[Berimbao ]


A Brazilian instrument originally from Angola. It is the instrument of the capoeira, a sport combining martial arts and dance. The Beirmabao has one metal string (corda) connected to a wooden bow approximately 5 feet in length (they can vary). The string is bisected about two thirds from the top with a cloth string which is attached to the bow and a half-open gourd (cabaca). The metal string is struck with a light wooden stick (vaqueta). The hand holding the stick will also sometimes hold a shaker (caxixi). The gourd resonates the sound of the metal string. The open side of the gourd rests on the stomach of the player and alters the sound as it is lifted and replaced onto the stomach. In addition to the tonal variations the gourd provides the two different lengths of metal string above and below the cloth string provide different pitches and even overtones in the hands of highly skilled players. Lastly, a metal washer can be held between the fingers of the hand holding the instrument and used to touch the vibrating string to create a metallic rasping sound, and in the hands of a skilled player, overtones. Yellow Bell Percussionist Michael Moses is shown playing the Berimbao.

Hear the Berimbao on 'Bar-Bar-A' from 'Svadharma' and on 'Rain Trance' from 'Rain Trance'.