A Brief History on Brazil's MusicMay 5th 2013

A Brief History on Brazil's Music
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Brazilian music is an intercultural mixture of European harmony and melody, African rhythms along with Indigenous rituals and culture. How they all came together to form the distinctive sound today known as “Brazilian” music is truly beautiful and a one of a kind blend with so many rich styles and origins.

While the natives had their musical composition from religious rituals the blend took form in around the 17th century when African slaves brought LUNDU with its sensual notes and dance appeal and their passionate candomble drumming.

The heartbreaking ballads of the Portuguese MODINHA involved the cavaquinho, the mandolin and the Portuguese guitar. The result was a rythm called CHORO (cry)

As choro became popular it also framed are more upbeat and cheerful rythm of the carnaval "marchinas" that Chiquinho Gonzaga would be best known for, ABRE ALAS. Eventually, 19th century African undulating beats and dance, lundu would also give rise to the European like polka and mazurka styles. This style was known as MAXIXE on Brazil’s roaring 1920’s and later a style many of us live for; SAMBA, African percussion beats, on words that celebrates the pain and hardships of our daily lives.

With the popularity of radio, Bossa Nova, a smooth, sophisticated, sort of out of pitch voice style goes International. Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes sang about their girl; the Girl from Ipanema. On a NYC studio the idea of an English version of The Girl from Ipanema was recorded and went on to be the second more recorded song in history. The version performed by Astrud Gilberto, Joao Gilberto, and Stan Gatz traveled world wide.

The 1960’s American rock music on a sort of country romantic wave gave Jovem Guarda’s Roberto Carlos, Erasmo Carlos, and Wanderleia a voice. As television becomes and influential social and political movement, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil were persecuted and exiled. The Transition to the 1970’s marked the transition of MPB (Brazilian Popular Music) Chico Buarque, Elis Regina, Nelson do Cavaquinho, Gal Gosta, Maria Bethania and Elba Ramalho among other precious voices captured the

Essence of our time.

Other Brazilian music styles include: Axe, Forro, Frevo, Lambada, Pagode, Soul and Funk, Sertanejo music artists like Chitaozinho e Xororo, Zeze di Camargo e Luciano, Leando e Leonardo, and even rap music with Gabriel o Pensado e o Rappa.


Article by: Virna Souza [BrazilChicago]

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