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Rhythms of Resistance originally started as a Samba band. Although nowadays many of rhythms that we play have all kinds of different musical backgrounds, our selection of instruments and some of our rhythms still closely resemble Samba. Samba originated in Brazil, and comes from a Brazilian interpretation of traditional African rhythms. It is commonly known as the traditional sound of Brazilian carnival because it was through carnival that samba emerged (see History). A samba band or “bateria” is made up of many drummers playing different rhythms on assorted instruments which blend together to form the tune.

The music is led by the mestre by using hand signals and a whistle. How this is done can be read in the signs section.

Tunes are constitued of a groove, and of some breaks. The groove is the basic part of the tune. It is repeated over and over until a break is shown by the mestre and counted in. After having played the break, the bateria goes into the groove again.

For being able to play together and to team up to form a really big loud bateria at big demos, the bands in the RoR Network are playing the same tunes and using the same hand signals.

All the tunes we’ve listed include notations of the rhythms, notes on the tunes (e.g. whether some breaks are played in a loop), descriptions of non-standard signs for breaks and suggestions about stuff to try (you don’t have to follow these suggestions – go with what works for you). All the tunes are available in printer friendly format. We’re also trying to provide sound files of each of the songs and their components, so that hopefully you get an idea of what they sound like.

Don’t feel though that you have to learn them all. Start with a couple of easier ones such as Voodoo to begin with. The tunes themselves are easy to learn.

Last thing: don’t forget hearing protection!!! Wear ear protection at all times when you’re playing. It feels weird at first, and you have to rely on hand signals a lot more, but you’ll get used to it after a while. Better that than permanently damaging your hearing. You can get foam ones pretty cheaply from builders’ merchants, motor bike shops etc, but until then cotton wool balls or clean toilet paper works. DO NOT WAIT until your ears are ringing – by that time it’s way too late!

You can listen to all the tunes in the RoR Player. Have a look at how we are playing and using the hand signals in the RoR Tube.

You can download printable A4, A5 and A6 PDF booklets with the tunes and dances on GitHub. You can also use the RoR Sheetbook Generator to generate a booklet with a custom selection of tunes.