The idea of batucada, which comes from the Portuguese language, refers to Afro-Brazilian music that is characterized by the use of percussion instruments. The dance that develops from this music and the group of individuals who perform it is also called batucada.
The origins of the batucadas are found on the African continent. In ancient times it was common for people to gather around drums to dance and sing. Over the years these traditions reached other countries with African cultural roots, such as Brazil.
Batucadas are usually formed on public roads. It is common in some regions for people to gather with drums and other percussion instruments to generate music and dance to their rhythm. Even many times the batucadas are organized as a form of protest since the sound of the instruments attracts attention.
It is important to mention that, beyond the social or cultural role of the batucadas, they are not usually associated with rituals. It is mainly a gathering of percussionists who make music together and who are followed by people who dance to their rhythm.
No less relevant is knowing that within any batucada group there are several and different types of drums that are used. Specifically, among the most significant we can highlight the following:
-Cuica. It becomes an instrument that is based on the existence of a toothpick inserted into what is the body. It is played by rubbing a damp cloth on the aforementioned stick. The uniqueness of this drum is that it can even give off sounds that are reminiscent of the voice of a human being.
-Repinique. It is a drum played with one hand and with a stick. It is considered that the leader of the batucada group will play this instrument as he will act as director.
-Timbal, which stands out because it has a cone shape and because it can generate both high and low sounds.
-Surdo. It is a large drum that is responsible for creating the beat. It can be about 50 centimeters in diameter.
-Caixa de guerra. Under such a peculiar name is another essential drum in any batucada band.
-Tamborim. This other instrument we can establish that it is a smaller size drum that is played with a plastic stick with several tips and even with a stick.
Besides drums, batucadas often include whistles, timpani, and other instruments. This without forgetting, of course, other essential instruments in the batucada such as the reco-reco or güiro, which is made of wood and is played with a stick scraping what is its grooved area, or different types of shakers.
Its musical style resembles the style of samba, although it can also exhibit other influences.
In some respects, the batucadas are similar to the murgas, another genre of popular music based on the use of percussion instruments, although this often includes choirs and even theatrical demonstrations.