Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Instrumental Performance (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Deborah Schwartz-Kates

Second Committee Member

Gary M. Lindsay

Third Committee Member

Gary D. Green

Fourth Committee Member

Svetoslav R. Stoyanov


Widely recognized in Brazil as the nation’s quintessential percussion instrument, the pandeiro (or Brazilian tambourine) has long been an integral part of samba and other popular styles of Brazilian music. However, in recent years, the pandeiro has increased in prominence within the international percussion community as performers have used contemporary techniques to broaden the possible applications of the instrument. These advancements arose largely from the work of the percussionist Marcos Suzano, whose name has become almost synonymous with the pandeiro itself. Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1963, his innovative use of sound reinforcement and development of new performance techniques have redefined the use and perception of the pandeiro. This study sheds light on the details of his revolutionary inverted technique and explains the process of its development. In addition, it documents the exact electronic equipment Suzano uses in conjunction with the pandeiro for both live performances and studio recordings, and reveals how he makes use of these components so that interested percussionists can better explore the capabilities of the amplified pandeiro. Finally, this work investigates Suzano’s progressive view of the pandeiro and its future, and how its ability to emulate a large number of percussion instruments allows it to function in a wide variety of musical styles from both Brazil and around the world. The majority of information presented in this work derives from an interview that I myself conducted with Suzano on August 16, 2011 in his home in Rio de Janeiro.


Brazil; Percussion; Pandeiro; Marcos Suzano; Electro-Acoustic Music; Sound Reinforcement