The atabaque is the second very important instrument in Capoeira. It starts right after the berimbau and creates the beats and the steps in the capoeira game. Sometimes it could be used even if there are no other instruments to play the capoeira music. The atabaque is a tall instrument made from the Jacaranda wood. The head is made from calfskin and there is a system of ropes is going around the whole body of the instrument. Here are all the parts of the atabaque explained in details:
Head: It is located on top of the atabaque and is what the player bangs to make a sound.
Shell: This is main parts of the atabaque which is made of wood. The head of the atabaque is attached to the shell to form the whole atabaque.
Rope: One one side, the rope is connected to the head and on the other to the ring. In the atabaque, the rope is the thing that allows the tension in the head to be changed and makes the sound of the atabaque higher or lower. The rope may also be used for a handler so that the atabaque is easily moved from one place to another.
Ring: The ring holds the rope and surrounds the shell of the atabaque.
Wedges: The wedges are used to keep the ring in its correct position.
Stand: It is what the atabaque is placed on to make a good sound. More often, the stand is made of the same wood as the atabaque itself.
Usually, the atabaque rhythm consists of 4 beats with a deep bass on the third beat.
There are three types of atabaques:
Rum: The tallest atabaque with the lowest sound
Rum-Pi: A medium berimbau with a medium sound
Le: The shortest berimbau with the highest sound