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Carnival Music: More Than the Samba,
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This review is from: Focus: Music of Northeast Brazil (Focus on World Music Series) (Paperback)
Most people in America, if interested in Latin jazz or world music, divide Brazil's musical heritage into samba and bossa nova in the south, Rio de Janeiro, and Afro-Brazilian ritual Candomblé and martial capoeira in the north central, Salvador de Bahia. This book fills the gap by discussing the historical and contemporary sounds of the northeast, from Pernambuco's rural inland to the old coastal city of Recife, as well as other music in Bahia. This is folk music and country dance music and Afro-Brazilian music of Carnival, such as baião, cantoria, forró, frevo, mangue, maracutu, and samba-reggae. This is bamboo fife and drum music, music for accordian, drum, and triangle, and processional bands with brass and woodwinds. Larry Crook has written a fine, detailed examination of these other musical forms and has included a CD of examples, with samples of little heard fife music. The first 60 pages is a well-crafted survey of Brazilian music as a whole, and the next 45 pages discuss the origins and development of Afro-Brazilian music for Carnival. The following chapters present the multiracial evolution of Carnival music, the frevo, how northeastern country music went to Rio and became popular as forró, and the modern hybrid explorations of Axé. Other elements are a couple case studies of musicians, some lyrics and their translations, photographs, and scored rhythms. The book reads well and we learn much about the musical history, styles, and instruments of this area. In Brazil, for instance, the viola is a 10-string, 5-course guitar (the violin-like alto instrument is the violeta), and the large number and types of drums played in small combos to full parade batteries would make Mickey Hart smile. A good player of the pandiero drum, a ubiquitous Brazilian tambourine, can made a remarkable variety of pitches and timbre. This book will help provide a fuller understanding of Brazilian music.