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The apito

The apito

The apito is a whistle which the sides present two openings. This allows by plugging with the thumb and forefinger to get a second note, higher pitched. It can be made of wood, copper, plastic and even silver or gold plated finish.

The apito can add again a distinct voice to the polyrhythm, but is also very often used for conducting. It is especially very useful to draw band attention before the playing of a repinique stopping figure, which could otherwise be muffled by the general noise level.

playing high tone playing low tone

basic pattern

A variation (like the single paradiddle)

The apito is also traditionally used to play the figure that indicates, and "set" the acceleration ("accelerando", progressive increase of the tempo), a typical batucada system. Some batucada conductors replaces it by a police or traditional referee whistle (more audible), but cannot play then melodic phrases, like those of the agogo or cuica.

accelerando call figure

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

© 2005 Marc de Douvan Crédits Mentions légales