Fourth Basic Bossa Nova Phrase Reversed

When Partido Alto phrase is played in reverse it becomes 2113 in which form it was used by João Gilberto in his own recording of Chega de Saudade from 1958. While the first part of the song was based mainly on first basic syncopated phrase (1213), the second part was based on this phrase and it's variations.


Here Partido Alto phrase is reversed, therefore the offbeat sequence starts in the second measure instead of onbeat sequence and then continues throughout the first half of the first measure, while the onbeat sequence follows in the middle of the phrase.


This phrase has been used more in later recordings by João Gilberto such as E Preciso Perdoar from album João Gilberto from 1973 and in most songs from album Brasil from 1981. It can also be heard in Isto Aqui, o Que e, also named Sandalia de Prata. In the example from above we can also see a melody on weak beats only.

Video Lesson: Chega de Saudade

This song is important for several reasons:

  • It was the first bossa nova ever recorded (by Elizeth Cardoso with guitar accompaniment by João Gilberto)
  • After being recorded by João Gilberto it initiated the bossa nova movement.
  • In his own recording João Gilberto used the most of basic bossa nova rhythmic phrases.
  • The lyrics by Vinícius de Moraes marked a turning point in writing the lyrics which at the time were dominated by pessimistic and hopeless texts.
  • Plese take a look at the staccato section in the first part of the song. This style of playing João Gilberto often used in his early bossa nova recordings.

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