Friday, January 18, 2013

Freestyle Friday: The Berimbau

The berimbau has had a major influence on my life for the past year. As I have mentioned, I found and fell in love with capoeira. Fortoday’s Freestyle Friday, I want to pay tribute to this magical instrument.

What is a berimbau?
“The berimbau consists of a wooden bow (verga –traditionally made from biribá wood, which grows in Brazil), about 4 to5 feet long (1.2 to 1.5 m), with a steel string (arame – oftenpulled from the inside of an automobile tire) tightly strungand secured from one end of the verga to the other. A gourd (cabaça),dried, opened and hollowed-out, attached to the lower portion of the Verga by aloop of tough string, acts as a resonator.”

How is it played?

Here is a fun berimbau video!

Berimbau solo

How is it related to capoeira?
The berimbau is the main instrument in capoeira. It leadsthe rhythm of the game and guides the player’s speed, style, and intensity.Capoeira is one of the only martial arts that incorporates music.
Here are some samples from
Angola - Slow beat, close to the ground game, withslyness movements. Angola

Benguela - Closed game, medium beat with lots of swings and stealthymoves. Benguela

São Bento Grande - A fast beat with more aerial and fast movements.São Bento Grande

What is Capoeira?
Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that incorporates music and an element of dance. It is known for both its low ground moves as well as its flips, headstands, and other acrobatics. I wrote a little bit about capoeira ,HERE and HERE.
Here are a few fun videos about capoeira.

I was in Brazil during the filming of this video.

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1 comment:

  1. Most interesting. I finally found out what a berimbau was. There is a sports club near with that name. Thanks for the information!