Surdo and Repinique


by Gilson Silveira

In the complexity of the Samba's structure Surdos play a very important role by carrying on the foundation of the rhythm section and reflecting the "clave" and all the Samba language.

Althoug available in various size the surdos' family is rappresented by four different drums:

  • Surdo Maracaçáo (LOW SURDO)
  • Surdo di Corte (MIDDLE SURDO)
  • Surdo Resposta (HI SURDO)
  • Berimbau Produzioni ArtisticheRepinique (SUPER HI SURDO)

It's a two-headed large cylindrical drum made with stainless steel or wood shell. The heads can be calf-skin or plastic. Surdos are traditionally used in Escolas de Samba where a large ensamble (Bateria) counts around 25/35 elements with drums of all the above kind and size.


The are four basic stroke played on the Surdo:

  1. strike with the left hand
  2. with the left hand resting on the head, strike the surdo with the stick (closed tone)
  3. strike the surdo with the stick (open tone)
  4. strike the rim of the drum with the stick. The left hand may be left on (closed) or off (open) the head.



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