Themes

  • Travels in Brazil (1817-1821) by Spix and Von Martius - by Guilherme de Camargo

    It is probably difficult to imagine today just how captivating a place Brazil was for 19th Century Europeans. Curious travellers found a whole new universe unveiling itself before their eyes. Under instruction from their countries of origin, they set about mapping, describing and documenting its every inch, not to mention carrying out geographical and geological...

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  • Modinha: between classical and popular - by José Fernando Saroba Monteiro

                Modinha is deeply rooted in Brazilian music and it is responsible for the romantic lyricism of our songs and for the tenderness, softness and lovingness found in our music. However, modinha has always transited between the classical and the popular, at times inclining to one side, at times to the other and, in other times...

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  • Bossa Nova

    Bossa Nova combined traditional music, samba, with a more sophisticated harmony, modernising and internationalising Brazilian popular music. Officially, it is said that Bossa Nova came into being one day in August 1958, when a double album of 78 revolutions by the singer and guitarist João Gilberto, under the ODEON label, appeared in record stores. Although this...

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  • Biennials of Contemporary Brazilian Music - a brief history - by Nivia Zumpano

    In 1969, Edino Krieger organised the first edition of the Guanabara Music Festival. This inspired the realization of the First Contemporary Brazilian Music Biennial, five years later, with the support of Myrian Dauelsberg, administrator of Sala Cecília Meireles, a renowned concert hall in Rio de Janeiro. The first three Biennials were organized by the hall and, from...

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  • Choro

    Primarily instrumental, Choro is one of the most original musical styles in Brazil, its origins extending back to the 19th century. Borns in Rio de Janeiro, Choro rose to national prominence and became a symbol of Brazilian culture. It is said that the "father of choro" was Joaquim Callado Jr., a talented mulatto flutist who formed a group of musicians called...

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  • Brazilian colonial music

    At the beginning of the 18th century, gold has been discovered at Minas Gerais, which became the target of a great number of explorers. As a consequence of the “golden” era, a fine artistic movement has flourished, called “colonial art”, as Brazil was still a colony of Portugal at the time. Great artists such as Antônio Francisco Lisboa, sculptor and...

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  • Brazilian Tango - by Jairo Severiano

    The Brazilian tango is an ill-defined genre. A comparison, for example, between tangos by Ernesto Nazareth, Eduardo Souto (“O Despertar da Montanha”, “Do Sorriso da Mulher Nasceram as Flores”) and Henrique Alves de Mesquita ("Ali Baba") reveal different characteristics. Fortunately Nazareth gave us a valuable insight into their tangos in conversation...

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  • Carnival

    Some people think that Carnival is a typical Brazilian festivity, but it has a very ancient origin. It is associated with agrarian cults of ancient Greece (about the fifth century BC). With the advent of agriculture, the fertility of the soil and crops were celebrated every year. Over the following centuries this tradition spread to Greece, Rome and...

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  • A brief history of the Brazlian national anthem - by Jairo Severiano

    Francisco Manuel da Silva (1795 - 1865), renowned cellist and composer, wrote in 1823 an anthem celebrating the proclamation of independence of Brazil. Admirer of the “Marseillaise”, he believed that an anthem should be vibrant and triumphant, more suited to celebrate a heroic event, as was his work. On the contrary, Emperor Dom Pedro I had also composed an...

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