What is Samba?

Samba is an explosion of polyrhythmic drumming, traditionally accompanied by singing and clapping. In its indigenous language (portugese) Samba means ‘Roda de daça’ or a circle to dance.

The distinctive aspect that draws people to the sound of Samba is the syncopated beat. The usual accenting and absent beat is the regonisable characteristic of Samba that prompts the listener into dance to fill the gap with their body movements.

The rhythm section of a samba band is called a bateria and for North Somerset Samba consists of Tamborims, Caixas, Agogo bells, surdos, Chocalho, Cuíca, Timbal, Repinique and whistles.

The origins of Samba

Samba is a Brazilian music style of infectious rhythm with complex origins, developed as urban music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries – being recorded and broadcast with a wider public appreciation.

Samba’s roots can be traced back further to 1500-1700s. Through the mass development of sugarcane plantations in Bahia, originally settled by people of Portuguese decent, north-eastern Brazil, many slaves were transported from Africa to work on the plantations and harvest the crops.

Samba music developed as a ‘music of the common people’ coming from the Bahian music mixed with the African dance styles. Many early samba composers were anonymous but as it grew in popularity and through the development of radio and LP recording, composers and musicians became famous!





video-Sebastiao P Reis