The agogô is an instrument originating from the Yoruba tradition. It is made with two bells and it is used in different types of music such as samba or rock…
The name agogô means bell in Yoruba. It has been used in traditional Yoruba music for centuries even up to today. There it is usually accompanied by various drums in ceremonies and festivals. The Yorubas of West Africa have been involved with bronze and iron casting for centuries and it is from this era that the agogô was born. The blacksmiths created sculptures from iron, through hand-beating, welding, and casting. Also, Ogun (a god still honored today in Brazilian Candomblé) is honored as the god of iron. It is the official instrument of Obatala in the religion of Yoruba.
Often made in metal, the agogo has the most high-pitched sound in the Capoeira bateria. It can also be made in wood and nuts (Agogô de Castanha) which gives it a more stifled and deep sound. Its role is to keep the tempo along with the atabaque. Although the agogô may be seen as dispensable in Capoeira, it is still however a major part of Maculelê and Samba de Roda. The agogô was introduced before the reco-reco in the bateria.
The Agogô de Castanha might have developed by the slaves as they did not have access to the materials for iron or bronze casting.