What is a charanga?

A while ago I got the CD of Contramestre Careca (CCCB) which is titled “Charangueiro Cantador”. I hadn’t heard the word charangueiro before and Google Translate wasn’t any help either.

After a bit of searching I learned that charanga is the name for the bateria in traditional Capoeira Regional. A charanga thus consists of 2 pandeiros and a berimbau (médio or viola) plus the choir. The musicians in a charanga are called charangueiros.

According to Wikipedia, a charanga is either a “traditional ensemble that plays Cuban dance music” or a musical band usually consisting of wind instruments. Charangas are in some places also known as musical marching bands (fanfares) seen during festive events. Furthermore, Wikipedia states that charangas in Brasil are often seen in soccer stadiums to encourage the teams and fans.

I don’t know why the bateria of the Luta Regional Baiana is called a charanga and if it was Mestre Bimba who started using the name or if someone else introduced the term. If you do, please let me know in the comments!

— Vinho

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