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I n t d u c t o r y A s p e c t s
M a r c o s S u z a n o s
P a n d e i r o M e t h o d
I learned the basics of Suzano’s method through one of his former stu-
dents, Robert Saliba, a founding member of the Pandemonium ensemble
of pandeiros. I also studied for a brief period with the choro pandeiro mas-
ter Celsinho Silva. Samba and choro musicians generally describe the prin-
cipal rhythms of these genres in 2/4 time, with each pulse divided into
theoretically even sixteenth notes (although in samba, the subdivisions
of the beat sometimes tend toward triplets, or the equivalent of 6/8 time,
and in choro 3/4 time may also be used). On the pandeiro, the cymbals
articulate these sixteenth notes (which Suzano sees as analogous to the
highest atabaque drum part in the Candomblé tradition) as they shake.
Normally, with the pandeiro held in front of the body, this is achieved
by rhythmically rotating the instrument a short distance one way as the
fingertips strike near the top of the frame, then the other way as the heel
of the thumb strikes near the bottom of it, each motion lasting a sixteenth
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