Welcome to the website
for the book

Blocos Afro
Start the musical journey


The music of the Blocos Afro has become very popular in the last couple of years.
Their rhythms inspire many amateur and professional musicians, dancers and audiences of all ages around the world.
However, little has been written about this Brazilian music style.
The only comprehensive collection of specified information was a book by
Goli Guerreiro entitled "A trama dos tambores",
which was published only in Portuguese.

A while back one summer's day, when Matthias Haffner and Michael de Miranda,
both musicians, met in Rotterdam, Netherlands to record a video tutorial for YouTube,
they came up with the idea to write a book about the
Blocos Afro and their diversity of thythms.

"Being experienced musicians they decided to add an Audio CD for better understanding of all rhythms
and create the music for the recordings themselves."

A year later, their plans became reality.
They hopped on a plane to the heart of the action - Salvador da Bahia in the North-East of Brazil.
Armed with cameras, microphones, and a pile recording equipment they visited rehearsals,
performances, concerts and interviewed the VIP's of the Blocos Afro.

It took another year until all the material was finally reviewed, analysed and transcribed,
the photos chosen, the interviews translated, text written and the CD recorded.

We hope this book takes you - the reader - on the good musical path, maybe even all the way to Salvador da Bahia in Brazil. For nothing compares to the real experience of feeling the pounding beats of a Blocos Afro.

Buy the - Book & CD Set

You can order your copy of Blocos Afro here.
Choose between the physical book & accompanying CD with postage to either:
(1.) Netherlands & Germany, (2.) the European Continent or (3.) Rest of the World.
Additionally you can choose for a digital download.
After payment you will receive a download link for the PDF book
and the MP3 playlist.
Should you choose the physical book you have the option of adding the
PDF version to your order for only €15,00.
You can find the options in the drop-down menu below.

Book & Postage options

The Story

Time-line of the Project

  • July 2013

    The Idea is Born...

    When musicians Matthias and Michael met in the summer of 2013 to record an instructional film for YouTube, the idea quickly came up to write a book about the music of the Blocos Afro.

    One of the reasons was that there are few books with musical notation from the Blocos. However, there appears to be a great deal of interest around the world for this subject.

  • June 2015

    The Brazilian Tour

    The years of experience of Matthias Haffner and Michael de Miranda with these musical groups in addition to their mutual analytical skills meant travelling together was a natural progression.

    One year late they flew to Salvador da Bahia armed with cameras, microphones and recording equipment, visited rehearsals, performances and interviewed prominent figures in the world of the Blocos Afro.

  • A Multi-media Publication

    This book uses today's technology to create more than just a musical transcription on a sheet of paper.

    There is a CD of excellent quality with the different rhythms of the Blocos.

    The photos also give a nice impression of the world of the Blocos Afro.

    Hopefully this book will get readers on the right track.
    However, the ultimate experience remains to travel to Salvador da Bahia to experience the groups live.

  • Be Part
    Of Our

Blocos Afro - The book about the rhythms
and history of the groups of Bahia

The Book

Take a Look inside....

DIDÁ "Banda Feminina"

page 84

DIDÁ "Banda Feminina"

page 85

African Influences

page 6

Caribbean Influences

page 7

Merengue Olodum

page 34

Merengue Olodum

page 35

The Music

Listen to a few samples from the CD....

The Authors

Matthias Haffner

Haffner studied Latin American percussion at the Conservatory in Rotterdam, Netherlands from 1996 till 2002.

Since then, he has relevantly contributed to spreading Brazilian music in the Netherlands.
He has toured in Europe, Africa, Asia, South and North America.

Many of his field trips lead him to Brazil, always in his luggage: his Brazilian frame drum, the pandeiro. He works with Brazilian musicians on many occasions, both in Europe as well as in Brazil.

Haffner studies not only the Brazilian pandeiro, but also the little frame drums's close relatives: the Italian tamburello, the Egyptian riq, the Spanish pandereta or the oriental mizhar.

He enthusiastically passes on his knowledge about drumming culture and techniques during his workshops and master classes.

He teaches percussion at the EPM Holanda in Rotterdam, the first school for Choro and Samba outside of Brazil.
The school is an offshoot of the renown EPM in Rio de Janeiro. Since 2016, he has been teaching Brazilian and other percussion instruments in Berlin.

One of his latest trips led him to the Brazilian states of Pernambuco, Bahia, Minas Gerais and Rio where he started his unique project - a documentation about the pandeiro.

In 2018, Haffner released his comprehensive instructional tutorials about the pandeiro, produced by frame drummer David Kuckermann.

Matthias Haffner also develops, designs and builds high quality hand-made pandeiros together with his Finnish colleague
Anders Perander.
Their pandeiro lines are known and played worldwide under the name HP Percussion.


Michael de Miranda

Michael de Miranda started his studies of Latin American percussion at the Conservatory of Rotterdam, Netherlands, in 1986.

His family is of Surinamese origin, so he was brought up surrounded by South American and also classical music.

While still being a student at the conservatory from which he graduated in 1991, he started his first field trips to Cuba.
He also travelled to Africa (Senegal, Gambia) and to Brazil to study with several master drummers such as Justo Pelladito, Changuito, Ali Ndiaye Rose, Roberto Vizcaino and several others.

Since the 1980's, Michael has been playing Cuban music in numerous bands such as Rumbambola, Son Alegre, Moquito etc.
He is also active in the Brazilian music scene with Estrela Dalva, Azul and Amazonia amongst various other projects

Since the early 1990's, he has also been concentrating on the importance of teaching and has founded the percussion school Sambalanço.

He has taught percussion all over the Netherlands.

Since he installed his turorial channel on YouTube in 2010, musicians from all over the world are able to enjoy his didactical skills and he is proud to say that several tens of thousands with a rising trend have subscribed to his online classes.

Due to his high level of recognition as a reputable teacher, he is at present much in demand for giving workshops all over Europe.

Recently Michael created a new channel on Patreon. Here you can follow various percussion tutorials. Here you will also find Percussion Play Along tracks, where new rhythms can be practised.


>Patreon - Michael de Miranda


PDF and Video

Since our book 'Blocos Afro" was published, many people have asked for complete arrangements in the style of the Blocos Afro. After more than 30 years of playing and studying and giving workshops in this musical style, Michael de Miranda decided to share some of the arrangements that he has produced.
The compositions are filled with traditional rhythms and breaks mixed with his own ideas
that Michael has developed over the years.

In every arrangement you will find 2 different rhythms, intro, outro and 3 breaks. When you purchase an arrangement you will receive the notation in PDF as well as a video where you can actually see how the arrangement is played.
If you are looking for insiration or you wish to develop your ideas and skills, then these arrangements will give you a versatile library to draw from. The compositions are for groups at an intermediate or an advanced level.

This arrangement has a lot of beautiful influences from Candomblé.
It starts with a 6/8 rhythm and changes into a groove for Oxóssi in 2/4.
The instruments are: Repinique, Timba, Caixa, Dobra, Fundo 1 and Fundo 2.

. In this composition there are 2 different groovy Afro Sambas, and in the middle section
there is a Funky groove which was made by a great mestre from Bahia (Timbalada).
The Instruments are: Repinique, Timba, Caixa, Dobra 1, Dobra 2, Fundo 1 and Fundo 2.

Move & Groove
This is an up-tempo composition which starts in 6/8 and then changes into a 2/4 clave orientated groove.
In the middle section there is a new groove coming in at half-time.
The instruments are: Repinique, Timba, Caixa, Dobra, Fundo 1 and Fundo 2.

This composition starts with a funky groove and after the first break it changes into Afro Samba.
After every break the Afro Samba builds in intensity until the funk returns. A composition with beautiful breaks!
The Instruments are: Repinique, Timba, Caixa, Dobra 1, Dobra 2, Fundo 1 and Fundo 2.

You can purchase all the arrangements below:

Arrangement Options

The Complete Pandeiro Guide

on USB Stick

After 30 years of extensive playing, teaching, research and meeting the pandeiro masters in Brazil,
Matthias Haffner decided to share his wide knowledge about this Brazilian frame drum, the Pandeiro.
In co-operation with well-known producer David Kuckermann, Matthias published a complete video tutorial
about this amazingly versatile percussion instrument.
The result is stunning: more than 7 hours of lesson caught on camera, including precisely explained techniques,
hundreds of grooves, tricks and effects on the instrument, traditional and modern styles, history,
play-along tracks, on-screen notations, PDF's and other surprises!

The practical wooden USB stick is available for the complete course, or optionally for:
Tutorial 1 (basic techniques, traditional grooves) or Tutorial 2 (modern grooves, advanced playing)

You can purchase the wooden USB stick here: www.haffnerperander.com

You can also enrol for the video lessons here: www.worldpercussion.net

Or download the chapters here: www.kalango.com. / www.pandeiro.com

Watch the trailer to get a first impression of the Complete Pandeiro Guide: On YouTube.

Pandeiro Course options

Contact Us

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Copyright © 2017
Matthias Haffner & Michael de Miranda

We have done our utmost to contact all copyright holders regarding image rights, reproduction rights, etc., our apologies if we have not been able to contact everybody. Please contact us should you have any questions.