April 14, 2016
Continuing on from our first blog looking at Brazilian music ideas for Olympics-inspired events, we are now happy to bring you Part II on the subject. With Samba and bossa nova already explained, it’s time to take a look at a few of the Brazilian music styles of which you might be aware, but won’t necessarily know the name. Let’s change all that by looking at a few other Brazilian music ideas for your events this summer! Roll on Rio 2016!
Yes, as obvious as it sounds there is a big classical music following in Brazil that can be traced back to the 18th century. Pieces resembling Haydn and Mozart were composed by José Mauricio Nunes Garcia, a catholic priest who wrote both sacred and secular music in the Viennese style, before several operas with Brazilian indigenous themes were written by Antonio Carlos Gomes in the 19th century. Sao Paulo also features a gorgeous concert hall in the form of the Sala Sao Paulo whilst the city of Campos do Jordao hosts an annual Classical Winter Festival every June.
Another musical movement that began in Recife (see our previous blog post), Mangue Beat has its roots in Frevo but is a style of music that also fuses together maracatu, funk rock, hip hop and electronica. It began in early nineties in reaction to the cultural and economic stagnation of the city, so is a form of music with an extremely defined manifesto, though over time its name has changed; it used to be known as ‘Mangue Bit’ (referencing the mangroves of northeastern Brazil and computer bits needed for electronic music) but due to a misspelling and subsequent mistaken referrals, it is Mangue Beat that has stuck.
Axé is another hugely popular music genre, which originated in the mid-eighties (as if you couldn't tell from the video above) in the state of Bahia, on the east coast of Brazil, before hitting the mainstream in 1992. Bringing together a multitude of Afro-Caribbean genres such as reggae and calypso, it also takes its inspiration from frevo and forro. The word ‘axé’ comes from a religious greeting that means ‘soul’, ‘spirit’ or ‘good vibration’.
Maracatu isn’t strictly a genre of music per se, so this is the ideal form of music for your event if you are looking for all encompassing Brazilian party hire. How better to celebrate Rio 2016 than with Maracatu, which brings together a variety of genres from the states of Pernambuco and Ceará in the northeastern regions of Brazil? The most famous of the maracatu styles is maracatu de nação, which has drumming groups of up to 100(!), a singer and chorus, a coterie of dancers and stock characters, which include a King and Queen. In contrast, maracatu cearanse is more about celebrating the carnival - most obvious through the bright costumes – whilst maracatu rural is Afro-indigenous in origin and members are typically sugarcane workers.
Hailing from the state of Pará in the north of Brazil, Brega is a hard to define music style that is usually characterised by Caribbean rhythms and simple rhymes. It differs from Axé by instead focusing on strong sentimental appeal spawning many subgenres including tecno brega, which emerged in the 1980s and is formed from remixing and reworking popular music, though 80% of a finished track will be original material.
So there you have it! 10 wonderful Brazilian musical styles for events, which are sure to be a hit this summer with the Olympic Games arriving for Rio 2016! Of course there are other popular party themes which we expect to be huge this year. Feel free to check them out here.
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