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Agua de Beber

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Antônio Carlos Jobim

Antonio Carlos Jobim (arr. Ralph Hicks)

Subtitle: Water to Drink

General Info

Year: 1961 / 2012
Duration: c. 2:25
Difficulty: II (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Bossa Nova song
Publisher: Tapspace
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $40.00


Full Score
Percussion (7-12 players), including:

  • Congas (optional)
  • Cowbell (optional)
  • Drum Set
  • Glockenspiel
  • Guiro (optional)
  • Marimba (high, medium and low)
  • Shakers (optional)
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone

Bass Guitar (optional)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Agua de Beber (water to drink), arranged by Ralph Hicks, is a classic chart by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes that has been heard just about everywhere except in a percussion ensemble setting, until now. This arrangement features some subtle introductions into the world of improvised music charts such as vamps, optional soloing, and a part for bass guitar. Hicks further offers some tips on how to achieve some true bossa nova flavor and on ways to get creative with the arrangement.

This arrangement was written for the Cypress Fairbanks Intermediate Percussion Ensemble in Cypress, Tx., under the direction of Nicole Stern and Michael Dick.

- Program Note from publisher

Água de Beber (water to drin) is a bossa nova jazz standard composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim and originally recorded in the key of A minor, with lyrics written by Vinicius de Moraes. The English lyrics were written by Norman Gimbel.

The story is, as told by Kléber Farias, one of the engineers who helped build Brasília: In 1959, when the new capital was being built, the president of Brazil, Juscelino Kubitschek, invited Antonio "Tom" Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes to spend a season at Catetinho (the provisional presidential palace, made of wood) to compose a symphony that would be performed at the inauguration of Brasilia.

One evening, Vinicius and Tom were walking near the wooden palace when they heard the noise of the water. They asked the watchman "But what is that noise of water here?" The watchman replied, "Você não sabe não? É aqui que tem água de beber, camará." [Don't you know? This is where you have drinking water, buddy.] At that moment, they learnt both the source of water and inspiration for the first song composed in Brasilia. Kléber was one of the first to hear the song, sung by Tom and Vinícius at the city's only hotel, hours after composing it.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


State Ratings

  • Texas: Percussion Ensemble Class II


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