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More Brazilian musical instruments Posted by on Jul 9, 2021 in Brazilian Profile, Culture, Customs, Entertainment, Learning, Music, Vocabulary

Olá amigos leitores! Hello dear reader! We are back with a segunda parte (the second part) of our text about instrumentos musicais populares (popular musical instruments) in Brazil. If you missed the first part, we went over the cavaquinho, the berimbau, the agogô, the tambourine, the repique and the viola caipira. Click here to stay in the loop. And without further ado, let’s get to know more unique musical instruments and sounds that make up our Brazilian music. Aumente o volume!


Much like the Brazilian nation, the guitar from Bahia is the result of miscigenação (miscegenation). It is a mix of a cavaquinho and an electric guitar and was created in the sunny state of Bahia pelos músicos lendários (by legendary musicians) and carnival artists Dodô and Osmar, in the 40s. If you are curious about how this instrument sounds, check it out below:


Sure, the triangle is widely tocado (played) in orchestras and philharmonics and you probably already know it. However when we talk about triangle in Brazil, the first thing that comes to mind is the much beloved music genre, rhythm and dance style forró, which uses the percussion instrument as one of its main components. Click here to listen to some Brazilian variações (variations) of the triangle:


I know it may sound strange and you might be wondering if you read it right, but don’t be surprised, the matchbox is in fact commonly used as a percussive instrument, especially in rodas de samba mais intimistas (more intimate samba circles), with fewer pessoas (people). See how it works here:


The afoxé is a percussive instrument composed of a cabaça pequena arredondada (small rounded gourd) or a plastic structure that is wrapped around a net of várias miçangas (several beads). To play it, just gire (spin) the instrument’s body, its som (sound) resembles that of um chocalho (a rattle). Formerly used only in religious cults of umbanda and in samba, today afoxé has also gained space in other genres such as reggae, rock, funk, forró and sertanejo.


Along with the cavaquinho and the violão, the cuíca is a symbol of Brazilian samba. Although it resembles um tambor (a drum), its sound is generated from the friction of a wooden rod glued to its interior (inside) with a damp cloth and tapping its top with your dedos (fingers) on the exterior (outside). Its sound is similar to that of um ronco (a snore), and the closer to the center it is, mais agudo (the higher pitched) the sound produced. You’ve probably heard the cuíca, find out a little more about it here:



Very common in Latin America, the reco-reco is an instrument that can be made de duas maneiras (in two ways): the first is steel with springs attached to its ends, and the second is madeira (wood) with small cross-cuts. You toca (play it) it is by scraping a baqueta (the stick) along the spring or its cuts in the wood. Ouça (hear) some of it here:

We’ve come to the end of our text on popular musical instruments in Brazil, and I hope you enjoyed it! Had you already heard any of them before? Are there any instrumentos musicais unique to where you come from? Comente abaixo e até a próxima!

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