There goes the Berimbau: An Africa-Brazil-Germany Musician-Body Trajectory

How to Cite

Grundner, S. (2023). There goes the Berimbau: An Africa-Brazil-Germany Musician-Body Trajectory. Current Musicology, 111.


This article presents the partial results of a dissertation entitled The role of music in the internationalization of capoeira: Flows and crossroads Rio-France-Germany (2022). Documents prepared by practitioners of the N'Zinga Capoeira School in Hanover, Germany, published on a platform called Yumpu, provide information on how musical-cultural knowledge of capoeira is understood and passed down in this context. Through the translation of songs and the study of informational texts written by German instructors about capoeira, I observe that musicality (and, by extension, corporeality) are fundamenatal to the consolidation of capoeira culture in Germany. This analysis is influenced by Leda Martins' Performances da Oralitura (2003), which highlights the enduring African root in Afro-diasporic cultural activities, transmitting africanidades ("Africanities") beyond the performance itself. Paul Gilroy's The Black Alantic (1993) also informed my understanding of the relevance of Black culture in critiques of European democracy. German capoeira practitioners gain a deeper understanding of the structural differences imposed on racialized people when they coexist with their mestres and learn of oppression and social difference through the art of capoeira.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Simone Grundner