Brazilian Rhythms

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Compendium of included rhythms


Samba is the most popular Brazilian musical genre and dance style, with its roots in Africa, specially Angola and the Congo. Although samba exists all around Brazil, samba is most frequently identified as a musical expression of Rio de Janeiro. Rio was the country's capital in the 19th century and became Brazil's major cultural center. A melting pot of rhythms of diverse origins, like Polka, Lundu, Habanera, Maxixe, were blend with the old African rhythms from the semba gatherings, generating the samba process.

Partido Alto

Partido Alto ("broken high" in portuguese) has its origins in African umbigadas and is the form of samba closest to the source of the Angolan and Congo drumming.


Agogô or gã are probably the oldest samba instrument. Usually associated with samba rhythms, it has a much more ancient origin from the African traditional Yoruba music.

Samba Escola

Today, there are more than 50 samba schools in Rio de Janeiro some with more than 300 percussionists. In the Carnival parade they compete with each other. These are some adaptations of the rhythms and pattern they use to play in Carnival.

Partido Agogo

Partido alto rhythm with Agogô Bells.


Samba variation with strong African touch.

Samba de Roda

Samba De Roda is a more traditional musical variant of samba, from state of Bahia in the 19th, usually linked to capoeira.

Partido Cuica

The cuica is often an important part in the sound of some types of samba at the carnival. Sometimes, in the absence of a cuíca player, Brazilian singers or other musicians imitate the sound of the cuíca with their voices. In this rhythm, the cuica plays Partido Alto pattern.

Duplo Cuica

Two bars groove for the cuica to take an important role with a melodic pattern.

Samba Reggae

Samba-reggae, also called "swingueira", was born in Bahia with the fusion of hard samba, reggae and funk.

Samba Enredo

The samba, also called "Samba de Enredo", is a sub-genre of modern samba, emerged in Rio de Janeiro in the late 1955, made specifically for the parade of samba school.

Grande Rio

Grêmio Recreativo Escola de Samba Acadêmicos do Grande Rio is a samba school in the municipality of Duque de Caxias, parading in the carnival city of Rio de Janeiro, more precisely in the Special Group. This rhythm is usually playd by "Grande Rio" with a characteristic surdo pattern.

Imperio Serrano

Is one of the most traditional samba schools in the city of Rio de Janeiro, champion of the Special Group for nine times. rhythms are characterized by the snare patterns and agogo bells.

Bossa Nova

Bossa nova was developed and popularized in the 1950s and '60s and is today one of the best-known Brazilian music genres abroad. The phrase bossa nova means literally "new trend" and was developed with a strong jazz influence. The composer Antonio Carlos Jobim and singer João Gilberto are the greatest bossa nova exponents and contributed greatly to the international popularity.

Bossa Nova B - Bossa Nova B2

Typical bossa rhythms played with drumset.

Bossa Coco

Bossa nova rhythm mixed with Coco rhythm.


Variation brings a samba rhythmic pattern on the snare hoop.

Bossa em 3

Bossa Nova adapted to 3/4 measure.

Bossa Rapida

Good to play at fast beats per minute (BPM)


This rhythm combines bossa with baião's bass drum pattern.


Interesting grooves to play at fast tempos with jazz influence.

Bossa Nova Lenta

Bossa Nova with traditional percussion instruments for slow tempos.

Bossa Nova

Bossa Nova with traditional percussion instruments.


Forró was originated in Northeastern Brazil and has gained widespread popularity in all brazilians regions. These rhythms have a strong European rhythms influence, especially Portuguese and Dutch, like polka or chotis. Forró is specially played and dance in "festas juninas", June Festivals, which celebrate a number of Christian saints. The most known and celebrated is Saint John's day. The main rhythm section is a triangle and a zabumba.

Forró Rhythms


Associated with the State of Pernambuco, north of Bahia, Baião a rhythmic formula that became the basis of a wide range of music, derived from a type of lundu rhythm. Luis Gonzaga was the most known singer, called as "King of Baião".


Typical from Pernambuco, Coco rhythm has a strong African and Indian influence.

Coco Trio

Coco in a traditional trio percussive section, with triangle, pandeiro and zabumba. 100 - 112 BPM


With obvious features extracted das indigenous cultures and Portuguese dances, is typical from Sertão of Pernambuco. 104 - 112 BPM


Also called Xotis or Escocesa, is a ballroom dancing with Central European origin, specially the scottish polka. The influence of flexible slaves dances brought greater vividness. Xote nordestino is played at fast tempos, while in tradicional June Festivals, it's in a slower feel. 76 - 120 BPM

Coco de Roda

Traditional version of Coco, played with Ganzá and hand claps. Caixa (Snare drum) and Surdo have been added to provide more consistency, can be muted to obtain a more traditional sound. 105 - 115 BPM


The strong African influence on Brazilian rhythms has its origin in slavery carried out by the Portuguese. It is estimated that from 1500-1800 a total of 5 million slaves were brought to Brazil. Most of them belonged to two groups: West African and Bantu (from Angola,Congo, Zimbabwe and Mozambique). Fortunately, in 1888, slavery was abolished but the cultural and musical wealth will remain forever.


Ijexá is always accompanied by Gã (agogô) to mark the compas.


Maculelê is a dance where a number of people gather in a circle called a roda. There are many stories and the belief that the Maculelê "always existed". Atabaqué (a type of Conga) is the main instrument in Maculelê. Traditionally agogô bells and ganzá or caixixi were also part of the rhythm, but the use of these two instruments fell into disuse.

Tambor de Crioula

Typical rhythm from the brazilian state of Maranhão, in honor of Saint Benedict. 130 - 152

Folia de Reis

Folia de Reis is a Catholic festival that celebrates the Three Wise Men.

Maracatu de Baque Virado

Maracatu is a cultural manifestation of Pernambuco folk african-Brazilian music. The origins lie in the investiture ceremonies of the Reis do Congo (Kings of Congo). Agogo, Caixas e Tarol (snare), Ganzá or Caixixi and Zabumba are the most typical instruments used ih Maracatu rhythm. The Maracatu de Baque Virado always start in steady rhythm, which accelerates, although never reach a very fast tempo.

Maracatu Estilizado

Maracatu variation with Ganzá, Agogo and Surdo.


Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that combines facets of African dance, music and acrobatics. The most characteristic instrument in Capoeira music is Berimbau, combined with agogo bells, atabaque and pandeiro. The tempo can change from very slow to very fast, depending on the style of the roda.


Is the piece of music originally written for marching and often performed by a military band. Marcha is most commonly written in 4/4, 2/2 and 6/8; however, modern Marchas are usually written in 2/4 time. Most modern Marchas have about 120 beats per minute ("Napoleon" tempo), but many funeral march adopt the "padrão romano" standard of 60 beats per minute. The classic and traditional Marcha is the origin of many known brazilian rhythms.

Marcha Rhythms


Emerged in the city of Recife in the late nineteenth century, the frevo is characterized by a rapid tempo. Mixing marcha, maxixe and capoeira elements, is played profusely during Pernambuco carnival.


Is a piece of music originally written for marching and often performed by a military band.


Also known as "marchinha de carnaval", was prevalent in the brazilian carnival from '20s to the '60s of the twentieth century, when it began to be replaced by Samba Enredo because the samba schools did not want to pay the high prices charged by musical composers. Initially calm and bucolic, It became accelerated tempo progressively due to the influence of commercial jazz-bands.

Marcha Rancho

Rancho carnival was a kind of typical carnival guild in the city of Rio de Janeiro, between the late nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century, in his heyday, existing until the decade of 1990.


Ciranda is a type of dance and music of Itamaracá, Pernambuco. It is characterized by the formation of a great round, usually on the beaches and in the streets, where members dance to a slow and repeated tempo. The rhythm is well defined by the stroung touch of surdo or zabumba, accompanied by tarol (snare), ganzá or cabasa.


Folklore (Folclore in portuguese) are the traditional customs, beliefs, stories and music that people pass from generation to generation. In Brazil, the indian, african and european mixture makes the folklore specially rich in many aspects. It's the base for the amazing magic brazilian music and rhythms.


Popularly called chorinho, is an instrumental rhythm produced at the heart of the popular classes, which dates back about 130 years ago and considered the first Brazilian genre of urban popular music. Choro is the result of the mix of serveral musical genres like polka, waltz and mazurka played by carioca musicians influenced by African rhythms, like lundu and batuque. Is characterized by a restless and euphoric musicality, marked by the exceptional skill of the musicians in the execution of the rhythm and also by its power of improvisation. For that they require a lot of dedication, knowledge and technique as it is not easy to be played. The pandeiro is the most characteristic percussion instrument.

Choro Mini

Choro variation for light song parts.


The Maxixe or brazilian tango was created by blacks who came into vogue between the end of the nineteenth and the early twentieth century. Originated in the city of Rio de Janeiro, at about the same time as the tango was developing in Argentina. The Maxixe rhythm was influenced by the music brought by slaves from Mozambique. Even today, the rhythmic pattern of marrabenta (Mozambican music) has similarities with the rhythmic patterns of Maxixe. 95 - 108 BPM


The Carimbó is a rhythm of Indian origin, merged with African culture, with assimilation of the black drums and percussion, is originally from the Brazilian region of Pará. The rhythm has changed over the time, influenced by Caribbean styles, and has formed the basis for new rhythms like the Lambada or Zouk.

Bumba Meu Boi and Boi Bumba

Popular folklore dance from Maranhão, with human characters and fantastic animals, which revolves around a legend about the death and resurrection of an ox. 106 - 112 BPM

Boi de Mamao

Boi de Mamao is an expressive folkloric manifestation that occurs in the state of Santa Catarina.


Caboclinhos is a folk dance performed during Carnival in Pernambuco, by costumed groups of Indians.


Calango is a dance was originated in Mato Grosso and explains the origin of the typical animal lizard in the region. The lizard calanguinho or as they call it is a dance that an individual dance with her partner around a campfire.


68 - 100 BPM

Toada Moderna

118 - 126

Chimarrita Balao

The chimarrita, also called chamarrita or limpabanco, is a typical dance of the gaucho folklore. Originally the Azores and Madeira, the chimarrita is one of the most popular dances of the gaucho fandango.


120 - 136 BPM

Boi de Matraca

Variation of Bumba Boi, including cuica sounds. 70 - 86 BPM


Many Brazilian rhythms have been adapted to be played by a drummer with a drum set.

Bateria Rhythms

AfroSamba Toms

AfroSamba rhythmic pattern applied to the toms with ride cymbal. 70 - 130 BPM

Funk Partido

Partido Alto and funk combining for a fusion style. 90 - 126 BPM

Samba Rock

Pop-Rock snare back beat and Samba bass drum pattern. 76 - 114 BPM


Tradition samba on drumset, replacing surdo with toms. 90 - 136 BPM


Samba Cruzado

Samba de Roda

Partido Alto Toms

Samba em 7

Samba em 3


Choro B

Marcha B

Marchinha B

Frevo B

Ze Pereira

Makulelé Toms


Maracatú Virado


Samba Jazz

Baião B




This bank allows the users to make their own rhythms.


  • +100 Brazilian Rhythms
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