The ‘bombo’, or drum, is closely linked to Portuguese traditional festivities, frequently sided by melodic instruments such as bagpipes and ‘concertinas’, and even ‘gigantones’, that enliven their performances.
Nonetheless, there are several characteristics on the construction and playing of this percussion instrument in Amarante that sets it apart from other regions of the country where it is also prevalent. In this region, due to the vigor and the energy employed in drum performances, they were traditionally played by men and regarded as a masculine instrument; however, in more recent times there has been a growing number of mixed and even exclusively feminine percussion groups.
Amarante has nowadays several of these groups (usually formed by relatives or close friends that learn to play from older members) and this fact makes it possible the much celebrated ‘drum face-offs’, one of the local June Fest’s high moments.
Amarante will hold in 2017 the third Bombo’s National Congress, gathering several experts on the subject. Also in a near future it is expected that an exhaustive registry will begin, of Amarante’s existing percussion groups and its repertoire.