Also:       repique      

Contextual Associations

The repinique is a Brazilian double-headed membranophone. Its strongest association is with the baterias (percussion sections) of Rio de Janiero samba schools, and with Afro-Brazilian Carnival music from Bahia in the northeast. It might today also be encountered at football/soccer matches in Brazil, or wherever Brazilian teams travel, as part of informal percussion groups stimulating fan excitement.


The shell of the pictured repinique is cylindrical and made of aluminum. Its two nylon membranes are stretched over flesh hoops slightly wider in diameter than that of the openings in the shell they cover. The drumheads are further tensioned with heavy metal collars of the same diameter as the flesh hoops. These collars each have eight piers spaced around their circumference. The piers accept threaded metal tension rods that run the length of the drum shell. By turning the bolts at the lower ends of these rods with a key, the amount and evenness of pressure on the membranes can be controlled. A metal-rimmed pressure hole is situated in the middle of the shell. Two wooden stick beaters are used to strike the playing head. A strap for carrying is attached to the tuning rods with clips.

Player - Instrument Interface and Sound Production

The drum hangs from a shoulder strap about waist high in front of the performer. Slightly tilted to the player's right side, only one head is actually struck. Holding a stick beater in each hand, the player can execute series of single strokes or produce rolls. He can also strike the tension collar (the rim) to produce a different timbre.


Not much information on the history of the repinique was found. Morphologically, it is very similar to the tenor drum found in military bands, and such bands have existed in Brazil since the 19th century. So the military band tenor drum could be one possible prototype for the repinique.

Bibliographic Citations

McGowan, Chris, and Ricardo Pessanha. 2009. The Brazilian Sound: Samba, Bossa Nova, and the Popular Music of Brazil. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.


Instrument Information


Continent: Americas

Region: South America

Nation: Brazil

Formation: Afro-Brazilian

Classification (Sachs-Von Hornbostel revised by MIMO)

211.212.11 membranophone--individual double-skin cylindrical drum, one skin used for playing

Design and Playing Features

Category: membranophone

Number of drums comprising instrument: single drum

Shell design: tubular - cylindrical

Number and function of membranes: two, one for sounding and one for resonance

Membrane design: framed with rigid flesh hoop

Membrane attachment: counterhoop, lapped over framed membrane hoop, connected by lacing or tension rods to counterhoop lapped over framed membrane hoop

Membrane tension control: rotating screw rods or bolts

Sounding for membranophone: striking with two handheld beaters

Sound modifiers for membranophone: none


12 in. height 12 in. diameter of shell

Primary Materials

metal - sheet
membrane - synthetic





Entry Author

Roger Vetter