Brazilian Music Facts: Know All About Traditional Music!

Brazil music facts will help you understand the impact of indigenous people and Portuguese explorers.

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Brazil is a country that swings to its own beats and tries to live every passing moment to its fullest.

Brazil is a country which has music in the air and has made a considerable impact on world music. It is a country with its ethnicity inspired and influenced by the Native American, African and western societies.

Brazil has seen its own fair share of tyranny, racism, and social misery but has still never lost hope. They emerged as a nation that is described by many as one with positive vibes. There are various types of musical genres all around the world. Latin America preferred the popular music style and dance music from musicians, and the African rhythm with instrumental music, which is basically African music with musical instruments.

There are famous artists of American jazz with percussion instruments. The pop genre is basically the music of Brazil as well as music of the African people in Brazilian culture. They even call it samba-reggae, with samba beat as their word music. They also have funk carioca. In the history of Brazilian music, the most famous musicians and famous artists are of African origin. There is Brazilian popular music for religious rituals as well at events like a carnival.

The Brazilian musical style has African influence brought in by African slaves whom the Portuguese colonists brought here for agricultural purposes. After reading about music genres and the dance style of Brazil, check out Brazil sports facts and Brazil language facts.

Brazilian Music History

Brazil has a very rich and dense heritage that is lined with colors, customs, languages, music, religion, and traditions.

People from various communities have settled over the centuries in Brazil and with their presence, the music has continuously changed its forms as time passed. During the 16th century, the music also got a hint of European identity to it.

If you were to look at Brazilian music now you are sure to find traditional folk music with an added shimmer of modern experimentalism and everything in between.

Instruments In Brazilian Music

Skekere: Invented in West Africa, it is made of beads with a woven net wrapped around a dried gourd, played by shaking or hand hitting.

Repinique: A two-headed drum with a sound similar to that of a marching band.

Ganza: A shaker instrument of either plastic, hand-woven basket materials, or metal, and filled with pebbles or beads.

Alfaia: Animal skinned wooden drum with loose ropes all around it. The shell of this drum is made of Macaiba wood.

Cuica: Quincy Jones’s song ‘Soul Bossa Nova’ famed these friction drums as ‘the monkey-sound drum’.

Tamborine: Commonly accustomed for off-beat rhythm creation, it is a small drum with no jingles, played by sticks.

Caixa: Commonly used as a replacement for a snare drum with strings across the top and played with the help of drumsticks.

Cavaquinho: A 4-string instrument with a resemblance to a guitar or ukulele. The name of this instrument means ‘little wood splint’.

Agogo: The oldest samba instrument consisting of two bells played with two wooden sticks. Its tunes are similar to Barry Manilow’s Copacabana introduction.

Atabaque: A single-headed conical drum used for capoeira rituals.

Pandeiro: A hand drum also known as bareria no bolso (drum set in a bag).

Berimbau: Used for Capoeira, it is a traditional string instrument which is considered sacred.

Carmen Miranda is one of the most popular artists from Brazil.

Famous Artists Of Brazilian Music

Antonio Carlos Jobim: He was a singer, musician, and composer who sketched out contemporary Brazilian music. He was given the moniker of 'The Master'.

Gilberto Gil: A Brazilian musician who received many Grammy Awards for his long list of hit songs.

Joao Gilberto: Also known as the Father of Bossa Nova, he was an excellent guitarist and musician.

Vinicius de Moraes: He was an incredibly creative songwriter who wrote for the movie 'Black Orpheus'.  He also wrote the best Brazilian song ever: A Felicidade.

Roberto Carlos: Also known as the King of Brazilian Music, he emerged in the '70s and became a legend as the best-selling artist who first sang and recorded Latin pop music.

Chico Buarque de Hollanda: He wrote several of the most famous lyrics.

Marisa Monte: An everlasting female Brazilian singer with a smooth voice.

Jorge Ben Jor: A most creative artist who combined Latin beats with western music with a unique singing style.

Elis Regina: She is a well-known voice of Brazilian music history, who was part of the '60s and '70s musical movements. She sang the song which sketched the outline of Brazilian music, ‘Aguas de Marco’.

Genres Of Brazilian Music

Samba: A music form that symbolizes Brazil.

Axe: A genre with its origin in Brazilian, African, and Caribbean music.

Choro: The word ‘choro’ means ‘cry’. In 19th century Rio de Janeiro, this happy and upbeat music form was introduced.

Carioca funk: This form emerged from baile funk parties in Rio de Janeiro.

Sertanejo: It is a type of country music.

Bossa nova: The bossa nova genre defined the '50s and '60s, was a complementing mix of classical music of guitar, piano, and drums with acoustic bass. The words ‘bossa nova’ means ‘new trend’.

Tropicalia: Emerging at the time of political upheaval, tropicalia became the upcoming musical movement by the end of the '60s.

MPB (Música Popular Brasileira): Brazilian pop music is a mix of vocals and instruments.

Forro: A music form that originated in northeast Brazil and became the life of Festa Junina parties in June. Originally, forro songs illustrated problems faced by immigrants, but after they gained fame these songs changed to being about love and women.

Rap: the Brazilian rap and hip-hop movement emerged from favelas of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in the '80s. These songs illustrated police brutality, crime, daily struggles of the poor, social inequality, and gangsters.

Carimbo: Invented in eastern Amazonia, this genre became avant-garde when an electrical element was added to it.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Brazilian music facts: know all about traditional music then why not take a look at why do cows moo or why do cat scratches itch.


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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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