Brazilian music history
The first registration of musical activity in Brazil comes from the activities of two Jesuit priests in 1549. Ten years later, they had already founded settlements for indigenous people (the Reduções), with a musical-educational structure.
In the 18th century, there was intense musical activity in all the more developed regions of Brazil, with their moderately stable institutional and educational structures. The previously few private orchestras became more common and the churches presented a great variety of music.
In the first half of this century, the most outstanding works were composed by Luís Álvares Pinto, Caetano de Mello de Jesus and Antônio José da Silva (“the Jew”), who became successful in Lisbon writing librettos for comedies, which were performed also in Brazil with music by António Teixeira.
In the second part of the 18th century, there was a great flourishing in Minas Gerais, mostly in the regions of Vila Rica (currently Ouro Preto), Mariana and Arraial do Tejuco (currently Diamantina), where the mining of gold and diamonds for the Portuguese metropolis attracted a sizable population. At this time, the first outstanding Brazilian composers were revealed, most of them mulattoes. The musical pieces were mostly sacred music. Some of the noteworthy composers of this period were Lobo de Mesquita, Manoel Dias de Oliveira, Francisco Gomes da Rocha, Marcos Coelho Neto and Marcos Coelho Neto Filho. All of them were very active, but in many cases few pieces have survived until the present day. Some of the most famous pieces of this period are the Magnificat by Manuel Dias de Oliveira and the Our Lady’s Antiphon by Lobo de Mesquita. In the city of Arraial do Tejuco, nowadays Diamantina, there were ten conductors in activity. In Ouro Preto about 250 musicians were active, and in all of the territory of Minas Gerais almost a thousand musicians were active.
With the impoverishment of the mines at the end of the century, the focus of the musical activity changed to other centers, specially Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, where André da Silva Gomes, a composer of Portuguese origin, released a great number of works and dynamized the musical life of the city.
The Classical period
José Maurício Nunes Garcia
The king John VI of Portugal brought with him to Brazil the great musical library from the House of Bragança, one of the best of Europe at that time, and ordered the arrival of musicians from Lisbon and the castrati from Italy, re-ordering the Royal Chapel. Later, John VI ordered the construction of a sumptuous theater, called the Royal Theater of São João. The secular music had the presence of Marcos Portugal, who was designated as the official composer of the household, and of Sigismund von Neukomm, who contributed with his own work and brought the works of the Austrian composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Joseph Haydn. The works of these composers strongly influenced the Brazilian music of this time.
José Maurício Nunes Garcia, the first of the great Brazilian composers, emerged at this time. With a large culture for his origin – he was poor and mulatto – he was one of the founders of the Irmandade de Santa Cecília, in Rio de Janeiro, teacher and mestre de capela of the Royal Chapel during the presence of John VI in Brazil. Nunes Garcia was the most prolific Brazilian composer of this time. He also composed the first opera written in Brazil, Le Due Gemelle (The Two Twins), with text in Italian, but the music is now lost.
Other important composers of this period are Gabriel Fernandes da Trindade, who composed the only Brazilian chamber music from the 19th century which has survived to the present times, and João de Deus de Castro Lobo, who lived in the cities of Mariana and Ouro Preto, which were decadent at this time.
This period, however, was brief. In 1821, John VI went back to Lisbon, taking with him the household, and the cultural life in Rio de Janeiro became empty. And, despite the love of Peter I of Brazil for the music – he was also author of some musical pieces like the Brazilian Independence Anthem – the difficult financial situation didn’t allow many luxuries. The conflagration of the Royal Theater in 1824 was another symbol of decadence, which reached the most critical point when Peter I renounced the throne, going back to Portugal.
The Romantic period
Antônio Carlos Gomes
The opera in Brazil was very popular until the middle of the 20th century, and many opera houses were built at this time, like Teatro Amazonas in Manaus, Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro, Municipal Theater of São Paulo do Rio, and many others.
At the end of the 19th century, the greatest composers for the symphonic music were revealed. One of the most outstanding name of this period was Leopoldo Miguez, who followed the Wagnerian style and Henrique Oswald, who incorporated elements of the French Impressionism.
An important event, later, was the Modern Art Week, in 1922, which had a large impact on concepts of national art. In this event the composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, regarded as the most outstanding name of the Brazilian nationalism, was revealed.
Villa-Lobos did researches about the musical folklore of Brazil, and mixed elements both from classical and popular music. He explored many musical genres such as concertos, symphonies, ballets, operas and other symphonic, vocal and chamber music. Some of his masterworks are the ballet Uirapuru, their choros and the popular symphonic series Bachianas Brasileiras.
Other composers of Brazilian national music of this era include Oscar Lorenzo Fernández, Radamés Gnattali, Camargo Guarnieri, Osvaldo Lacerda, Francisco Mignone, and Ernesto Nazareth.
The avant-garde movement
After 1960, the Brazilian avant-garde movement received a new wave, focusing on serial music, microtonal music, concrete music and electronic music, employing a completely new language. This movement was called Música Nova (New Music) and was led by Gilberto Mendes and Willy Corrêa de Oliveira.
Nowadays, Brazilian music follows the guidelines of both experimentalism and traditional music. Some of the contemporary Brazilian composers are Amaral Vieira, Sílvio Ferraz, Flo Menezes, Marcos Balter, Alexandre Lunsqui, Rodolfo Caesar, Felipe Lara, Edson Zampronha, Marcus Siqueira, Rodrigo Lima, Jorge Antunes, Roberto Victorio and João MacDowell.
Brazil has a large number of internationally recognized orchestras and performers, despite the relatively low support of the government. The most famous Brazilian orchestra is probably the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, currently under the French conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier. Other Brazilian orchestras worthy of note are the São Paulo University Symphony, the Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira and the Petrobras Sinfônica, supported by the Brazilian state oil company Petrobras.
There are also regular operas scheduled every year in cities such as São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The state of São Paulo also hosts the Winter Festival in the city of Campos do Jordão.
Some of the most famous Brazilian conductors are Roberto Minczuk, John Neschling and Isaac Karabtchevsky. The instrumentalists include, among others: Roberto Szidon, Antonio Meneses, Cussy de Almeida, Gilberto Tinetti, Arnaldo Cohen, Nelson Freire, Eudóxia de Barros, Guiomar Novaes and Magda Tagliaferro. And some of the most famous Brazilian singers were, historically, Zola Amaro, Constantina Araújo and Bidu Sayão; living singers include Eliane Coelho, Kismara Pessatti, Maria Lúcia Godoy, Sebastião Teixeira, and others.
In the 1980s, a wave of Brazilian heavy metal bands gained public attention. The most commercially successful of these was Sepultura, founded in São Paulo in 1983, preceded by Dorsal Atlantica and followed by Sarcofago.
The intrusion of alien elements into Brazil’s cultural system is not a destructive process. The return of a democratic government allowed for freedom of expression. The Brazilian music industry opened up to international styles and this has allowed for both foreign and local genres to co-exist and identify people. Each different style relates to the people socially, politically, and economically. “Brazil is a regionally divided country with a rich cultural and musical diversity among states. As such, musicians in the country choose to define their local heritage differently depending on where they come from.” This shows how globalization has not robbed Brazil of its identity but instead given it the ability to represent its people both in Brazil and the rest of the world.
In recent years Brazilian artists have become more interested in Africa, the Caribbean and their own indigenous and folk music. While there are some artists who continue to perform rock and Western pop, there are now just as many contemporaries playing a fusion of African and European influences with those from across The Americas. Some artists have even become influenced by Asian music, noticing some parallels between music from the North-East of Brazil and music from India.
Indigenous and folk music
The native peoples of the Brazilian rainforest play instruments including whistles, flutes, horns, drums and rattles. Much of the area’s folk music imitates the sounds of the Amazon Rainforest. When the Portuguese arrived in Brazil, the first natives they met played an array of reed flutes and other wind and percussion instruments. The Jesuit missionaries introduced songs which used the Tupi language with Christian lyrics, an attempt to convert the people to Christianity, and also introduced Gregorian chant and the flute, bow, and the clavichord.
Three berimbau players
This type of music is played primarily in the Recife and Olinda regions during Carnaval. It is an Afro-Brazilian tradition. The music serves as the backdrop for parade groups that evolved out of ceremonies conducted during colonial times in honour of the Kings of Congo, who were African slaves occupying symbolic leadership positions among the slave population. The music is played on large alfaia drums, large metal gonguê bells, snare drums and shakers. An important variant is found in and around Fortaleza, Ceará (called maracatu cearense), which is different from the Recife/Olinda tradition in many respects: triangles are used instead of gonguês, surdos or zabumbas instead of alfaias. Also, important female characters are performed by cross-dressed male performers, and all African and Afrobrazilian personages are performed using blackface makeup.
Afoxê is a kind of religious music, part of the Candomblé tradition. In 1949, a group called Filhos de Gandhi began playing afoxé during carnaval parades in Salvador; their name translates as Sons of Gandhi, associating black Brazilian activism with Mahatma Gandhi’s Indian independence movement. The Filhos de Gandhi’s 1949 appearance was also revolutionary because, until then, the Carnaval parades in Salvador were meant only for light-skinned people.
Repente – Repentista
Northeastern Brazil is known for a distinctive form of literature called literatura de cordel, which are a type of ballads that include elements incorporated into music as “repentismo”, an improvised lyrical contest on themes suggested by the audience.
Carimbo and lambada
Choro (literally “cry” in Portuguese, but in context a more appropriate translation would be “lament”), traditionally called chorinho (“little cry” or “little lament”). Instrumental, its origins are in 19th century Rio de Janeiro. Originally choro was played by a trio of flute, guitar and cavaquinho (a small chordophone with four strings). The young pianist Ernesto Nazareth published his first choro (Não Caio Noutra) in 1878 at the age of 14. Nazareth’s choros are often listed as polkas; he also composed waltzes, schottisches, milongas and Brazilian Tangos. (He resisted the popular term maxixe to represent Brazilian tango.) Chiquinha Gonzaga was another important composer of choros and started shortly after Nazareth. Chiquinha Gonzaga composed her first success, the polka-choro “Atraente”, in 1877. In the beginning, the success of choro came from informal groups of friends which played in parties, pubs (botecos), streets, home balls (forrobodós), and also the musical scores published by print houses. By the 1910s, much of the Brazilian first phonograph records are choros. The mainstream success of this style of music (By the 1930s) came from the early days of radio, when bands performed live on the air. By the 1950s and 1960s it was replaced by samba and Bossa Nova and other styles of Brazilian popular music, but was still alive in amateur circles called “rodas de choro” (informal choro gatherings in residences and botecos). However, in the late 1970s there was a successful effort to revitalize the genre carried out by some famous artists: Pixinguinha, Waldir Azevedo and Jacob do Bandolim.
Singer and actress Carmen Miranda
Samba is a Brazilian musical genre and dance style originating in Brazil, with its roots in Africa via the West African slave trade and African religious traditions, particularly Angola and the Congo. Although there were various forms of samba in Brazil in the form of various popular rhythms and regional dances that originated from the drumming, samba as music genre is seen as a musical expression of urban Rio de Janeiro, then the capital of Imperial Brazil.
It is recognized around the world as a symbol of Brazil and the Brazilian Carnival. Considered one of the most popular Brazilian cultural expressions, samba has become an icon of Brazilian national identity.The Bahian Samba de Roda (dance circle), which became a UNESCO Heritage of Humanity in 2005, is the main root of the samba carioca, the samba that is played and danced in Rio de Janeiro… read more
MPB (Música popular brasileira)
Música popular brasileira,( Brazilian pop music) or MPB is a trend in post-bossa nova urban popular music in Brazil that revisits typical Brazilian styles such as samba, samba-canção and baião and other Brazilian regional music, combining those with foreign influences, such as from jazz and rock.
This movement has produced and today is represented by many renowned Brazilian artists, such as Jorge Ben, Novos Baianos and Chico Buarque and Dominguinhos whose individual styles generated their own trends within the genre. The term often also is used to describe any kind of music with Brazilian origins and “voice and guitar style” that arose in the late 1960s… read more…
Bossa nova is a genre of Brazilian music, which developed and was popularized in the 1950s and 1960s and is today one of the best-known Brazilian music genres abroad. The phrase bossa nova means literally “new trend”. A lyrical fusion of samba and jazz, bossa nova acquired a large following in the 1960s initially among young musicians and college students.
In Brazil, the word “bossa” is old-fashioned slang for something that is done with particular charm, natural flair or innate ability. As early as 1932, Noel Rosa used the word in a samba: “O samba, a prontidão e outras bossas são nossas coisas, são coisas nossas” (“The samba, the readiness and other bossas are our things, are things from us”).
The exact origin of the term “bossa nova” still remains uncertain. Within the artistic beach culture of the late 1950s in Rio de Janeiro, the term “bossa” was used to refer to any new “trend” or “fashionable wave”. In his book Bossa Nova, Brazilian author Ruy Castro asserts that “bossa” was already in use in the 1950s by musicians as a word to characterize someone’s knack for playing or singing idiosyncratically.Castro claims that the term “bossa nova” might have first been used in public for a concert given in 1958 by the Grupo Universitário Hebraico do Brasil (University Hebrew Group of Brazil). This group consisted of Sylvinha Telles, Carlinhos Lyra, Nara Leão, Luizinho Eça, Roberto Menescal, et al. In 1959, Nara Leão also participated in more than one embryonic display of bossa nova. This included the 1st Festival de Samba Session, conducted by the PUC’s (Pontifícia Universidade Católica) student union. This session was then chaired by Carlos Diegues, a law student that Leão ultimately married.
The musical style known in Brazil as “Brazilian rock n’ roll” dates back to a Portuguese-version cover of “Rock Around the Clock” in 1954. In the 1960s, young singers like Roberto Carlos and the Jovem Guarda movement were very popular. The 60s also saw the rise of bands such as the “tropicalistas” Os Mutantes and the experimental (mixing progressive rock, jazz and Música popular brasileira) Som Imaginário.
The 1970s saw the emergence of many progressive rock and/or hard rock bands such as O Terço, A Bolha, A Barca do Sol, Som Nosso de Cada Dia, Vímana and Bacamarte, some of which attained some recognition internationally; Rita Lee, in her solo career after Os Mutantes, championed the glam-rock aesthetics in Brazil; Casa das Máquinas and Patrulha do Espaço were more bona-fide hard rock bands, and the likes of (Raul Seixas, Secos e Molhados, Novos Baianos and A Cor do Som) mixed the genre with traditional Brazilian music. In the late 1970s, the Brazilian punk rock scene kicked off mainly in São Paulo and in Brasília, booming in the 80s, with Inocentes, Cólera, Ratos de Porão, Garotos Podres, etc.
The real commercial boom of Brazilian rock was in the 1980s, with many bands and artists like Blitz, Gang 90, Barão Vermelho, Legião Urbana, Engenheiros do Hawaii, Titãs, Kid Abelha, Paralamas do Sucesso, and many others, and festivals like Rock in Rio and Hollywood Rock. The late 1980s and early 1990s also witnessed the beginnings of an electronica-inspired scene, with a lot more limited commercial potential but achieving some critical acclaim: Suba, Loop B, Harry[disambiguation needed], etc. Fernanda Takai, singer Pato Fu.
In the 90s, the meteoric rise of Mamonas Assassinas, which sold more than 3 million copies of its only CD (a record, by Brazilian standards) came to a tragic end when the band’s plane crashed, killing all five members of the band, the pilot and the co-pilot. Other commercially successful bands included Jota Quest, Raimundos and Skank, while Chico Science & Nação Zumbi and the whole Mangue Bit movement received much critical attention and accolades, but very little commercial success – success that declined after the death of one of its founders, Chico Science. It was also in the 90s that the first seeds of what would grow into being the Brazilian indie scene were planted, with the creation of indie festivals such as Abril Pro Rock and, later in the decade, Porão do Rock. The band Pato Fu was considered by Time magazine one of the ten best bands in the world outside the United States. It is also known to re-record hits Brazilian and international versions of toy instruments.
Female singer Pitty is also very popular. The indie scene has been growing exponentially since the early 2000s, with more and more festivals taking place all around the country. However, due to several factors including but not limited to the worldwide collapse of the music industry, all the agitation in the indie scene has so far failed in translating into international success, but in Brazil they developed a real, substantial cultural movement. That scene is still much of a ghetto, with bands capturing the attention of international critics, but many playing again in Brazil when they become popular in the exterior, due to the lack of financial and material support which would allow for careers to be developed. One notable exception is CSS, an alternative electro rock outfit that has launched a successful international career, performing in festivals and venues in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Other unique example of success through independent music scene that made to the mainstream is the band Móveis Coloniais de Acaju. The band has its own style, somewhere between rock and folk, and is recognized as the most important independent band in Brazil. The record company Trama  tries to support some bands with structure and exposure, and can be credited with early support to CSS and later to Móveis Coloniais de Acaju.
Brazilian heavy metal and subgenres
Brazilian metal originated in the mid 80s with three prominent scenes: Belo Horizonte, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The most famous Brazilian metal bands are Sepultura, Angra, Krisiun, Rebaelliun, Nephasth, Dr. Sin, Shaaman, Violator and the singer Andre Matos. Sepultura is considered an influential thrash metal band, influencing the development of death metal.
Famous bands of the 1980s include Korzus, Sarcófago, Overdose, Dorsal Atlântica, Viper, MX, PUS, Mutilator, Chakal, Vulcano and Attomica. Bands from the 1990s include Andralls, Mental Hor, Symbols, The Mist, Scars, Distraught, Torture Squad, Eterna and Silent Cry. Bands from the 2000s include It’s All Red, Eyes of Shiva, Tuatha de Danann, Claustrofobia, Apokalyptic Raids and Wizards.
Brazilian psychedelic-rock and Mangue Bit
Brazil has a long tradition of psychedelic music since artists like Os Mutantes, Ronnie Von and other rock bands from the late 60`s. Nowadays, there exists a revival of this psychedelic / vintage inspired music represented by artists like Júpiter Maçã, Violeta de Outono, Chico Science & Nação Zumbi, Mundo Livre SA, Cidadão Instigado, Otto, China, Kassin, Pata de Elefante, Orquestra Abstrata, among others.
Música sertaneja or Sertanejo is a term for Brazilian country music. It originally referred to music originating among Sertão and musica caipira. (Caipira music appeared in the state of São Paulo, and some the regions of Mato Grosso do Sul, Goiás Minas Gerais, Paraná and Mato Grosso. Musical rhythm is very spread out in the Southeastern and southern regions of Brazil.) For several years it was a category at the Latin Grammy Awards. Recently, a variation called “Sertanejo universitário” become popular because of its dancing and catchy lyrics. It is particularly well known outside Brazil with hits like “Ai Se Eu Te Pego”, by Michel Teló.
Southern music (Portuguese: Música gaúcha) is a general term used for the music originally from the Rio Grande do Sul state, in Southern Brazil. Some of the most famous musicians of this genre are Renato Borghetti, Yamandu Costa, Jayme Caetano Braun and Luiz Marenco, among others.
Music of Salvador: Late 60s to mid-70s
In the latter part of the 1960s, a group of black Bahians began dressing as Native Americans during the Salvadoran Carnaval, identifying with their shared struggles through history. These groups included Comanches do Pelô and Apaches de Tororó and were known for a forceful and powerful style of percussion, and frequent violent encounters with the police. Starting in 1974, a group of black Bahians called Ilê Aiyê became prominent, identifying with the Yoruba people and Igbo people of West Africa. Along with a policy of loosening restrictions by the Brazilian government, Ilê Aiyê’s sound and message spread to groups like Grupo Cultural do Olodum, who established community centers and other philanthropic efforts.
Frevo is a style of music from Olinda and Recife. Frevo bands always play during the Carnival.
The core of a classic forró band is a trio consisting of zabumba, a triangle and an accordion. Forró is eminently danceable, and became one of the foundations for the lambada in the 1980s. Luiz Gonzaga was the preeminent early forró musician who popularized the genre in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in the 1940s with songs like “Asa Branca”.
The band Olodum, from Pelourinho, are generally credited with the mid-1980s invention of samba-reggae, a fusion of Jamaican reggae with samba. Olodum retained the politically charged lyrics of bands like Ilê Aiyê.
Sambass is a fusion of samba and Drum & Bass. The most famous sambass musicians are DJ Marky and DJ Patife whose hit Sambassim might be the most known sambass track.
Funk Carioca and rap
Funk Carioca is a type of dance music from Rio de Janeiro, derived from and superficially similar to Miami Bass. In Rio it is most often simply known as Funk, although it is very different musically from what Funk means in most other places and contexts. Funk Carioca, like other types of hip-hop lifts heavily from samples such as international rips or from previous funk music. Many popular funk songs sampled music from the movie Rocky.
Funk as well as rap was introduced to Brazil in a systematic way in the 1980s. These types of music were heavily supported in big cities by people—usually teenagers—of lower socioeconomic status. Many funk artists have openly associated themselves with black movements and often in the lyrics of their songs, comment on race relations and openly express black pride.
In São Paulo and other places in the south of Brazil, in more urban areas, rap is more prevalent than funk. The lower class, mostly nonwhite rappers are referred to as “Rapeiros”. They dress similarly to American rappers that they have seen on television. Early Brazilian rap was based upon rhyming speeches delivered over dance bases sampled from funk albums, with occasional scratches. São Paulo has gained a strong, underground Brazilian rap scene since its emergence in the late 1980s with many independent labels forming for young rappers to establish themselves on.
In the 1990s in Rio de Janeiro, funk as well as rap was reported by the press to have been adopted by the drug lords of the city as a way to market their drugs at dance hall events. Some crime groups were known to subsidize funk parties to recruit young kids into the drug dealing business. These events were often called baile funk (which can mean a funk dance party) and were sometimes notorious for their blatant sexuality and violence. However, while some funk and rap music was used to send messages out about slums and drugs, others were used mostly to deliver socio-political messages about local, regional, or national issues they are affected by. In fact, some groups adhered to what they called rap consciência (socially conscious rap) and opposed hip-hop which some considered too alienated and consumerist. Despite these differences, both types of music continue to thrive in Brazil today.
Zouk-Lambada (also called Lambada-Zouk or Brazilian Zouk) is a group of closely related dance styles based on or evolved from the lambada dance style and is typically danced to zouk music or other music containing the zouk beat. The name Brazilian Zouk is used to distinguish the dance from the Caribbean Zouk dance style, which is historically related to, but very different from the Lambada dance style. The two dominant styles of Zouk-Lambada are the Porto-Seguro style and the Rio-style. The word Lambazouk is often used to refer exclusively to one or the other style depending on the region you live. The word Lambazouk was originally used to refer to the dance style developed by Daniel and Leticia Estévez López, although they use the term M-zouk nowadays (for Mallorca-zouk) The Zouk-Lambada dancing styles are among the most popular non-ballroom dances for couples in Brazil, others being Forró, Lambada, Samba de gafieira and Salsa.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_BrazilArt music