UkeTube: Madeiran Music Special

Something a little different this week. Rather than ukes, I thought I’d post some videos from the uke’s ancestral home: Madeira. Most of the videos feature uke-related instruments (braguinha/machete/rajao) and two guys: Roberto Moritz and Roberto Moniz(you should subscribe to them). Both members of Madeira’s top traditional band Xarabanda.

It’s very interesting to see the similarities and differences in technique and tunes.

UPDATE: Check out this photo of the Orquestra Caracteristica Madeirense from 1890 via Roberto Moniz’s blog.

Xarabanda – Sr. Francisco Bandarra

Rajao Orqestra de Ponteado – I Can’t Help Falling In Love

Orquestra de Ponteado da Madeira – Eye of the tiger

Roberto Moritz e Roberto Moniz – Bate o pé

Quinteto Drumond de Vasconcelos – Sou menina inocente

Guilherme Órfão and Roberto Moniz – Valsa XX

Márcio de Camilo

Orquestra de Ponteado da Madeira – Clocks

Balho das Camacheiras

Banda D’além

View Comments


  1. Bossarocker February 26th, 2011 2:28 pm

    You have been busy. Nice finds.

  2. Herman Vandecauter February 26th, 2011 3:39 pm

    I will probably be in Madeira this spring!
    Muito obrogado por la musica!

  3. Woodshed February 26th, 2011 5:21 pm

    Bossa: I have been busy and I still keep falling behind.

    Herman: Have a great time.

  4. JCMcGee February 26th, 2011 5:37 pm

    Brilliant. Inspirational. Thanks for this!

  5. Howlin' Hobbit February 26th, 2011 6:52 pm

    great change of pace!

    I like most all of them. love the way they mix in other instruments too.

    wish there was a close-up of that weird little rhythm unit being played in the Balho das Camacheiras video. anyone know what it’s called?

  6. Gary Peare February 27th, 2011 1:42 am

    Fookin’ brilliant post. Applause all around.

  7. Paul February 27th, 2011 10:32 am

    Wonderful stuff. Looks like my kind of place.

  8. Bonita February 28th, 2011 5:25 am

    Delightful. Enjoyed. Thanks much.

  9. Woodshed February 28th, 2011 5:36 pm

    Jimmy: You’re welcome.

    Hobbit: I was wondering what that was as well.

    Gary: Thanks very much.

    Paul: Ta!

    Bonita: Glad you enjoyed.

  10. shp March 1st, 2011 5:37 pm

    i just wanted to add that i also very much enjoyed this week’s selections. it’s so fascinating to think about this instrument’s journey.

  11. Shobs March 1st, 2011 9:13 pm

    Beautiful. Thanks Al, this was a pleasure to explore.

  12. Simon March 1st, 2011 11:13 pm

    Interesting links, thanks! New to this site, so I have a lot of catching up to do!


  13. Woodshed March 6th, 2011 11:20 am

    shp: Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it.

    Shobs: You’re welcome.

    Simon: Nearly 4 years worth of catching up! Welcome aboard.

  14. Damon @ Let's Tiki March 6th, 2011 4:56 pm

    What a great collection. Thanks!

  15. J-Hob March 22nd, 2011 1:06 pm

    Just got around to watching these, really interesting and made a pleasant diversion from the usual uke tube.

  16. Jay Lee March 24th, 2011 5:12 am

    Thanks for posting these Al.

    Of the two ‘parents’ of the ukulele, the Madeiran machete and rajao, there are three important collections of 19th century music manuscripts that relate to the machete:

    Cabral, Manuel Joaquim Monteiro. 1846. 1a / Colleccao de differentes / Pecas de Muzica / Compostas / por / Candido Drumond de Vasconcellos / & / Arranjados para Machete e Guitarra, / por / Manoel Joaquim Monteiro Cabral / & / Para uso de Joanna Mathilde Beda de Freitas. Manuscript.

    Cabral, Manuel Joaquim Monteiro. c1850. Estudos para Machete / Arranjados / por / Manuel Joaquim Monteiro MJMCabral. Manuscript. 4 leaves (8 pages bound) & 1 leaf (2 pages loose).

    Antonio Jose Barbosa. c1870. Principios de Machete, arranjado / Por A. J. Barboza / Fxal Madeira. Manuscript.

    On YouTube, Roberto Moritz, Manuel Morais, Quinteto Drumond de Vasconcelos and the late John King are among those that can be found playing pieces from these manuscripts.

    The Cabral manuscript ‘collection of pieces for machete and guitar’ was published by Manuel Morais in 2003 (Casal de Cambra)

    The Cabral manuscript ‘studies for machete’ was published by John King in 2008 in a paper in a big book ‘A Madeira e a Música: Estudos’.

    The Barbosa manuscript can be downloaded for free from this website:

    I myself have restrung a cheap soprano as a machete and begun learning pieces from the Cabral Estudos. Unfortunately, I haven’t posted YouTube videos of myself playing any machete pieces yet.

    Keep on ukeing Al!

  17. Woodshed March 26th, 2011 12:46 pm

    Damon and J-Hob: Glad you enjoyed it.

    Jay Lee: Thanks very much for the info. I was aware of the various Cabral manuscript books but I’d never found anywhere to buy them. I’ve ordered a copy of Manuel Morais’s book.

  18. Ian Andrews July 5th, 2012 9:28 am

    They are called ‘Brinquinho’. Madieran Dancing dolls. Each doll has a couple of bottle tops that produce the sound.

  19. james fellows October 6th, 2013 6:19 pm

    I was led here from a spirited Cavaquinho video, highly recommended display of the Brasilian progeny of all these Madeiran 5 and 5 stringers. This is a great collection of videos, opening up a little-travelled route (root!) of the ‘ukulele.
    Muito obrigado!

  20. james fellows October 6th, 2013 6:22 pm

    meant to type 4 & 5 stringers
    Oops – J

  21. Woodshed October 7th, 2013 10:35 am

    James: Glad you enjoyed the videos as much as I did!

  22. Helen May 12th, 2014 11:47 pm

    Nice post. I know it’s old, but it’s new to me. I’ve seen one or two of these vids but glad to find new ones.
    I wanted to play the ukulele but then I found out it’s roots to the braguinha and the rajao. I knew about them but didn’t know they formed the uke. As an ethnic Madeiran I decided against the uke. There isn’t any material out there however on learning the braguinha. I got a rajao instead- I get to learn a traditional instrument but also use all the material put out for the uke and apply it to the rajao’s dgCEA. Plus they sound the same. Maybe one day when I’m more confident with figuring out chords, theory and stuff, I’ll pick up a tiny braguinha and work it out. If only someone had the brains and patience to put together a site like you do.
    This site has so much info and appealing products.

  23. Woodshed May 13th, 2014 11:13 am

    Helen: That’s great! I often consider getting a rajao. Seems like a fun instrument.

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