Music

Toques De Berimbau

UPDATE 01/12/2020: I have been reviewing all toques, contra toques and variations I know and I am working on an updated list. I noticed a lot of the notations that were mentioned in this article were incorrect, so I’m making an effort to verify every notation in my collection. In the meantime I decided to remove the ones that are definitely incorrect.

Playing the berimbau in capoeira is all about knowing the right toques (rhythms). When you want to learn to play there are essentially two steps:

  1. Learn to play the different notes.
  2. Memorize the most common capoeira toques (which are an infinite repetition of a sequence of notes).

The basic toques are easy enough to find: just ask any capoeirista with some musical experience or look up “berimbau toques” on YouTube or Google and off you go. Once you’ve mastered the basics you’ll want to dive deeper and learn more uncommon toques or start using variations (also called repiques or viradas) on the rhythms. Maybe you’ll even want to try out some contra-toques (counter rhythms). But most of those are unfortunately difficult to find online.

I have been keeping a document with all toques, viradas and contra-toques that I have learned/heard/found throughout the years. I’ve always kept it for myself and occasionally shared a few fragments with my students but today I decided to publish my “collection” so that others can benefit from it as well. So, let’s go ahead and enjoy playing the berimbau!

Disclaimers:

  1. These notations are my personal interpretations of what I observed. As I’ve said before, there is no “wrong” in capoeira. It’s all a matter of opinions and perspective.
  2. I use a very simple notation system to write down rhythms, without any indication of the tempo. Why? Because I have no musical background whatsoever. If you know how to read and write in a musical notation system, I strongly recommend doing so.

If you are interested in a fairly simple notation system, check out my earlier post on Só Ritmo.

Legend

|     “tsh”. Chiado: strike above the pedra, with the pedra loosely against the arame. Cabaça is held against your stomach. You’ll most commonly use 2 chiados together, but that is not always and everywhere the case.

⚪    “ding”. Som preso: strike above the pedra, with the pedra firmly pushed against the arame. Cabaça is away from your stomach.

⚫    “dom”. Som solto: strike without the pedra touching the arame. Cabaça is away from your stomach.

◊    “dingtsh”. Som preso pra chiado: start with som preso, gradually remove pressure from the pedra to transform into a chiado.

♦    “domtsh”. Som solto pra chiado: start with som solto, gradually move the cabaça to your stomach and the pedra to the arame. Also known as “matar o som”.

✥    One shake with the caxixi. This is optional and can be replaced with sillence or a tap on the cabaça with the baqueta.

–    One rest.

Toques de Capoeira Angola

Angola

|| ♦⚪✥
|| ⚫⚪✥ (simplified)

Viradas

|| ♦⚪✥ || ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫

|| ♦⚪✥ || ⚫ ⚪⚫⚪

|| ♦⚪✥ || ⚫ || ⚪

|| ♦⚪✥ || ⚫| ⚫| ⚫

|| ♦⚪✥ || ♦ | ⚫⚪

|| ♦⚪✥ || ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ⚪

|| ♦⚪✥ || ⚫⚫⚫⚫ ⚪ ♦ | ♦⚪ ✥

|| ♦⚪✥ || ⚫ ♦♦ ⚫ ♦♦⚫⚪ ✥

|| ♦⚪✥ || ⚫ | ⚪⚪⚪⚪ ♦ ⚪ ✥

|| ♦⚪✥ || ⚫ | ⚫⚫ | ⚫⚪ ✥ (Silvio Acaraje, Angola Antiga)

|| ♦⚪✥ || ⚫ | ⚫⚫ | ⚫ | ⚫⚫ | ⚫ | ⚫⚫ | ⚫⚪ ✥

|| ♦⚪✥ || ⚫⚪⚫⚫ || ⚫⚪⚫⚪

São Bento Pequeno

|| ⚪ ⚫ ✥

|| ♦♦⚪ (Mestre Moraes)

Viradas

|| ⚪ ⚫ ✥ || ⚪ || ⚫ || ⚪⚫✥

|| ⚪ ⚫ ✥ || ⚪ ⚪⚪⚫

|| ⚪ ⚫ ✥ ||  ⚪⚫ ⚪⚫

|| ⚪ ⚫ ✥ || ⚪⚫ ⚪⚫ ⚪⚫ ⚪⚫

|| ⚪ ⚫ ✥ || ⚪⚪⚫⚫⚪⚫ ✥

|| ⚪ ⚫ ✥ || ⚪⚫⚫⚫⚪⚫ ✥

|| ⚪ ⚫ ✥ || ⚪ | ⚪ | ⚪ | ⚪⚫⚪⚫

|| ⚪ ⚫ ✥ || ⚪♦ ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚪⚫

|| ⚪ ⚫ ✥ || ⚪ ♦♦♦ ⚪⚫

|| ⚪ ⚫ ✥ || ♦♦♦ ⚪⚫⚪⚫

|| ⚪ ⚫ ✥ || ⚪⚫ ♦♦ ⚪⚫

|| ⚪ ⚫ ✥ || ⚪ | ⚪♦ | ♦⚪⚫

|| ⚪ ⚫ ✥ || ⚪⚫⚫ ⚪♦ | ⚪⚫

Contra-toques & others

| ♦ ⚫⚪ ♦⚪ | ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚪ ♦⚪ (contra-toque médio)

|  ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚪ ⚫♦⚪ (Rouxinol)

♦|♦| ♦ (Rouxinol)

São Bento Grande da Capoeira Angola

|| ⚪ || ⚫ || ⚪⚫⚫

|| ⚪⚪⚫ (Mestre Moraes)

Viradas

|| ⚪⚫⚫ || ⚪⚫♦♦♦⚪⚫⚫

|| ⚪⚫⚫ || ⚪⚫♦| ⚫⚪⚫⚫

|| ⚪⚫⚫ || ⚪♦⚫⚪⚫⚫

|| ⚪⚫⚫ || ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚪⚫⚫

|| ⚪⚫⚫ || ⚪⚫⚪⚫⚪⚫⚫

|| ⚪⚫⚫♦⚪⚫⚫

|| ⚪⚫⚫ ⚪⚫ ⚪⚫⚫

|| ⚪⚫⚫ || ⚪⚫ ⚪⚫ ⚪⚫ ⚪⚫⚫

|| ⚪⚫⚫ || ⚪ || ⚫ ⚫⚫⚫ ⚪⚫⚫

|| ⚪⚫⚫ ||  ⚪⚪ ⚫⚫⚫ ⚪⚫⚫

|| ⚪⚫⚫ ||  ⚪⚫ ⚫⚫⚫ ⚪⚫⚫⚫ ⚪⚫⚫

|| ⚪⚫⚫ || ⚪ ♦♦♦ ◊ ♦♦

Contra-toques & others

⚫♦♦⚪♦♦⚫♦♦⚪♦♦⚫♦⚪⚫⚫

| ♦♦⚫| ♦♦ ♦♦⚫ | ⚫ ⚪⚫⚫

♦|♦| ♦♦|♦|♦♦| ⚫ ⚪⚫⚫

Jogo de Dentro

|| ⚪⚫⚪

Viradas

|| ⚪⚫⚪ || ⚫⚫ ⚪⚪⚪⚪⚫⚪ –

|| ⚪⚫⚪ || ⚪⚫⚪⚫⚪⚫⚪

|| ⚪⚫⚪ || ⚪⚫ ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚪

|| ⚪⚫⚪ | ⚪| ⚪

|| ⚪⚫⚪ ⚫⚫⚪ ⚫⚫⚪

|| ⚪⚫⚪ | ♦⚪ | ♦ ⚪⚫⚪

Jogo de Fora

|| ⚫⚪⚫

Viradas

|| ⚫⚪⚫ || ⚪⚪⚫⚫⚫⚫ ⚪⚫ –

|| ⚫⚪⚫ ||  ⚫⚪⚫ ⚪⚫ ⚪⚫

|| ⚫⚪⚫ ||  ⚫⚪ ⚪⚪⚪⚪⚪⚫

|| ⚫⚪⚫ | ⚫ | ⚫

|| ⚫⚪⚫ | ♦ ⚫ | ♦ ⚫⚪⚫

 

Toques de Capoeira Regional

Benguela

|| ⚫⚪⚪

Viradas

|| ⚫⚪⚪ || ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫ ⚫⚪⚪

|| ⚫⚪⚪ || ⚫⚪⚫⚪

|| ⚫⚪⚪ || ⚫| ⚫| ⚫| ⚫| ⚫⚪⚪

|| ⚫⚪⚪ || ⚫ ⚪⚪⚪ ⚫⚪⚪

|| ⚫⚪⚪ || ⚫ || ⚪

|| ⚫⚪⚪ || ⚫| ⚪⚪ | ⚫⚪⚪

|| ⚫⚪⚪ || ⚫ ⚪⚪⚪⚪ ⚫⚪⚪

|| ⚫⚪⚪ || ⚫⚪⚫⚪⚫⚪⚫⚪⚪

|| ⚫⚪⚪ || ♦♦♦♦ ⚫⚪⚪

Viradas – Adapted from São Bento Grande

|| ⚫⚪⚪ || ♦♦|♦| ⚫⚪⚪

|| ⚫⚪⚪ || ⚫⚫ ⚪⚫⚪ ⚫⚪⚪

|| ⚫⚪⚪ || ♦♦_♦ ⚫⚪⚪

|| ⚫⚪⚪ || ⚫ ♦♦ ⚫⚪⚪

|| ⚫⚪⚪ || ⚫ | ⚪ ⚪⚪ ⚫⚪⚪

|| ⚫⚪⚪ || ⚫⚫⚫⚪♦| ⚫⚪⚪

|| ⚫⚪⚪ || ⚫ ⚫⚫⚪ ⚪⚪⚫⚪⚪

|| ⚫⚪⚪ || ♦|♦|♦ ⚫⚪⚪

Contra-toques & others

|⚫⚪ ♦♦ (contra-toque médio) (start with simple virada, ♦♦ syncs with ||)

♦ |⚫⚪ ♦♦ (start after last ⚪)

São Bento Grande da Capoeira Regional

|| ⚫ || ⚪ || ⚫ ⚫⚪

| ⚫ | ⚪ || ⚫ ⚫⚪

|| ♦ ⚪ || ⚫ ⚫⚪ (Mestre Bimba, interpretation by Mestre Poncianinho)

✥ ⚫ ✥ ⚪ ✥ ⚫ ⚫⚪ || ⚫ ⚫⚪

Viradas

|| ⚫ ⚫⚪ || ⚫| ⚫| ⚫| ⚫| ⚫⚫⚪

|| ⚫ ⚫⚪ || ⚫ ⚫⚫

|| ⚫ ⚫⚪ || ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚪

|| ⚫ ⚫⚪ || ⚫ || ⚫

|| ⚫ ⚫⚪ || ⚫  || ⚫ || ♦♦ ⚪

|| ⚫ ⚫⚪ || ⚫ ⚫⚫⚪ ⚪⚪⚫⚫⚪

|| ⚫ ⚫⚪ || ⚫ ⚫⚫⚪♦ |⚫⚫⚪

|| ⚫ ⚫⚪ || ⚫ ⚫⚫⚪⚫⚪⚫⚫⚪

|| ⚫ ⚫⚪ || ♦♦♦♦ ⚫⚫⚪

|| ⚫ ⚫⚪ ||♦♦ _ ♦ ⚫⚫⚪

|| ⚫ ⚫⚪ || ⚫ ♦♦ ⚫⚫⚪

|| ⚫ ⚫⚪ || ⚫ ♦ ⚫♦ ⚫⚫⚪ (Rouxinol)

|| ⚫ ⚫⚪ || ⚫♦⚫ ⚫⚫  ⚫⚫⚪ (Rouxinol)

|| ⚫ ⚫⚪ || ⚫⚪⚫⚪⚫⚪⚫⚫⚪

|| ⚫ ⚫⚪ || ⚫⚫⚫⚪ ⚫⚫⚪

|| ⚫ ⚫⚪ || ⚫⚫⚪⚪ ⚫⚫⚪

|| ⚫ ⚫⚪ || ♦♦|♦| ⚫⚫⚪

|| ⚫ ⚫⚪ || ♦♦|♦| ♦ ⚫⚪ (keep repeating ♦♦|♦| as a way to start the berimbau for médio/viola)

|| ⚫ ⚫⚪ || ⚫ | ♦ ⚫⚪

|| ⚫ ⚫⚪ || ⚫ | ⚫⚪

|| ⚫ ⚫⚪ || ⚫ | ⚪⚪⚪ ⚫⚫⚪

|| ⚫ ⚫⚪ || ♦|♦|♦ ⚫⚫⚪

Contra-toques & others

|| ⚪ || ⚫ || ⚪⚪⚫ (médio)

|| ⚫ ⚫⚪ ||♦♦  ⚫ (⚫⚫⚪⚪|| ⚫ ⚫⚪)

Iúna

♦♦♦♦♦ ||⚫⚫ ⚫⚫⚫⚫ ♦♦♦  ||⚫⚫

♦♦♦♦♦ ||♦♦| ⚫⚫⚫ ♦♦♦  ||♦♦ (Só Ritmo)

♦♦♦♦ ♦⚫⚫♦♦ ⚫⚫⚫⚫ ♦♦♦⚫⚫♦♦ (Mestre Bimba ?)

Viradas

♦ || ⚫ ♦♦

♦|♦|♦♦| ⚫ ♦♦

♦♦♦♦♦ ||♦♦| ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫ ♦ ||♦♦ (Só Ritmo)

♦♦♦ ⚫⚪ ♦ ||♦♦| ⚫⚫⚫ ♦ ⚫⚪♦ ||♦♦ (Só Ritmo)

♦♦ ◊♦♦ ||♦♦| ⚫⚫⚫ ⚫⚪ ♦ ||♦♦ (Só Ritmo)

⚫⚪ ⚫⚪ ⚫⚪ ⚫⚪ ♦| ⚫ ♦♦

♦ ⚫⚫♦♦♦| ⚫ ♦♦

⚫♦⚫♦♦♦| ⚫ ♦♦

♦| ⚫ ⚪⚪⚪⚪ ♦| ⚫ ♦♦

|♦|♦♦| ⚫ ♦♦

⚫⚫ ⚪⚪⚫⚫ ⚪⚪⚫⚫  ⚪⚪⚫⚫ ⚪⚪ ⚫⚪⚪⚫ ⚫⚪ ♦| ⚫ ♦♦

Amazonas

|| ⚫⚫ ⚪|| ⚫ | ⚫ ⚪

Idalina

|| ⚫⚫⚪⚫⚫|⚪

|| ⚫⚫⚪⚫⚫ ◊ ⚪ (Só Ritmo)

♦♦ ◊ ♦♦♦ ◊ ⚫⚫ ⚫⚪⚫ ⚪⚫⚪⚫ ◊ (Só Ritmo)

Contra-toques & others

|| ⚪⚪⚫⚪⚪|⚫ (médio)

Cavalaria

|| ⚫ | ⚫ || ⚫⚪⚫

|| ⚫ || ⚫ || ⚫⚪⚫

⚫ |⚫ |⚪||⚫⚫⚪|| (Mestre Canjiquinha, interpreted by Kay Shaffer)

| ⚫ | ⚫ | ♦♦♦♦ (Mestre Moraes)

Viradas

|| ⚫ | ⚫ || ⚫⚪⚫ || ⚫ ⚫ ⚫ || ⚫⚪⚫

|| ⚫ | ⚫ || ⚫⚪⚫ || ⚫⚫⚫⚫ || ⚫⚪⚫

|| ⚫ | ⚫ || ⚫⚪⚫ || ⚫⚪⚫⚪⚫⚪⚫

Santa Maria / Apanha Laranja No Chão Tico-Tico

|| ⚫⚫⚫⚫ || ⚫⚪⚫⚪ || ⚪⚪⚪⚪ || ⚪⚫⚪⚫

||♦♦⚪ ||⚫ | ⚫⚪ (Mestre Moraes)

Viradas

♦|| ⚫⚫⚫♦ || ⚫⚫⚫◊ ||⚪⚪⚪◊ || ⚪⚫⚪⚫ (Só Ritmo)

|| ⚫⚫⚫⚫ || ⚫⚫⚫⚪ || ⚪⚪⚪⚪ || ⚪⚪⚪⚫

|| ⚫⚫⚫ || ⚫♦ ⚫⚪ || ⚪⚪⚪⚪ || ⚪⚫⚪⚫

|| ⚫⚫⚫⚫ ⚫⚫⚫⚪⚫⚪ || ⚪⚪⚪⚪ ⚪⚪⚪⚫⚪⚫

|| ♦| ⚫⚪⚫ ♦⚪⚫♦⚪ ||⚪⚫⚫⚫⚪  ⚫⚪⚫⚪ ⚪⚪⚪⚫

|| ⚫|⚪⚪⚪⚪⚫ ⚫⚫⚪ |⚪|⚪|⚪ ⚪⚪⚪⚪⚫

Hino da Capoeira Regional (transcribed from “A Capoeira Iluminada”)

♦♦♦ ⚫⚫⚫⚫ || ⚫⚪⚫⚪ || ⚪⚪⚪⚪ || ⚪⚫⚪⚫ ||

⚫⚫⚫⚫ ⚫⚫⚫ ⚪⚫⚪ || ⚪⚪⚪⚪ ⚪⚪⚪ ⚫⚪⚫ ||

⚫⚫⚫⚫ ⚫⚫⚫ ⚪⚫⚪ || ⚪⚪⚪⚪ ⚪⚪⚪ ⚫⚪⚫ ||

♦♦ ⚫⚫⚫⚫♦♦ ⚫⚫⚫⚪ ⚪|⚪| ⚪⚪⚪⚪ ⚪⚪⚪⚪ ⚪⚪⚪ ⚫⚪⚫ ||

⚫⚫⚫⚫ ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫ || ⚫⚫⚫⚫ ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚪ ||

⚪⚪⚪⚪ ⚪⚪⚪⚪⚪⚪ || ⚪⚪⚪⚪ ⚪⚪⚪⚪⚪⚫ ||

⚫⚫⚫⚫ || ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫ ||  ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫ || ⚫⚪⚫⚪ ||

⚪⚪⚪⚪ || ⚪⚫⚪⚫ || ♦♦♦ ⚫⚫ ⚪⚫ ⚪|⚪| ⚪| ⚪⚪⚪ ⚫ ||

⚫⚫⚫⚫ ⚫⚫⚫ ⚪⚫⚪ || ⚪⚪⚪⚪ ⚪⚪⚪ ⚫⚪⚫ ||

♦♦ ⚫⚫⚫⚫♦♦ ⚫⚫⚫⚪ ⚪|⚪| ⚪⚪⚪⚪ ⚪⚪⚪⚪ ⚪⚪⚪ ⚫⚪⚫ ||

⚫⚫⚫⚫ ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫ || ⚫⚫⚫⚫ ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚪ ||

⚪⚪⚪⚪ ⚪⚪⚪⚪⚪⚪ || ⚪⚪⚪⚪ ⚪⚪⚪⚪⚪⚫ ||

♦♦ ⚫⚫⚫⚫♦♦ ⚫⚫⚫⚪ ⚪|⚪| ⚪⚪⚪⚪ ⚪⚪⚪⚪ ⚪⚪⚪ ⚫⚪⚫ ||

⚫⚫⚫⚪

Other toques

Miudinho

||⚪|⚪|⚪⚫⚪

Samba de Roda

|| ⚫|| ⚫|| ⚫  ⚫⚫⚫

|| ♦|| ♦|| ♦ ♦ ♦

Specials

Abaré

||⚫ ||⚫ ||⚫⚫⚫⚪ ||⚪ ||⚪ ||⚪⚪⚪⚫ (Mestre Poncianinho)

Angola – Repique Viola (Mestre Poncianinho)

♦ |♦| ⚫

Angolinha

♦♦♦ ⚫⚫ (Mestre Waldemar, interpretation by Mestre Poncianinho)

|| ⚫⚫⚫ || ⚫⚫⚫⚫ (Mestre Waldemar, interpretation by Kay Shaffer)

|| ♦♦⚪ (Mestre Gato Preto, interpretation by Mestre Poncianinho)

Ave Maria

|| ⚫ || ⚪ || ♦♦♦♦ ⚪ (Silvio Acaraje)

Aviso

|⚪|⚫|⚪⚫⚫

|⚫|⚪ (Silvio Acaraje)

Dandara

|| ⚫ | ⚪ (Silvio Acaraje)

. . ⚫ . ⚪ (?)

Gegy

|♦|♦|♦♦♦

Idalina de Angola

♦♦♦ _ || ⚪ || ⚫⚫⚪⚫ || ⚫⚫⚫⚪⚫

♦♦♦ _ || ⚪ || ⚫⚫⚫⚪ || ⚫| ⚫⚪ || (Silvio Acaraje)

Lamento

|| ⚪ || ⚪ || ⚪⚫⚫ ✥

|| ⚪ || ⚫ || ⚪⚫⚫

Muzenza

⚫⚫ ⚫⚫ | ⚫ ⚫ |  (Mestre Canjiquinha, interpretation by Kay Shaffer)

Samango

| ⚫ | ⚫ (Base, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWnId1hdnak)

|♦|♦ (expansion on the base)

⚫|⚫|⚫♦

| ⚫⚫⚫⚫ | ⚫⚫⚫⚫ | ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫

| ⚫ | ⚫ | ⚫⚫⚫⚫ (Silvio Acaraje)

São Bento Marcado

|| ⚪⚪⚫ || ⚪| ⚪⚫ (Mestre Roberval)

São Bento Repicado (Kay Shaffer)

⚫⚫⚫⚫ ⚪ || ⚫⚫⚪ || ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚪ ⚫⚫⚪ || ⚫⚫⚫⚫ ⚪⚫⚪⚫⚫⚪||


— Vinho

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