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Understanding Samba-Reggae music from Brazil

Year 7
Cultural Understanding
1.2a
What is this music you want
to explore with the pupils:
locate its place in society
and culture precisely
Samba-Reggae music from Brazil, sometimes used as carnival percussion music (for
procession and dance)
A type of music from a specific area of north-eastern Brazil, reflecting its original roots in
Reggae / African styles more clearly than the European-influenced Batucada Samba from Rio
A music deliberately influenced by indigenous people and their African cultures as they sought
to reclaim Samba from European influence.
Sometimes used to enhance the colourful style of carnival - extrovert, flamboyant and brash,
though less obviously so than Rio Samba
Expectation of
understanding:
Level relationship
Pupils identify and explore musical devices and how music reflects time, place and culture.

Cultural Understanding
1.2b
What is this music for what
is its purpose, its context,
what does it try to achieve
Learning how this music:
Grew out of a 1970s political movement (Black Pride), and awareness of the need to support
and strengthen Afro-Brazilian communities
Not just for performance by a samba school: although focussed around informal percussion
groups called blocos, they often have a wider community remit with an active social focus
Performed largely (in some blocos, exclusively) by black Brazilians of African descent
Therefore have specific tempi, instrument sets and lyrics to reflect the local context

Critical Understanding
1.3a
What do you want pupils to
learn about this music (and
develop personal views
about as they work through
the unit)






Integration of Practice
1.1a
The range of musical conventions, processes and devices that make it unique

o underpinned by a strong, medium-tempo 2-beat rhythm
o rhythms have a strong off-beat emphasis
o syncopated rhythms layered over the top of this
o sets of instruments with distinctive timbres
o a call and response structure to mark out sections of the music
o breaks being taken by different sets of instruments within the band

A feature of one musical element, providing key knowledge about the distinctive character of
the music
o Rhythm: knowledge and understanding of syncopated rhythm patterns

How to develop one skill that is required to access the music practically
o Ensemble Performing: maintain individual parts within a complex set of rhythm patterns,
take turns to solo (understanding issues of balance), and lead or follow the leaders cues

How to develop listening, reviewing and evaluating skills; and how to integrate these with
other learning so that they inform practical work
o Seeing and hearing different forms of Samba (eg Batucada / Maracatu), so that the
distinctive nature of one version can be compared with the norm
Critical Understanding
1.3b
What sort of learning do you
want the pupils to engage in:
closed, guided or open?
How will you bring in
references to or chances to
explore other, related
music?
Closed:
The focus here is on learning how to play an existing piece, with set parts. Although there are
opportunities for creativity, most of the work is based on playing the given piece.


Assessment criteria:

Understanding
(see key concepts above)









Pupils will show their understanding of samba-reggae by relating it to its origins in South America,
and comparing it with other similar forms of music making (including Reggae and African
drumming music). They recognise how the music reflects a specific social context, and why this
form of samba is consequently slower than the more well-know samba from Rio. They understand
how the music still has a strong underlying beat, syncopated rhythms, and structures marked out
by call and response techniques and varied instrumental textures. They try this out in ensemble
performances, showing an awareness of the contextual implications and controlling the musics
devices with the support of teachers, other musicians or their peers. All pupils will be starting to
develop this understanding; some will be secure in their understanding; and a few will be starting
to move beyond this understanding



Knowledge of elements






Practical skills





(Pupils work outside
the classroom?)
Rhythm:
All students will know how syncopated rhythms are created.
Some students will be able to show and / or articulate the difference between syncopated and non-
syncopated rhythms.
A few students will understand how several syncopated rhythms can be layered together to create
cross-rhythms.

Ensemble performing
All students will know how to play their part within the ensemble, following the leaders cues
Some students will know how to take a solo and balance their part against the others
A few students will be able to lead the ensemble, directing the performance with clear signals and
maintaining their own part at the same time

Are there drummers (having lessons, or self-taught) who can take leadership roles?

Blocks of activities to develop learning

You could:
Explore simple percussion / rhythm ideas, using body percussion and / or junk sounds: how can simple ideas be structured
into a complete piece? And how do ensembles play together (leaders, visual and aural cues, shared sense of pulse, etc)
Investigate the differences between straight and syncopated rhythms
Learn either of the two pieces provided (see Resources section), ideally by ear or using notation if appropriate
Encourage some students to create their own sections / breaks
Watch and listen to some of the example video and audio files
Liaise with PSHE and / or humanities subjects to explore the social contexts of the Samba-Reggae movement
Prepare a performance for a suitable occasion (outdoors event: school fair, town centre event, etc)
Hire HMS instrument set, with or without workshops from expert tutor
Resources

Pequenas Criaturas a Samba-Reggae piece with simpler rhythms
Rhythm Map more complex rhythms to form the basis of a student-constructed piece
Samba-Reggae information sheet
Pictures of typical Samba instruments with names

Resources web links
NB all web links below are given as examples only. Their inclusion here does not imply that they have copyright clearance for
live use within an educational context.

Samba-Reggae information and examples:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samba_reggae (basic information)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olodum (information about one of the most famous groups)
http://olodum.uol.com.br (Olodum site but in Portuguese language)
http://soundcloud.com/banda-olodum/sets/cd-promocional-2012/ (play or download Olodum tracks)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3o30YJ iWsc&feature=related (good video of a small group playing away from the main
carnival procession)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdTFt0wpRkk&feature=related (Olodum playing with Michael J ackson: copyright warning
above is particularly relevant!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HKNAhAxMAk (Olodum playing with Paul Simon: copyright warning is again relevant!)

Salvador Bahia Carnival information and examples
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvador_de_Bahia (basic info on city where most famous Samba-Reggae carnival takes place)
http://bahiacarnival.info/bahiacarnival.html?vid (video info on Salvador Bahia Carnival: Salvador Carnival Guide has some
appropriate background place, routes, size of the event, etc)
http://www.salvadorcarnival.info/salvadorcarnival_zmainframe.html?vid (first minute or so of Timbalada: Cachaa shows
percussion on the lorry, the scale of the procession and how the samba rhythms have been combined with song styles,
including other modern musical styles)

Social contexts information for the Samba-Reggae movement
http://www.favelatotheworld.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Favela_Rising
http://www.favelarising.com/about-afroreggae.html
http://www.afroreggae.org (in Portuguese only: by searching for afroreggae in Google, a translated version can be viewed )

For more advice and guidance (including possible loans of Samba equipment), please contact
Hampshire Music Service:
Email music.service@hants.gov.uk Phone 02380 652037

Leader (whistle)
Ganzas
Tamborims
Repiniques/Caixas
Agogos
Surdos
1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
grass hop - per - grass hop - per - grass hop - per - grass hop - per -
grass hop - per - grass hop - per - grass hop - per - grass hop - per -
croak ing - toads and frogs
Big hai ry - green cat er - pil - lar -

Ldr
G
T
R/C
A
S
3
cat er - pil - lars -
cat er - pil - lars -
but ter - flies - and moths, where did they come from? but ter - flies - and moths were once...
cat er - pil - lars -
cat er - pil - lars -
2
4
2
4
2
4
2
4
2
4
2
4
/
Samba Reggae: 'Pequenas Criaturas' (small creatures)
Samba Reggae is slower and more laid-back than Batucada. As its name suggests, it has
a strong 'back beat'.
/
/
/
(hand)
(stick)
/
/
/
STARTING
/
/
/
Repiniques only
x3
/

/





J


J

Ldr
G
T
R/C
A
S
1 2 3 4
7
mi ni - beasts are real ly - cool!

Ldr
G
T
R/C
A
S
11
Ldr
G
T
R/C
A
S
19
Hey!
Hey!
Hey!
Hey!
Hey!
/
(over main groove)

STOPPING
/
/
/
/

/
/
BREAK 1: solo one section of the group by stopping all the others. While they play, use the sequence below
over the top to restart everyone else.
/
/
/
/

/
/
BREAK: BIG 5: Count in 4 beats with the whistle whilst showing 5 fingers.
This break leads straight back into the main groove.
/
/
/
/
/

























2
RHYTHM MAP / MENU SAMBA REGGAE

BRAZILIAN CLAVE / (BOSSA CLAVE) could be played by tambourims - definitely by repeniques (brackets=hand)
1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a
*

*

*

*

*

youre a (mon) -ster (but) youre (groo) -vy

SON CLAVE (Cuban) could be played by tambourims definitely by repeniques
1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a
*

*

*

*

*

youre a (mon) -ster (but) youre cool

other TYPICAL CAIXA/REP PATTERNS
1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a


* *

* *

* *

* *
(cold) chic -ken (cold) chic -ken (cold) chic -ken (cold) chic -ken

1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a
*

*

*

*

*

*

(you) are a (mon) -ster yeh ba -by

1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a
*

*

*

*

*

(you) are a (mon) -ster (but) youre (love) -ly

When using 2 sticks (usually thin, nylon, whippy sticks) on rep, decoration is widely used e.g./ open drags (2 grace notes in quick succession) on off
beats. For example the 3
rd
and 4
th
stick notes of the top pattern, the 3
rd
stick note of the bottom 2 patterns. Caixas might bounce/buzz these notes.



SAMBA REGGAE

This music comes from the North Eastern state of Bahia, where in every way
(culturally, spiritually, socially, historically) life is linked more closely with its African
heritage. The European influence as found in Rio and Sao Paulo is less obvious.
Samba reggae represents an effort by Bahians to get back to a celebration of Afro
Brazilian life. Bahians had taken samba (Samba de roda) to the south in the early
1900s where over the following decades it was blended with European music (e.g.
military marches) to form what we now call Carnival, Parade or Enredo Samba.
Samba Reggae is performed by blocos and, since the 70s, is closely associated with a
Bahian black political/cultural movement.
Key fingerprints of style:
Emphasis on offbeat; straighter (less syncopated) lines and clave patterns

Greater emphasis on middle and larger drums (multiple small surdo parts) less
emphasis on (even absence of) shakers/bells/tambourim

If binary pulse in surdos 1+2 (like traditional batucada samba) then Baby surdos
(coutador) have busy, syncopated, longer lines (almost melodic)

Surdos often work together as a unit to create bass lines/riffs

Typically medium tempo (steadier than Batucada/Enredo)

Key Samba Reggae groups:
Ile Aiye (70s) Olodum (80s) Timbalada (90s)
In the UK Inner Sense (Manchester based, but now defunct) + others
Information provided by Dan Priest, HMS tutor, for SambaReggae workshop at 2011
secondary music conference
Instruments in the Samba Band
(most pictures taken from HMS Samba sets, available for hire)

















Timbal
Surdo
Caixa
Tambourim
Ganza
Agogo
Repenique
Reco-reco