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African Influences in Brazilian Music. Slave Trade 1538-1850: approx. 3.5 million slaves from Ghana, Nigeria, Angola, Congo, Mozambique (incl.Yoruba,

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Presentation on theme: "African Influences in Brazilian Music. Slave Trade 1538-1850: approx. 3.5 million slaves from Ghana, Nigeria, Angola, Congo, Mozambique (incl.Yoruba,"— Presentation transcript:

1 African Influences in Brazilian Music

2 Slave Trade : approx. 3.5 million slaves from Ghana, Nigeria, Angola, Congo, Mozambique (incl.Yoruba, Ewe, Fon). 1850: slave trade abolished 1871: Law of the Free Womb 1888: Slavery abolished

3 General Characteristics of West African/Afro-Brazilian Music Dense textures Interlock Rhythmic complexity (polyrhythm) Open-ended forms Structure based on melodic/rhythmic ostinato patterns Music as means of communal participation

4 Candomblé

5 Aspects of Candomblé Afro-Brazilian religion Worship of hierarchy of orixás: deities Ceremonies: involves dancing, drumming, singing (in Yoruban), to invite orixás to manifest (spirit possession) Musical characteristics: –Call and response –Polyrhythms –Open-ended forms –Specific rhythms for each orixá –Hierarchy of drums

6 Master Drummer Candomblé: three drums (atabaque) in hierarchical relationship; directed by master drummer Is oldest male initiate,lead singer,plays any drum he desires; responsible for facilitating spirit possession Plays improvised patterns against rhythmic ostinato patterns of other drums Drums considered sacred: “drum baptism”

7 Capoeira Afro-Brazilian art form combining music, dance and martial arts

8 Capoeira Instruments: –Berimbau: musical bow with shaker –Pandeiro: similar to tambourine, played with hands –Atabaque drums: similar to conga drums, played with hands –Agógô: double-headed cowbell, struck with stick

9 Roda de Capoeira Jogar = body play –Ginga = basic movement Tocar = musical play –Lead berimbau plays “toques” (rhythmic patterns) –Directs course of the “game” Brincar = verbal play (improvised song lyrics with stock refrains) Malícia=cunning, trickery (ex. Benção)

10 Samba “Tudo acaba em samba” Afro-Brazilian urban popular song/dance form Origins in rural roda de samba: –Participatory –Accompanied by improvised songs and percussion instruments –Style: syncopated, call and response vocals, open-ended forms, musical interlock, diatonic melodies

11 Types of Samba Carnival samba (e.g. samba batucada and samba enredo) –Characterized by heavy percussion, songs about themes presented in Carnival (Year-round) samba –Characterized by light percussion and plucked string accompaniment (guitar, cavaquinho) –Songs often satiric, witty, improvised

12 Samba Batucada Instruments of the Batería: –Surdo drums (basic pulse in 2 divided among three sizes of surdo) –Pandeiro (sixteenth- note division) –Cuíca (accents) –Tamborim (syncopation) –Caíxa (snare drum)

13 Samba Batucada Rhythms

14 Choro Urban-popular instrumental genre Late 19 th c. in Rio de Janeiro Predates Carnival samba Considered “musicians’ music” Performed for hire at parties Played for pleasure in the roda de choro Serves as “Brazilian” musical grounding for instrumentalists of all types

15 Instruments of Choro Violão (6- and 7- string) Cavaquinho Pandeiro Melody instrument (flute, clarinet, bandolim, saxophone)

16 Choro Genre Instrumental composition in 2/4 Based on formal structure of polka with standard harmonic progressions Lively tempos; syncopation Some improvisation, importance of malícia (playful competition between soloist and accompanist)

17 Choro and Villa-Lobos Heitor Villa-Lobos ( ) Choro is “the integral translation of the Brazilian soul in the form of music”

18 Choro Influence Played guitar in roda at music store Choro guitar style permeates works –Syncopation –Active bass lines typical of 7-string guitar in choro –Arpeggiated chords –Three sixteenth-note pickup typical of choro


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