Music of Brazil
Music of Brazil and its genres.
The Music of Brazil is very rich and it encompasses a variety of genres. Although only few styles of music are worldly known, such as Samba and Bossa Nova most Brazilian music lovers know that in Brazil we have a huge variety of music styles to pick their likes from. All of the Brazilian music styles have been influenced some way or another by either African, European, Amerindian and the Indigenous brazilian culture and those influences evolved to create a huge musical diversity that can be categorized in 20 or more genres.
If you are a music lover and enjoy music from other parts of the world you will most certainly enjoy this page and will learn few musical genres that you probably did not even know existed.
Last updated: 05/26/13
History and Spirit of Brazilian Music
Brazilian music is rich and often regional, with each section (sometimes specific cities) contributing distinct musical genres and that represents the culture of each region of Brazil.
Brazil is a country overflowing with music from every corner, and there is a deep connection between Brazilians and their music. A tricultural mix of indigenous groups, Portuguese colonizers and African slaves makes for an immensely diverse population. And while the indigenous music retained much of its traditional context throughout the colonial period (and even to today). And because it is isolated it never played a central a role in the development of Brazil's popular music as did the music of the Africans and Portuguese.
As a vast country of many states, Brazil's music is quite unique and very diverse. Portuguese influences abound in the country's rich and lyrical poetry, the exquisite melody, and the instrumentation including the accordion, guitar and violin families. Roman Catholic festivals and pageants remain as seasonal events in various regions in Brazil, and the Portuguese sentimental song forms such as the moda and the fado became staple genres.
"The African elements are both obvious and subtle, and primarily include drumming and dancing forms expressed largely through communal and spiritual tradition. As in Cuba and Haiti, Brazilian Africans were able to retain a great majority of their music, dance and spiritual traditions, primarily along the coastal areas, resulting in some of the richest and most popular forms known around the world." Rebeca Mauleon, http://music.natgeochannel.co.uk/genres/brazilian
Starting in 1929 and made famous by Carmen Miranda. samba is famous for its fast paced style of music often played with Guitars, flutes, "cuicas", tambourins and improvised instruments such as a frying pan and a metal stick. It is very possible that once you hear a good Samba your body will start to move with the immense power of its beats that often takes over your soul and make you get up and dance.
Top 10 Samba singers:
01) Nelson cavaquinho
02) Ari Barroso
03) Martinho da Villa
05) Ismal Silva
06) Paulinho da Viola
07) Geraldo Pereira
08) Z Kti
09) Elton Medeiros
10) Ciro Monteiro
Introduced in 1878, "Choro" is a instrumental type of Brazilian music that is traditionally played with a trio of guitar, flute and cavaquinho which is a small guitar with 4 strings. " Choro" in portuguese translates to cry or lament in English and this style of music was very popular in Brazil when radio was first introduced. Quite melancholic this type of music can be upbeat on its sounds but sad on its lyrics that often reflect the life experiences of the composer and has the tendency to be very poetic. Today only few singers and groups carry the tradition and the style has evolved into Samba and Bossa Nova.
C) Bossa Nova
"Bossa Nova" is a younger style of brazilian music which was first introduced in the 1950's and it is the perfect combination of Samba and Jazz. "Bossa Nova" is simply a very comforting sound often described as a soft and smooth samba beat. Once of the most popular styles of Brazilian music "Bossa Nova" often played with guitars (using fingers only and the most prominent instrument), piano, drums and percussion used by few "Bossa Nova" singers. Bossa Nova is one of the styles of Brazilian music that has taken over the world. Very poetic and very soothing this style of music is often played as a backdrop in fancy events and restaurants and transmits a sense of happiness and refreshes the soul. A great example of Bossa Nova music that has taken over the world is the Famous Song "The Girl from Ipanema" composed by the belated tom Jobim and made famous to the world by Frank Sinatra.
Forro is a style of music that is played to be danced. This style of music is most popular around the northeast region of Brazil but is played all over the country and is the melody is created by a trio of instruments played in a very fast pace. The band is led by the accordion, and a triangle and a drum complements the sound. During the winter Brazil celebrates Saint John in its winter season with a "Festa Junina or Festa de Sao Joao" and Forro is the most popular type of music played during the seasonal parties.
E) Samba Reggae
This style of music was born in 1970 and became very popular in the 980's. This fusion between the Jamaican reggae and the Brazilian samba really captivated the brazilian and world audiences and many bands such as "Olodum" and "Timbalada" became famous all over the world. With extra tribal drum beats and dance reggae motion of the beat this type of music is not only poplar during the Carnaval festivities where most Samba Reggae Afro bands give their popular shows but popular during the whole year
Legend Michael jackson & the Group Olodum
F) Funk and Rap
Influenced by the world and most importantly America, the Brazilian Funk and Rap has evolved to showcase the culture embedded in the large cities of Brazil. Just like in the Funk and Rap of USA this type of Brazilian music reflects the life style of the poor people and showcases their culture of struggle and survival. The lyrics often talk about social and political issues that involve poverty and are famous for mentioning drugs, sex and violence which is a part of the gang lifestyle of Brazil. This style of music started to develop in brazil in the early 80's and by the 90's it became very popular and is growing in popularity considerably as new artists and song writers become more famous and the popularity of their music is slowly taking over the masses and is now being listen to by teenagers of all social classes.
This picture showcases M.I.A. A brazilian girl rapper that today is famous all over the world
G) Brazilian Rock
The Brazilian Rock is a very popular style of music in Brazil that started in the early 60's and has evolved over the years in a variety of musical genders such as the classic rock and roll, then progressive rock as well as glam rock and hard rock. With the influence of English and American artists brazilian singers and groups used the same instruments to create unique Brazilian songs and have taken over Brazil for 50 decades in a roll, making the Rock one of the most popular styles of music in Brazil and quite diverse as well. the main characteristic of the Rock in Brazil independent of its specific genres is the presence of a band, an electric guitar and a bass guitar. Bands such as Titans, Legiao Urbana, Rita Lee are few of the many popular rock bands present in Brazil and certainly this style of music will never die since it continues to evolve as the new generations take over and continue to adopt the rock and roll classics as their own.