LOS ANGELES (BDCi) – One of the most influential and recognizable parts of Brazilian culture is the music. Different styles and sub-genres of music with unique roots and histories can be found all over Brazil, and this list will help you get familiar with some of the most popular ones.
Samba is probably the genre of music most identifiable with Brazil. The drum-based rhythms and accompanying set of dances known by the same name began in the late 1800s. Several sub-genres of samba have emerged over the years, including samba rock, samba reggae and pagode.
2) Pagode, which began in São Paulo city, tends to include more intimate movements and is danced with a partner. The original sub-genre began in the 1980s and is usually played with banjos, hand drums called tan-tan, mini guitars known as cavaquinhos and various percussive instruments.
This style of music and dance is most popular in the Northeast. It uses an accordion, a zabumba bass drum and a metal triangle. The term “forró” is said to be a corruption of the English “for all,” as one origin story mentions English engineers in Recife during the 1900s that held weekend balls for the general populace or “for all.”
Since the 1990s, sertanejo music has been the most played genre on Brazilian radio. It originated in the countryside in the 1920s and is especially popular in the interior of Brazil. Drums, keyboards and accordions are just some of the instruments used. Most of the genre’s artists are duos and they are also often brothers. Michel Teló’s 2008 hit “Ai se eu te pego” popularized the sub-genre of sertanejo universitário by reaching international success.
5) Brazilian Rock
Rock has been present in Brazil since the 1950s. Miguel Gustavo’s “Rock and roll em Copacabana” from 1957 is said to be the first original Brazilian rock song. The genre and its sub-genres continue to find popularity in Brazil, with bands often taking inspiration from Punk, Ska. Once categorized under the umbrella of MPB(popular Brazilian music), Brazilian rock has made a name for itself in the past two decades.
6) MPB (música popular brasileira)
Also known as Brazilian Pop, this style of music began in the 1960s and draws influence from samba, boss nova, jazz and rock and was applied to non-electric types of music. Eli Regina’s interpretation of “Arrastão” in 1965 became the biggest selling single in Brazilian history and brought MPB to a national audience.