Brazilian music is recognised globally, and yet its presence on the World Music scene is only just the tip of the iceberg. A cocktail of African, European and Indian ingredients underlies a national genius for music, creating a variety of rhythms and regional genres.
Some MPB Geography
Música popular brasileira (MPB), is the catch-all term for Brazilian music. It refers to famous artistas and a rich tradition of regional music making. While many cities (Salvador de Bahia, Recife, Belém and São Paulo) have contributed to Brazilian music, any guide to Brazilian music has to start in Rio.
Rio is the birthplace of choro, literally “crying, sobbing”, which was the original Carnaval music. It is mainly instrumental, played by a small combo that might include flute, guitar, cavaquinho (Portuguese guitar) and clarinet.
It is rooted in European rhythms overlaid with Afro-Brazilian syncopation. Pixinguinha, the most influential composer of choro, was one of the inspirations for the famous Brazilian classical composer, Heitor Villa-Lobos.
Choro has recently seen a revival after decades of neglect thanks to the sambista Paulinho da Viola.