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I think you are over thinking it. When I was an undergad, I lived with a percussion major and had a grand old time messing with his cuica. As you know it is a percussion instrument, but more specifically, it is going to add a specific sound, rather that to keep time, such as a drumset or clave would. The music surrounding the cuica is basically Brazilian ...


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I don't know of a specific term for "absence of percussion music", but there certainly are some genres which are known to avoid the use of percussive instruments and of any pronouced beat, in very different styles. Try ambient music, a genre I believe was created or at least much codified by Brian Eno's album "ambient music for airports" ...


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