The timbau is a Brazilian drum that originates from the caxambu, made popular via the axé music of the Carnaval de Salvador by Bahian percussionist Carlinhos Brown.
Given its large, conical shape, the instrument resembles the tambor sopapo from Rio Grande do Sul. The bottom end of the timbau has a much smaller diameter than the top end, which is the where the skin is placed, or, in modern versions, nylon. In addition to its rhythmic element, it also has a number of melodic qualities and timbres.
It was used by Carmen Miranda and Jorge Ben Jor, and later incorporated into the Estação Primeira da Mangueira drum set by Ivo Meirelles. In Bahia, in the 1990s, the timbau played a prominent role in the group Timbalada (from the neighborhood of Candeal, in Salvador), contributing to its creative, danceable rhythms and the group's national fame.