How to recognize Kizomba, Semba and Tarraxinha music

Music evolves, as does dance. Tracking its origins and evolution can be very complicated.

The Kizomba comes essentially from the Zouk (music genre of the French Antilles) and Semba (originally from Angola)

As music and dance gain in popularity, there is also the fusion of different musical styles and, therefore, it is more difficult to distinguish between them. There are many songs that have elements of various genres.


The most important thing to keep in mind are the characteristics of the sounds of instruments and voices, rhythms and the evoked feeling but music.


This music is characterized by its powerful electronic sound. It is done mainly using rhythm boxes, keyboards and voices. It is danced with more emphasis on isolated hip movements. The rhythmic base is more pronounced and less melodic than in other styles. Their music ranges from 80 to 100 BPMS (beats per minute).

The movements begin with the hips. Connection between the dancers is fundamental

In the Tarraxinha, energy is projected from the outside towards the inside.

Examples of music:


It’s more melodic than the Tarraxinha. One dances walking, without losing contact with the couple, which is joined by the upper body, in a close embrace while maintaining incidental contact with the legs when walking. The energy of this dance is transmitted to our interior. The music speed range is between 80 and 140 BPMS. There is a fairly wide range within this genre, which can be somewhat confusing for an untrained ear.



Semba is the predecessor of the Kizomba. Its rhythm is cheerful and optimistic. The speed of the music is between 90 and 150 BPMS.

It uses many musical instruments: drums, piano, string instruments and vocals; the dance has an energy that radiates outwards, unlike Kizomba and Tarraxinha.

Its spirit and joy are very similar to those transmitted by Merengue and Casino Salsa.




The GhettoZouk is a mix of Zouk and R & B, often using electronic instrumentation, yet the voices sound more melodic than in other styles. Many GhettoZouk songs have elements in common with the Tarraxinha.

Old Kizomba School

This style uses a wide variety of instruments, which are not usually electronic in nature. Percussions, guitars and vocals are often heard.


Kizomba instrumental

This type of Kizomba is purely instrumental, its sound is much slower and listless.



Other musical styles:

In the Caribbean – Kompa and Kassav
In Cape Verde – Coladeira, Morna, Funana and Mazurca
These styles have influenced what we know today as Kizomba

Spread the Beat
Agrandar Texto
Manejar Contraste