Rabeca chuleira

From the north of Portugal, the rabeca chuleira arrived in South America: a type of rebec that is still performed today in Iberian lands (where it is in danger of disappearing) and in the northeast of Brazil.

The original instrument is supposed to have appeared in the Amarante area, in the Portuguese region of Entre-Douro-e-Minho, around the 18th century. It was used for party chulas along with the viola braguesa or amarantina and the violão, hence its name. Its scale was higher than that of the common violin, and it perfectly accompanied the singing of the women.

In Brazilian territory there are numerous rabecas, built by hand, and whose characteristics vary from region to region, from north to south. They usually have between 3 and 5 strings, gut or metal, and very varied tunings. They are performed by resting them on the performer’s chest. The Northeastern rabeca is used above all to interpret forró, accompanied by accordion.

The video shows a “duel” of Brazilian rabeca players.

Video (material uploaded to YouTube by Marcos Malucelli).

[Image: Undetermined source].

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