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Brazil ( South America)

(Pronounced, "Beer-im-bough"), This bow and arrow-like instrument is native to Angola, Africa, and came to northeast Brazil, Bahia, via slave trade in the 1500's. Traditional "berimbau" music is played for the capoeira, which is a Brazilian martial art, dance and spiritual discipline that migrated with the instrument from Angola, Africa. The shaft of the bow is made from a special kind of wood that does not have any branches, which is then tethered with a wire. There is a gourd tethered by a string to the bow, a rock, shaker ("caxixi"), and small, light stick that strikes the wire above the point at which the stone touches it. The stick and caxixi, (shaker), are held in the right hand. The caxixi is placed over the ring and pinky fingers that then clutch the caxixi into the palm of the hand, while the other fingers are free to hold the stick like a pencil. The left hand pinky finger holds the gourd and bow up to and away from your stomach producing a vibrato effect. The middle and ring fingers hold the bow against that hand, and the thumb and index finger hold the stone that is pressed against the wire to change the pitch.

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The WORLD BEATS video features live, costumed performances of ancient, ethnic, percussive traditions. Aaron Plunkett puts it all together in this fascinating 33 minute program. SEE MORE...

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