DONG! DING! TCHK!
3 simple notes. So simple and raw in sound, yet they provide the very basis on which game and style of capoeira that should be played in the roda. Generally speaking, the faster the berimbau is played, the faster the game is.
The berimbau is a single-string percussion instrument from Brazil, but has its origins from Africa, and was eventually adapted into the game of capoeira alongside the atabaque (drum) and the pandeiro (tambourine) in the early 20th century. It is the most important instrument used in the capoeira roda as it not only controls the style and pace of the game, but it also starts and finishes the capoeira roda.
The berimbau is made up of the Verga (wooden rod), Arame (wire) and Cabaca (gourd). The pitch of the note is made by placing the Pedra (stone) or Dobrao on the arame while it is struck with the Baqueta (stick), and is also accompanied by the Caxixi in hand.
Gunga, Medio and Viola.
The size refers to the size of the cabaca. The Gunga has the deepest sound, the Medio has the medium pitch, and the Viola has the highest. Each berimbau has a specific role and toque during play.
As long as it is in time with, and reverts back to, the toque.