Types Of Instruments And How The Baile Funk Music Is Made
Baile Funk is a genre of music not meant for the weak of heart. It is meant to be a heart pounding, earsplitting experience where the bass is turned up high and it is heard all throughout the streets. It is a dance style music that utilizes electronic instruments, samba drums, the human voice, the guitar, and other percussion instruments (Raber 28).
One of the main instruments is the 808 drum machine, located at the left of the page. The 808 is well known for its ability to produce extremely low bass sounds and to replicate drums (Nostalgia). Its relatively cheap price and good reputation make it a staple among the Baile Funk bands. Another electronic instrument heavily used is the sampler. Unlike an 808 drum machine, a sampler uses recordings, or “samples” of sounds previously recorded and plays them back.
These sounds are played back when the artist uses a keyboard, a trigger, or a sequencer. An example of a sampler is shown to the right. One of the other most important instruments is the human voice. In songs recorded in studios, it is apparent that synthesizers have been used heavily to change the singer’s voice (Rio Baile Funk: Favela Booty Beats). Artists' voices in the favelas, or shack towns, are greatly magnified by the walls of speakers that line the streets.
While listening to clips of popular Baile Funk songs, I identified some of the instruments used. In a song by Deise Tigrona called “Injeção”, trumpets are heavily used. Below is a video of “Injeção”. As you can hear, the artist mixes in deep drum beats along with computer generated sounds to give the song the energy it needed. Another popular song is by Serginho entitled “Pocotó”. Interestingly, the background beat for this song is a galloping horse! Baile Funk utilizes many varying sounds in its music, from gun shots to the guitar. No sound seems to be ruled out when composing a song. The audience even contributes to the song’s instrument section during live performances. A reporter who went to a Baile Funk concert in a favela said that audience members shot off their guns in time with the songs that were being played (The Observer).

There are two main ways Baile Funk music is made. The first is its natural way, the Rio de Janeiro way. It is mainly funded by gangs who have a large hand in drug trafficking. It is hard to get a cd of this natural baile funk because the lyrics that often praise gang violence are against the law in Rio and the gangsters and artists are afraid of being caught. The artists yell and sing harsh lyrics into microphones at the crowds surrounded by walls of speakers. The artists are restricted as to which towns they can go into because they are often aligned with gangs and can’t enter a rival gang’s town. Below is a picture of a favela, or a "shanty town" (The Observer), where most Baile Funk parties take place. Outside of Rio, Baile Funk is often produced in normal studios. Ranging from expensive studios to kids in a house, Baile Funk is now everywhere. Since it is an electric style music, anyone with a computer or other electronic device with music making abilities can make their own piece of Baile Funk.


Raber, Rebeca. "As Nasty as They Wanna Be." CMJ New Music Monthly July 2007: 28-29.
Observer, The. Ghetto Fabulous. 15 September 2005. 16 April 2011 <http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2005/sep/18/brazil.popandrock>.
Haaksman, Daniel, DJ Dennis, Jack E. Chocolate. MC, Ricardo, Esquisto, Mascote MC, Paty, Serghino MC, Naldinho MC, Beth MC, Galo MC, Cidinho, Doca, and Waguinho. Rio Baile Funk Favela Booty Beats. Essay Recordings, 2004. CD.
"Roland TR808." Nostalgia. Web. 22 Apr. 2011. <http://www.hollowsun.com/vintage/808/index.html>.
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