Words & Music
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Antonio Carlos Jobim
Ary Barroso
Baden Powel
Caetano Veloso
Carlos Lyra
Chico Buarque
Dorival Caymmi
Edu Lobo
Elis Regina
Gilberto Gil
João Gilberto
Jorge Ben
Luiz Bonfá
Noel Rosa
Miltom Nascimento
Pixinguinha
Toquinho
Vinícius de Moraes
History of modern popular Brazilian music began in the 19th century. That period gave us several different musical styles of which the best known is Choro. It is said that Choro was actually Brazilian way of playing European popular music of that time, mainly waltz and polka. Whoever is acquainted with the meaning of word choro (crying) would guess the way this music is played - full of emotions. The best known composers from that time are probably saxophonist Pixinguinha and on the classical side Heitor-Villa Lobos. 

The second era starts in the first half of 20th century, at the same time of the beginning of the famous tradition of Carnaval. By today the best known Brazilian musical styles, developed in the relation to this custom, are by all means Samba and Marcha or Marchinha. However composers continued to develop the expression of the music known at that time and a lot of various mixtures resulted from that period. The greatest Samba composer was probably the great Ary Barroso, but the other musicians that influenced the fore coming music arose from that time mainly Dorival Caymmi, Carlinhos Lyra and guitar master Luiz Bonfá

The period of Bossa Nova began in the middle 20th century, also leaning on the existing Brazilian styles. This music was strongly supported by Ary himself and played by Bonfa, Caymmi and others, but the best known name and probably the greatest Brazilian composers of all times, considered often as the inventor of this music was Antonio Carlos Jobim. Still, Antonio would not have been what he is today if there were no Joao Gilberto, the greatest bossa player ever. Antonio was strongly influenced by American jazz music, which is probably the reason why his music is often called Jazz Samba. Second most important musician from that time is surely Baden Powell, composer and extraordinary guitar player. Still, to get the whole picture, you must meet the greatest poet, Vincius de Moraes, the author of words for majority of the greatest songs written by Jobim, Powel, Lyra and others. International popularity for this music came after French director Marcel Camus 1959 recieved Grand Prix in Cannes for the film   Orfeo Negro that was filmed in Brazil and also another equally important event - the first American recording of Antonio's, Ary's and Baden's songs by jazz stars Charlie Byrd and Stan Getz in 1962. The latter had by the end of his life been devoted to Bossa Nova and is by now probably best known by his bossa interpretations that he did together with Jobim, Bonfa, Gilberto and his wife Astrud. 

Finally, during late 60's, a new generation of musicians arose, leaded by Chico Buarque da Hollanda, a man equally good in poetry and music. Collaborated  with Jobim and Vinicius, his songs have been played often by Caetano Veloso, the man with exsquisite voice  who, together with his sister Maria Bethania and friend musicians Gilberto Gil and Gal Costa, founded famous Tropicalismo movement, a reflection of 1968 and hippy generation from other parts of world. Still, the picture of Brazil of all times wouldn't be complete without the women with thousand voices, the master of all female singers, the fabulous Elis Regina. Together with other musicians, such as Edu Lobo, Toquinho, Jorge Ben, Milton Nascimento, Ivan Lins, Djavan and many others, she created an image of Brazilian music that is known by today. This music is equally influenced by traditional Brazilian and other Latin American styles, old European  and African roots, American jazz and rock music. Therefore if any music deserves to be called "world music", it is this one. 


 

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