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spliffmaster steingo - Kemenosh 1 Mak Kemenosh Gavin...

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Mak Kemenosh Gavin Steingo World Music and Cultures 50 8 May 2008 The Effect of Politics, Culture, and Transnational Music Flows on Brazilian Contemporary Music According to P.M. Bardi, director of São Paulo’s Museum of Art has suggested, “Of all the arts, music is closest to Brazilians’ modes of feeling and expression” (Moreno 129). In a unified, homogenous nation then, it is to be expected that one musical genre or style would emerge that universally embodies the societal values and trends of the contemporary period, while simultaneously adhering to the roots of the country’s musical tradition. However, Brazil is far from a unified nation, and it is greatly affected by myriad issues from its turbid past: the effects of Portuguese colonization and European influence, the importation of a vast number of slaves and the resultant cultural ties to Africa, a mixed population that is separated by a 1
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distinguished class system, and periods of chronic government instability or repressive dictatorial rule, have all been a factor in the creation of this splintered society that lacks a definitive indigenous musical creation that is representative of the majority of the populace. The bombardment of consumer goods and fads Brazil has weathered from the United States and Europe in the post-World War II period, along with the powerfully invasive force of globalization, has made many Brazilians skeptical of adopting foreign practices, which they view as a form of cultural imperialism. This has lead many modern intellectuals on the search for brasilidade , for something that identifies a final cultural or musical product as quintessentially Brazilian (Magaldi 310). Since 1958, many different genres such as bossa nova, various forms of samba, Musica Popular Brasileira, Tropicalismo, as well as foreign genres such as rap and rock have rose to the pinnacle of music popularity in Brazil. Coincidentally, the emergence of new, well-received genres has coincided with drastic changes in the Brazilian political structure or the increased influences of forces within the international system. For instance, after the fall of the authoritarian military regime in 1985, the invest of capital from 2
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multinational corporations lead to an increase in international pop, further diluting the plethora of foreign influences on Brazilian contemporary music. Which leads to back to the key factor many scholars have tried to pinpoint in the various music’s of Brazil; brasilidade , or ‘Brazilianess’. While scholars such as Albrecht Moreno have tried to argue for bossa nova or other genres as the archetypal form of Brazilian music, this paper aims to demonstrate that even the most original form of Brazilian music, samba, is based on African origins, and that Brazilian musicians have been in a perpetual state of borrowing from other genres and styles since. Instead of rejecting outside influences as cultural imperialism, Brazilians should, as they have recently, wholly accept their traditional role of fusing musical styles from around the globe.
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This note was uploaded on 05/10/2008 for the course URBS 210 taught by Professor Vitiello during the Spring '08 term at UPenn.

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spliffmaster steingo - Kemenosh 1 Mak Kemenosh Gavin...

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