not project as loudly as with metal (nowadays, the wire is culled from used car and bicycle tires). Brass wire was observed being used on berimbaus, though, as early as 1824 in Rio. The caxixi's inclusion with the berimbau is another recent innovation that gives the berimbau an extra bit of punch. A theory goes that berimbaus were fitted with metal blades at the top which made them a defensive weapon when playing capoeira openly (which was essentially outlawed until the 1930s) was a dangerous affair.
The minor tonality ladainhas are rarer but have precedence. Mestre Traira demonstrates their use in his CD, Mestre Traira: Capoeira da Bahia. He uses a minor pentatonic scale:
This produces an interesting variation on the more common Ladainha melody. The Louvação is in the same pentatonic with the correspónding corridos reworked in the pentatonic as well.
Unlike the majority of Brazilian music, the syncopation in this music is a bit more subtle, relying on the interplay between the rhythm of the lyrics and the weak and strong beats of the isorhythmic cells played by the instruments, shifting the feeling of the downbeat from corrido to corrido, and interlocking/overlapping call and response driving the music forward. Below are two musical bars separated by the bar line |. The downbeats are defined as 1 and 3, the upbeats as 2 and 4, and the anticipation, or pick up, lies between 4 and 1.
The Angola and São Bento Pequeno rhythms for which capoeira Angola is known for, create a syncopation through silence on 3, and stressing 4 with two short buzzed notes (see berimbau). The São Bento Grande rhythm stresses both downbeats on the berimbaus which has the effect of a driving march (played in a quick double time tempo).
The atabaque serves as the heart beat of the music, providing a steady pulse on 1 and 3 with open tones, often with an anticipation to 1, and a muted bass on 2.:
The agogô, a double bell tuned to an open fourth or fifth, plays:
The pandeiro, has a bit more freedom than the other instruments
Another version provides
The final t can be replaced with an open tone using the middle finger a little further away from the rim.
The effect of the supporting instruments together, is to build tension from an anticipation just before 1 (the third open note played by the atabaque) to 2, and resolution on 3, which then pushes the cell forward with the anticipation at the pick up to 1. As the berimbaus play with and against this framework along with the song verses, a surprising amount of syncopation results, despite the simple nature of the patterns. There is very little room allowed for improvisation in these supporting instruments. To allow otherwise would tend to distract too much from the content of the songs and the action inside the roda, as well as compete for attention with the berimbaus. There is still room, however, for occasional variations on the basic rhythms by the supporting instruments, especially when the overall energy of the roda is fairly high.
The berimbau toques follow the pattern of the supporting instruments, but with a broad arena for improvising. The above on syncopation also follows with the berimbau. In the case of the Angola toque (the half notes below in this case represent unmuted quarter notes):
The silence at 3 gives a lilt to the feeling of resolution, while the São Bento Grande toque
contrasts with a greater sense of finality at 3.
The viola berimbau, the highest pitched of the three, adds a layer of rhythmic improvisation, similar to the role of the quinto (drum) in Cuban rumba, though without the layer of rhythmic possibilities allowed for in rumba (which uses at least nine subdivisions of the bar). The following illustrates the possible subdivisions for improvisation in capoeira music in a single four beat bar:
Afro-Brazilians (Portuguese: afro-brasileiros; Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈafɾu bɾɐziˈle(j)ɾuz]) are Brazilians who have African ancestry. The term does not have widespread use in Brazil, where social constructs and classifications have been based on appearance; people with noticeable African features and skin color are generally referred to (and they identify) as negro or preto ("black"). Many members of another group of people, multiracial Brazilians or pardos, also have a range of degree of African ancestry.Preto and pardo are among five color categories used by the Brazilian Census, along with branco ("white"), amarelo ("yellow", East Asian) and indígena (Native American). In 2010, 7.6% of the Brazilian population, some 15 million people, identified as preto, while 43% (86 million) identified as pardo. Pretos tend to be predominantly African in ancestry, while pardos tend to have a lesser percentage of African ancestry. On average pardos are predominantly European, with African or Native American ancestries.Since the early 21st century, Brazilian government agencies such as the Special Secretariat for Policies to Promote Racial Equality (SEPPIR) and the Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (IPEA), have considered combining the categories preto and pardo (individual with varied racial ancestries), as a single category called negro (Black, capital initial), because both groups show socioeconomic indications of discrimination. They suggest doing so would make it easier to help people who have been closed out of opportunity. This decision has caused much controversy because there is no consensus about it in Brazilian society.Brazilians rarely use the American-style phrase "African Brazilian" as a term of ethnic identity and never in informal discourse: the IBGE's July 1998 PME shows that, of Black Brazilians, only about 10% identify as being of "African origin"; most identify as being of "Brazilian origin". In the July 1998 PME, the categories Afro-Brasileiro (Afro-Brazilian) and Africano Brasileiro (African Brazilian) were not chosen at all; the category Africano (African) was selected by 0.004% of the respondents. In the 1976 National Household Sample (PNAD), none of these terms was used even once.Brazilian geneticist Sérgio Pena has criticised American scholar Edward Telles for lumping pretos and pardos in the same category. According to him, "the autosomal genetic analysis that we have performed in non-related individuals from Rio de Janeiro shows that it does not make any sense to put pretos and pardos in the same category". As many pardos are primarily of European ancestry, Pena questioned studying them together with pretos, who are primarily of African ancestry. For example, an autosomal genetic study of students in a school in the poor periphery of Rio de Janeiro found that the pardos among the students were found to be on average more than 80% European in ancestry. Before testing, the students identified (when asked) as ⅓ European, ⅓ African and ⅓ Native American.According to Edward Telles, three different systems related to "racial classification" along the White-Black continuum are used in Brazil. The first is the Census System, which distinguishes three categories: branco (White), pardo, and preto. The second is the popular social system that uses many different categories, including the ambiguous term moreno (literally meaning "tanned", "brunette", or "with an olive complexion"). The third is the Black movement, which distinguishes only two categories, summing up pardos and pretos ("blacks", lowercase) as negros ("Blacks", with capital initial), and putting all others as "whites". More recently, the term afrodescendente has been adopted for use, but it is restricted to very formal discourse, such as governmental or academic discussions, being viewed by some as a cultural imposition from the "politically correct speech" common in the United States.Brazil
Brazil (Portuguese: Brasil Portuguese pronunciation: [bɾaˈziw]), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: República Federativa do Brasil, listen ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 208 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the fifth most populous. The capital is Brasília, and the most populated city is São Paulo. The federation is composed of the union of the 26 states, the Federal District, and the 5,570 municipalities. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas; it is also one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations, due to over a century of mass immigration from around the world.Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of 7,491 kilometers (4,655 mi). It borders all other South American countries except Ecuador and Chile and covers 47.3% of the continent's land area. Its Amazon River basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to diverse wildlife, a variety of ecological systems, and extensive natural resources spanning numerous protected habitats. This unique environmental heritage makes Brazil one of 17 megadiverse countries, and is the subject of significant global interest and debate regarding deforestation and environmental protection.
Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing in 1500 of explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire. Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until 1808, when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro. In 1815, the colony was elevated to the rank of kingdom upon the formation of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves. Independence was achieved in 1822 with the creation of the Empire of Brazil, a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system. The ratification of the first constitution in 1824 led to the formation of a bicameral legislature, now called the National Congress. The country became a presidential republic in 1889 following a military coup d'état. An authoritarian military junta came to power in 1964 and ruled until 1985, after which civilian governance resumed. Brazil's current constitution, formulated in 1988, defines it as a democratic federal republic. Due to its rich culture and history, the country ranks thirteenth in the world by number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.Brazil is considered an advanced emerging economy. It has the eighth largest GDP in the world by both nominal and PPP measures. It is one of the world's major breadbaskets, being the largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years. It is classified as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank and a newly industrialized country, with the largest share of global wealth in Latin America. Brazil is a regional power and sometimes considered a great or a middle power in international affairs. On account of its international recognition and influence, the country is subsequently classified as an emerging power and a potential superpower by several analysts. Brazil is a founding member of the United Nations, the G20, BRICS, Union of South American Nations, Mercosul, Organization of American States, Organization of Ibero-American States and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries.Brazil–Qatar relations
Brazil – Qatar relations are the bilateral relations between the Federative Republic of Brazil and the State of Qatar. Diplomatic relations were formed in 1974. Brazil has an embassy in Qatar's capital Doha. Qatar also has an embassy in the Brazilian capital of Brasília.Capoeira
Capoeira (Portuguese pronunciation: [kapuˈejɾɐ / ka'pwɐjɾɐ]) is an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music. It was developed by African slaves in Brazil at the beginning of the 16th century. It is known for its quick and complex maneuvers, predominantly using power, speed, and leverage across a wide variety of kicks, spins, and other techniques.
The most widely accepted origin of the word capoeira comes from the Tupi words ka'a ("jungle") e pûer ("it was"), referring to the areas of low vegetation in the Brazilian interior where fugitive slaves would hide. A practitioner of the art is called a capoeirista (Portuguese pronunciation: [kapuejˈɾistɐ]).On 26 November 2014, capoeira was granted a special protected status as "intangible cultural heritage" by UNESCO.Coco (music)
Coco is an African-influenced musical rhythm that originated in Northern Brazil. "Coco" may also refer to the style of dance performed to the music, a kind of stomping.
The name "Coco" (Portuguese for "coconut") is a common Northeastern Brazilian slang for head, referring to the fact that song lyrics are often improvised. Coco is often performed with a repetitive musical beat and call and response singing reminiscent of Capoeira music. The music is commonly performed at traditional parties in the Northeast, such as weekend street parties and Carnival. Coco is also alternatively known as "embolada" (another slang word, meaning "entangling", referring to the fast, slurred, machine-gun style of singing).
The characteristic sound of coco arises from four instruments commonly used in its performance: the ganzá, surdo, pandeiro, and triangle. Performers also often wear wooden clogs, the stomping of which adds a fifth percussive element.Corrido (disambiguation)
Corrido is a folk poetic narrative and music genre of Mexico.
Corrido may also refer to:
Corrido, Lombardy, geographical area of Italy
Corrido (Spain), folk dance and music of Spain
Corrido (song), song form of Capoeira musicList of topics related to the African diaspora
This is a list of topics related to the African diaspora.Music of Brazil
The music of Brazil encompasses various regional musical styles influenced by African, European and Amerindian forms. Brazilian music developed some unique and original styles such as forró, repente, coco de roda, axé, sertanejo, samba, bossa nova, MPB, música nativista, pagode, tropicália, choro, maracatu, embolada (coco de repente), funk carioca, frevo, brega, modinha and Brazilian versions of foreign musical styles, such as rock, soul, hip-hop, disco music, country music, ambient, industrial and psychedelic music, rap, classical music, fado, and gospel.
Samba has become the best known form of Brazilian music worldwide, especially because of the country's carnival, although bossa nova, which had Antônio Carlos Jobim as one of its most acclaimed composers and performers, have received much attention abroad since the 1950s, when the song "Desafinado", interpreted by João Gilberto, was first released.
The first four winners of the Shell Brazilian Music prize have each left a very important legacy on Brazilian music and are among the most important representatives of Brazilian popular music: Pixinguinha (choro), Antônio Carlos Jobim (bossa nova), Dorival Caymmi (samba and samba-canção).
Instrumental music is also largely practiced in Brazil, with styles ranging from classical to popular and jazz influenced forms. Among the later, Pixinguinha, Hermeto Pascoal and Egberto Gismonti are significant figures. Notable classical composers include Heitor Villa-Lobos, Carlos Gomes and Cláudio Santoro. The country also has a growing community of modern/experimental composition, including electroacoustic music.Only the Strong (film)
Only the Strong is a 1993 martial arts film directed by Sheldon Lettich, starring Mark Dacascos. It is considered to be the only Hollywood film that showcases capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian martial art, from beginning to end.Pandeiro
The pandeiro (Portuguese pronunciation: [pɐ̃ˈdejɾu]) is a type of hand frame drum popular in Brazil, and which has been described as an unofficial instrument of that nation. The drumhead is tunable, and the rim holds metal jingles (platinelas), which are cupped creating a crisper, drier and less sustained tone on the pandeiro than on the tambourine. It is held in one hand, and struck on the head by the other hand to produce the sound. Typical pandeiro patterns are played by alternating the thumb, fingertips, heel, and palm of the hand. A Pandeiro can also be shaken to make sound, or one can run a finger along the head to produce a roll.
The Pandeiro is used in a number of Brazilian music forms, such as samba, choro, coco, and capoeira music. The Brazilian Pandeiro derives from the pandeireta or pandereta of Spain and Portugal.