How the Samba School's "Bateria" Works
March 8, 2011 2:13 PM   Subscribe

Conduct the Bateria. Carnival in Rio: play yourself a samba school drums section. The animation lets you conduct the samba, along with master Ciça. posted by nickyskye (17 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I read this as "Conduct the Bacteria" as in a symphonic orchestra, and I saw hundreds of little Planktons sawing away at the strings.
posted by jfwlucy at 2:20 PM on March 8, 2011

I love the Samba beat... more dance records should sample it, imo..
posted by empath at 2:43 PM on March 8, 2011

My favorite part of my group's last capoeira event was a samba percussion workshop. I don't think many of the students had any musical experience, and somehow Mestre Deraldo whipped us into shape pretty fast. My ears rang for a couple days though.
posted by mkb at 2:46 PM on March 8, 2011

Conduct the Bateria

I don't care if they do use off the shelf toy parts in a clever DIY hack, or if the bacteria have ganglionic clusters that may or may not be a true brain. It's just not right.

posted by StickyCarpet at 3:04 PM on March 8, 2011

I read this as "Conduct the Bacteria" as in a symphonic orchestra, and I saw hundreds of little Planktons sawing away at the strings.

This. Even after reading about samba school drums. Sigh.
posted by disillusioned at 3:29 PM on March 8, 2011

That "Conduct" site is fun, and will be educational for many, I think.

Though the videos are a bit slow loading (they were for me, anyway) they are highly recommended: it's really cool how they use slow motion to help demonstrate the rhythms and performance techniques.

It should be noted that the instrument they've translated as "tambourine" is not, in fact, what is universally understood to be a tambourine. The tiny drum that the Brazilians call a "tamborim" has no jingles, and is played with a stick. So that was actually an ill-advised translation, there. But check out that video: it's an amazing technique, where rapidly changing the position of the drum (by moving the wrist) is just as important as the sticking in getting the total sound and rhythmic character.

What's really surprising, though, is that they've left out (inexplicably) the pandeiro, which is very important in samba! The pandeiro, BTW, is the instrument which much more closely resembles what we call a tambourine, although the characteristic Brazilian method of playing it is unique.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:33 PM on March 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

I like the shaker, repique, and bass drums by themselves.
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:38 PM on March 8, 2011

So awesome!!! I love the sound of the Cuíca. Great site!
posted by dealing away at 4:55 PM on March 8, 2011

Samba schools parade, Rio 2011 Slightly NSFW, one naked breast in there somewhere
posted by Tom-B at 5:18 PM on March 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

one naked breast in there somewhere

Wardrobe malfunction, no doubt.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:39 PM on March 8, 2011

Nope, naked breasts are a fixture of samba school parades!
posted by Tom-B at 7:29 PM on March 8, 2011

Man, that looks like something from another planet. Amazing.
posted by empath at 7:36 PM on March 8, 2011

Tom B, I knew that! :)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:51 PM on March 8, 2011

I came to say everything flapjax at midnite said about the instruments. I would add that the "bass drums" are more properly known as Surdo.

One of the required percussion ensembles at the Lawrence Conservatory of Music was (and still is) a Brazilian samba bateria (albeit much smaller—2 or 3 on a part instead of many). I loved playing in that group, and doing so taught me a lot about groove. On the other hand, I always wondered how it looked, a bunch of white kids in Wisconsin (sometimes playing outside in the snow) bundled up in the brightest colors we had, playing the music of Carnival with great earnestness.

When we would get a couple of beers or wines in our professor, he would regale us with stories (such as they were) of "GIANT [LADY PARTS]!!!" on the jumbotrons above the parade route.
posted by sleepinglion at 9:53 PM on March 8, 2011

I'm with jfwlucy et al: «conduct bacteria?!?» said I. I'd dreamed of one of those Exploratorium type deals with a petri dish, some mild electrical current, a webcam, and some zany imagineering.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 9:24 AM on March 9, 2011

I'm so happy I'm no Brazilian. I find it all terribly overwhelming. It's beautiful, and I love the music! I am boggled to think they come up with this every year, completely new! And they do this all at once. I've been looking at the beautiful photos, and just the photos leave me with an urge to go sit in a quiet, monochromatic place, without people, for awhile a month.
posted by Goofyy at 9:17 PM on March 9, 2011

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