Brazilian And Samba Styles History And Development Drummers Guide

It is important not to confuse Brazilian with Afro Cuban drumming. Each has its own distinct characteristics and specific rhythms, and it is important to know what type of rhythmic patterns to play when a song is classified as Latin. The earliest roots of what is known as Brazilian music can be traced back over 400 years to when Brazil was under Portuguese rule.

To manage the abundant slave population, the government supported the rule of slave kings and queens in each tribe. Their coronation ceremonies and celebrations became known as the "Maracatu." With the abolition of slavery and the termination of slave kings and queens, Maracatu emerged as the musical ensemble and dance for ordinary street celebrations (in the Northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco). The festivals evolved to include dancers and a "bateria" (percussion battery). This legacy continues today as Brazilian music is often performed in the tradition of the Maracatu (comprised of instruments such as Ago-go bells, repinique, and surdo drums), extending far beyond the borders of Brazil. Large ensembles, rhythmic and percussion dominance, costumes, and dancers all create the atmosphere of celebration.

Since the early 1900s, Brazilian music has diversified tremendously. With the incorporation of the drum set into modern music, the role of percussionist often falls on a single individual. To approximate the variety of percussion instruments in a bateria, a single drum set player must incorporate the various rhythms of the percussion section. Samba is the most famous Brazilian musical form. Though often thought of as one style, it actually has many variations: samba rural (rural samba), samba enredo (theme songs of samba schools), samba de roda (circle samba), samba baiana (Bahian samba), and several more.

The term Samba is derived from the West African fertility dance ("Semba") meaning "dance of the bellybutton." The styles when applied to the drum set (those presented in this section) are derivatives of the Samba traditions found in Brazilian carnival celebration. What we now recognize as Samba developed in Bahia and Rio de Janiero during the early part of the 20th century, growing out of the working class population. Stemming from the tradition of the Maracatu, Samba ensembles had large percussion sections. Samba attained national popularity via Brazilian radio broadcasts in the 1930s.

It attained worldwide recognition around 1940 when it became a featured musical style in several Hollywood films, most notably those starring Portuguese singer, musician Carmen Miranda. By the 1950s and 1960s, Samba became accepted within the jazz genre through artists such as Stan Getz and Sergio Mendez. As a result of this fusion, it has become quite common to play many Jazz standards in a Samba style.

The drum set ideas presented here can be applied to Jazz performed in a Samba style or to authentic Brazilian music. The consistent foot pattern (mainly on the bass drum) mimics the rhythm of the surdo drum while complimenting the bass player's pattern in an ensemble. The hands are centered around a Partido Alto pattern. Samba tempos are generally played quickly, starting around quarter note = one hundred seventy beats per minute.

By Eric Starg. No matter if you are playing a Kids Drum Set or a full blown professional setup, Eric recommends practicing with Metronome and Drum Tabs. Eric is also an active member of Drum Solo Artist where he is answering drum related questions, and helping drummers with tips and advices.

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