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The frigideira

La frigideira

The frying pan (Portuguese: "frigideira") is one of the best examples of Brazilian everyday objects recycling and "appropriation". You must prefer a small pan (about 12 cm in diameter, "blinis" (small "pancakes") frying pan) without thick bottom, less heavy and solid stainless steel without coating for strength and resonance. You can find it for a long time with thin and light shape manufactured by Brazilian instruments brands.

It is usually struck by a steel rod but you can also use a wooden stick (less noise). The playing technique resembles the tamborim and triangle together and consists of doing two strokes back on the bottom and one forth against the edge, by rotating the pan with the handle.

frigideira down stroke frigideira up stroke

This ternary rhythm should not be played in triplets, but in the binary normal notes pulse (sixteenth), which implies a "3 over 4" (4 accents in 3 beats (played by "frigideira") over three accents in four beat (played by ganza, Rocar, surdo of demarcation, etc.)). This rhythm is one of the most confusing of the Brazilian polyrhythms, because it actually involves a separate measure of all other instruments (which are in a 2 or 4 beats measure, time signature), and "floats" always away from the binary traditional hypermeasure. This is what gives a sense of "swing" in the literal sense, that is to say a "turning round" effect. Some African music (Voduns, Benin), jazz (in drum solos like that of Gene Krupa), contemporary (Steve Reich) and techno (Jeff Mills), exploit this process quite rare and difficult to "think" for a musician. For "mathematician" instrumentalists. Dancers: beware!

frigideira sound

The frigideira samba basic pattern

Marc De Douvan, October 2005, translation in English: May 2013.

© 2005 Marc de Douvan Crédits Mentions légales