Music of Brazil

Music of Brazil
Roberto Carlos is the singer with the top selling albums in Brazil.

The music of Brazil encompasses various regional music styles influenced by African, European and Amerindian forms. After 500 years of history, Brazilian music developed some unique and original styles such as samba, zouk-lambada, lambada, choro, bossa nova, frevo, maracatu, MPB, sertanejo, Brazilian rock, axé, brega, and others. Samba has become the best known form of Brazilian music worldwide, especially because of the country's carnival, although bossa nova, which had Antônio Carlos Jobim as one of its most acclaimed composers and performers, have received much attention abroad since the 1950s, when the song Desafinado, interpreted by João Gilberto, was first released. Instrumental music is also largely practiced in Brazil, with styles ranging from classical to popular and jazz influenced forms, featuring composers like Heitor Villa-Lobos, Pixinguinha and Hermeto Pascoal. The country also has a growing community of modern/experimental composition, including electroacoustic music.


Art music


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.

One century later, the Reduções of the southern Brazil, which were founded by Spaniard Jesuits, had a strong cultural development, where some music schools were founded. Some of the reports of that time show the fascination of the indigenous people for European music.[1] The Indians also took part in the music, with both the construction of musical instruments and practice of vocal and instrumental performance. The musical standards were, naturally, from the European culture, and the purpose of the musicalization for the indigenous people was mostly for Catechism, with negligible original creative contribution by themselves. Later, the remaining Indians who survived the massacres and epidemics went to the more remote regions of Brazil, escaping from contact with the European settlers, and their part in the national musical life diminished, eventually almost completely disappearing.

The 18th-century school

Ouro Preto, in Minas Gerais: one of the most important musical centers in the Brazil during the 18th century

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.[2]

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

A crucial factor for the changes in the musical life was the arrival of the Portuguese household in Rio de Janeiro in 1808. Until then, Rio de Janeiro was musically similar to other cultural centers of Brazil, and was even less important than Minas Gerais, but the presence of the household radically changed this situation.

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 kappelmeister 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,[3] 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

The only composer who had a relevant work in this period was Francisco Manuel da Silva, disciple of Nunes Garcia, who suceedeed him as kappelmeister. Despite of his few resources, he founded the Musical Conservatory of Rio de Janeiro. He was the author of the Brazilian National Anthem's melody. His work reflected the musical transition for the Romanticism, when the interest of the national composers was focused in the opera. The most outstanding Brazilian composer of this period was Antônio Carlos Gomes, who composed Italian-styled operas with national themes, such as Il Guarany (based on José de Alencar's novel O Guarani) and Lo Schiavo. These operas were very successful in European theaters, like the Teatro alla Scala, in Milan. Other important composer of this time is Elias Álvares Lobo, who wrote the opera A Noite de São João, the first Brazilian opera with text in Portuguese.

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.


In the beginning of the 20th century, there was a movement for creating an authentically Brazilian music, with less influences of the European culture. In this sense, the folklore was the major font of inspiration for the composers. Some composers like Brasílio Itiberê da Cunha, Luciano Gallet and Alexandre Levy, despite having a European formation, included some typically Brazilian elements in their works. This trend reached the highest point with Alberto Nepomuceno, who used largely the rhythms and melodies from the Brazilian folklore.

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.

Some other composers of this time are Oscar Lorenzo Fernández, Francisco Mignone, Camargo Guarnieri and Osvaldo Lacerda (who is still alive).

The avant-garde movement

As a reaction against the nationalist school, who was identified as "servile" to the centralizing politics of Getúlio Vargas, in 1939 the Movimento Música Viva (Living Music Movement) appeared, led by Hans Joachim Koellreutter and by Egídio de Castro e Silva, defending the adoption of an international style, derived from the dodecaphonism of Arnold Schoenberg. This group was integrated by composers like Cláudio Santoro, César Guerra-Peixe, Eunice Catunda and Edino Krieger. Koellreutter adopted revolutionary methodes, in respect to the individuality of each student and giving to the students the freedom of creativity before the knowledge of the traditional rules for composition. The movement edited a magazine and presented a series of radio programs showing their fundaments and works of contemporary music. Later, Guerra-Peixe and Santoro followed an independent way, centered in the regional music. Other composers, who used freely the previous styles were Marlos Nobre, Almeida Prado, and Armando Albuquerque, who created their own styles.

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, André Mehmari, Ronaldo Miranda, Edson Zampronha, Joao MacDowell and Jailton de Oliveira.

The São Paulo State Symphony

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, 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.

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.

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,[4] and also introduced Gregorian chant and the flute, bow, and the clavichord.

Drum known as Ilú used in Xambá religion in Pernambuco

The earliest music in what is now Brazil must have been that of the native peoples of the area. Little is known about their music, since no written records exist of this era. With the arrival of Europeans, Brazilian culture began to take shape as a synthesis of native musical styles with Portuguese music and African music.

Capoeira music

Three berimbau players

The Afro-Brazilian sport of capoeira is never played without its own music, which is usually considered to be a call-and-response type of folk music. The main instruments of capoeira music include the berimbau, the atabaque and the pandeiro. Capoeira songs may be improvised on the spot, or they may be popular songs written by older, and ancient mestres (teachers), and often include accounts of the history of capoeira, or the doings of great mestres.



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.



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.

Similar to Repentismo, appears among the Caipira culture a musical form derived from Viola Caipira, which is called Cururu.

Eastern Amazônia

Eastern Amazônia has long been dominated by carimbó music, which is centered around Belém. In the 1960s, carimbo was electrified and, in the next decade, DJs added elements from reggae, salsa and merengue. This new form became known as lambada and soon moved to Bahia, Salvador by the mid-1980s. Bahian lambada was synthesizer-based and light pop music. French record producers discovered the music there, and brought it back with them to France passing by Portugal, where a Bolivian group called Los Kjarkas saw their own composition launch an international dance craze. Soon, lambada had spread throughout the world and the term soon became meaninglessly attached to multiple varieties of unrelated Brazilian music, leading to purist scorn from Belém and also Bahia.

Another form of regional folk music, bumba-meu-boi, was popularized by the Carnival celebrations of Parintins and is now a major part of the Brazilian national scene.

Popular music


Choro guitar.

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.[5] Nazareth's choros are often listed as polkas;[6] he also composed waltzes, schottisches, milongas and Brazilian Tangos. (He resisted the popular term maxixe to represent Brazilian tango.)[7] 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.[8] 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.


In 1929, prompted by the opening of the first radio station in Rio de Janeiro, the so-called radio era began spreading songs - especially the novelty Samba in its current format - to larger masses. This period was dominated by few male interpreters - notably Almirante, Braguinha, Mário Reis, Sílvio Caldas, Francisco Alves and singer/composer Noel Rosa and even fewer chanteuses such as Aracy de Almeida and sisters Aurora Miranda and Carmen Miranda, who eventually came to Hollywood becoming a movie star.[9]

Popular music included instruments like cuicas, tambourines, frying pans ('played' with a metal stick), flutes and guitars. Noteworthy Samba composers at this early stage included said Noel Rosa plus Lamartine Babo and, around World War II time, Ary Barroso.

MPB (Música Popular Brasileira)

MPB's early stage (from World War II to the mid-60s) was populated by male singers such as Orlando Silva, Nelson Gonçalves, Jamelão, Agostinho dos Santos, Anísio Silva, Ataulfo Alves, Carlos Galhardo, Ciro Monteiro, Ismael Silva, João Dias, Jorge Goulart, Miltinho, Jorge Veiga and Francisco Egídio and female singers started to mushroom: Nora Ney, Dolores Duran, Ângela Maria, Emilinha Borba, Marlene[disambiguation needed ], Dalva de Oliveira, Maysa Matarazzo, sisters Linda Batista and Dircinha Batista, among others.[citation needed]

MPB's second stage - after the split Bossa Nova (1959) / Jovem Guarda (1965) / Tropicalismo and Malandragem (both 1967) - refers to mainstream Brazilian pop music. Well-known MPB artists include, among many others, singers such as Elis Regina, Marisa Monte, Nara Leão, Maria Bethânia, Mônica da Silva, Simone, Chico Buarque, Caetano Veloso, Roberto Carlos, Jorge Benjor, Milton Nascimento, Gilberto Gil, João Bosco, Ivan Lins, Djavan.

Bossa nova

Tom Jobim.

The first bossa nova records by João Gilberto, in the last years of the 50s, quickly became huge hits in Brazil. Antonio Carlos Jobim and other composers helped further develop this fusion of jazz harmonies and a smoother, often slower, samba beat, which developed at the beach neighborhoods of Ipanema and, later, the Copacabana nightclubs. Bossa nova was introduced to the rest of the world by American jazz musicians in the early 1960s, and song "The Girl from Ipanema" remains probably the best known Brazilian musical export, eventually becoming a kind of jazz standard.

Northeastern Music

Statue of Luiz Gonzaga.

North eastern music is a generic term for any popular music from the large region of Northeastern Brazil, including both coastal and inland areas. Rhythms are slow and plodding, and are derived from accordions and guitars instead of percussion instruments like in the rest of Brazil—in this region, African rhythms and Portuguese melodies combined to form maracatu and dance music called baião has become popular. Most influentially, however, the area around the state of Pernambuco, the home of forró, frevo and maracatu.

Southern music

Southern music ((Portuguese: Música gaúcha) is a general term used for the music originally from the Rio Grande do Sul state, in Southern Brazil. It is somewhat of a mixture between Argentinian-Uruguayan styles with Portuguese melodies and aboriginal rhythms. 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.

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.[10]

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.[11]

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.[12] 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 it's emergence in the late 1980s with many independent labels forming for young rappers to establish themselves on.[13]

In the 1990s in Rio de Janeiro, funk as well as rap were 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.[10][11]

Brazilian rock

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) O 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.

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 Beat 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.

As of 2010, the Brazilian variant of Happy Rock music is very popular, with groups such as Restart and Cine. 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. The 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. The record company Trama [1] tries to support some bands with structure and exposure, and can be credited with early support to CSS.

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,[14][15] Dorsal Atlântica, Viper, MX, PUS, Mutilator, Chakal, Vulcano and Attomica.[16] Bands from the 1990s include Andralls, Mental Horror, Symbols, The Mist, Scars, Distraught, Torture Squad, Eterna and Silent Cry. Bands from the 2000s include Eyes of Shiva, Tuatha de Danann, Claustrofobia, Apokalyptic Raids and Wizards.

Brazilian folk/folk-rock

The new Brazilian folk scene is not to be mistaken with folkloric Brazilian music. In recent years mainstream Brazilian artists have emerged playing a blend of classic Americana artists such as Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash alongside clear influences by Brazilian troubadours such as Chico Buarque and Caetano Veloso. The first to break into the mainstream was internet phenomenon Mallu Magalhães, who played covers of her favourite artists in English and her own songs in both English and Portuguese (as well as other languages). Magalhães only released her first album in 2008, though by then she was already widely recognised as the voice of this sudden new Brazilian folk scene. Her ex-boyfriend Hélio Flanders is the lead singer of another Brazilian folk group called Vanguart. Though Vanguart had an album released before Mallu Magalhães, it was her emergence that consolidated them both and others as a fully recognised mainstream scene, topping charts and being featured in prime time television and advertising. Other acts emerged after the market was opened up to folk. Writing in English is more and more common among Brazilian rock and folk artists. This has been highly criticised by purists, though it has helped to promote Brazilian artists in other countries (CSS is a perfect example). The new Brazilian folk scene has just come to the public's attention and it continues to thrive.


Música sertaneja or Sertanejo is a term for Brazilian country music. It originally referred to music originating among Sertão and musica caipira. (Caípira music appeared in the state of São Paulo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Goiás and some the regions of Minas Gerais, Paraná, Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul. Musical rhythm very spread out in the Southeastern and southern regions of Brazil.) But it has since gained more influences from outside Brazil. In particular American country music, Mexican mariachi, and the Music of Paraguay. For several years it was a category at the Latin Grammy Awards.


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.

Record labels

See also


  1. ^ apud Padre Noel Berthold, in: "Trevisan, Armindo", in A Escultura dos Sete Povos. Brasília: Editora Movimento / Instituto Nacional do Livro, 1978. (Portuguese)
  2. ^ Mariz, Vasco. História da Música no Brasil. Rio de Janeiro: Nova Fronteira, 2005. 6ª ed. (Portuguese)
  3. ^ Castagna, Paulo. Encarte do CD Gabriel Fernandes da Trindade - Duetos Concertantes. São Paulo: Paulus, 1995. (Portuguese)
  4. ^
  5. ^ Childhood Secrets *
  6. ^ Ernesto Nazareth - Rei do Choro
  7. ^ Polkas and Tangos
  8. ^ Livingston-Isenhour, T., and Garcia, T. G. C. (2005). Choro: A Social History of a Brazilian Popular Music. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press.
  9. ^ A nação das cantoras
  10. ^ a b Funk Carioca
  11. ^ a b Behague, Gerard. "Rap, Reggae, Rock, or Samba: The Local and the Global in Brazilian Popular Music (1985–95)." Latin American Music Review 27, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2006): 79–90.
  12. ^ Sansone, Livio. "The Localization of Global Funk in Bahia and Rio." In Brazilian Popular Music & Globalization, 135–60. London: Routledge, 2002.
  13. ^ AllBrazilianMusic: the music from Brazil
  14. ^ Jeffries, Vincent. "Progress of Decadence > Review". Allmusic. Macrovision. Retrieved 12 April 2009. "One of the best-known, if not the premier, metal bands in Brazil, Overdose had actually released several discs during the eight years prior to Progress of Decadence—the group's first record to receive international distribution." 
  15. ^ Jeffries, Vincent. "Circus of Death > Review". Allmusic. Macrovision. Retrieved 12 April 2009. "On 1999's Circus of Death, Brazil's second most famous metal band try again to emerge from beneath the shadow of Sepultura with their neo-prog thrash." 
  16. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Attomica > Biography". Allmusic. Macrovision. Retrieved 12 April 2009. "Arriving in stores in 1991, the LP's [the band's third album, Disturbing the Noise] "ultra-speed" style cemented Attomica's standing as one of Brazil's top thrash acts; the promo clip for single "Deathraiser" was showcased on several TV video shows, including the Brazilian MTV affiliate." 

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