2006 Student Research Conference:
19th Annual Student Research Conference

Fine Arts

A String Vibrating through history-The Berimbau Past and Present
Brendan J. Loula
Dr. Marc Rice, Faculty Mentor

My proposed presentation will examine the history of the berimbau as a product of Afro-Brazilian culture. The instrument evolved from African predecessors in its new context among enslaved Africans in Brazil, particularly in the region of Bahia, where it has flourished as an important element in the cultures of Capoeira, a regional dance and fighting style, as well as Candomble, a syncretic religion mixing African religions with Catholicism. As these cultures pervaded other elements of Brazilian culture, including literature, art, and music, the berimbau also seeped into other parts of Brazilian life. Today, the berimbau is still essential to Brazilian cultural traditions, but is being used more and more in the context of popular music in Brazil as well as in the United States and other parts of the world. Included in my presentation will be short listening examples, a short film clip, and a demonstration of the instrument.

Keywords: Berimbau, Afro-Brazilian, Music, Capoeira, Candomble, Listening Examples, Demonstration

Topic(s):Music

Presentation Type: Performance Art

Session: 31-1
Location: OP 1393, Performance Hall
Time: 1:15

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