Arcomusical is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to spread the joy of the Afro-Brazilian berimbau musical bow in a uniquely American way: through the development of an innovative and excellent repertoire for this little known instrument in diverse musical settings. Arcomusical supports this mission through six pillars of activity: performance, education, composition, publication, research, and community.
What is a musical bow?
Although the berimbau is a well-known instrument in Brazil, most people in the United States are not familiar with its elegant beauty and simplicity. And people remain largely unaware of the diverse family of instruments to which the berimbau belongs. Musical bows are the most popular and widespread traditional string instrument found throughout sub-saharan Africa, and the berimbau made its way to Brazil via the transatlantic slave trade. The berimbau’s closest relatives are found in southern Africa, and specifically in the Portuguese speaking countries of Angola and Mozambique.
In the Arcomusical mission resonate the recent words of the great civil rights pioneer Asa Philip Randolph:
“Maybe our forefathers and mothers all came to this great land in different ships, but we are all in the same boat now. We all live in the same house. The American house.”
Musical bows come from around the world. Their musical transformation is happening right here in DeKalb, Illinois.