GLOSSARY OF MUSICAL TYPES AND RHYTHMS

These are some of the musical types and rhythms mentioned in several articles of this edition whose meaning may be necessary for some readers, once they are quite diversified for also diversified readers. Thus, we bring here short definitions and explanations for them. Read, listen to them, and get acquainted to what you’ve been listening to. Have fun!

Axé-music - General name for modern, popular music from Bahia, a blend of samba, baião, reggae, and pop-rock.

Baião - Dance and rhythm typical of Northern/Northeastern Brazil, where pace and melody have a strong syncopation. Typical instruments include the accordion, zabumba (a wide drum) and triangle (an instrument of percussion) Together with bossa nova, Baião is the most prominent Brazilian rhythm abroad; note that Pop-rocks rhythmic pace has a lot of Baião in it. For instance, pay attention to the drum beat of "Save The Last Dance For Me" by the Drifters, "Hound Dog" by Elvis, "She Loves You" by the Beatles, and "Do You Know The Way To San Jose" by Burt Bacharach.

Bossa nova - Brazilian type of music which uses the rhythms of samba and march together with elaborated melodies and the harmony of jazz (that’s why it is also known abroad as "jazz-samba"). Antonio Carlos Jobim (Tom Jobim) and João Gilberto are considered its greatest names.

Brega -Meaning originally “brothel” and “malfeasance” (and in the 50’s "bregado" meant old bread). It also designates the most simple, syrupy, direct kind of music, almost always deliberate and blatantly appealing. Romantic musical types such as bolero, samba-canção, country and Brazilian ballad pop has included a lot of brega since 1968. "Breganejo" is the fusion of brega with sertanejo (country) music.

Cajun - Typical music of American states settled by the French (Louisiana and western Texas); the name "cajun" derives from "acadien", or Acadian, an inhabitant of Acadia, a French territory which was taken over by England in the 18th century. Using the accordion and the violin, the cajun is one of the founders of country music. Because it is played by local Afro-Americans (the Creoles), cajun became zydeco, which sounds curiously like a mixture of cajun and baião, once it also uses the accordion.

Chorinho - Type of music as well as way of playing, both Brazilian and characterized not only by its maudlin and tearful aspect (the word “choro” means cry), but also because of the excellence of its instruments and great amount of improvisation. If in the US bossa nova was referred to as "new Brazilian jazz", chorinho would undoubtedly be the "old Brazilian jazz".

Dance - General name for disco-music of the 90’s, with subtypes such as acid-house, jungle, and rave.

Fox-trot -General name for all American pop music in the first half of this century (roughly from 1910 to 1955) as long as it is in compass 4/4 and does not use foreign rhythms such as samba, waltz or bolero. Actually, "Rock Around The Clock", first rock hit, was originally a fox-trot.

Forró -A ball full of excitement where Northeastern music (xaxado, baião) is basically danced. The name itself reflects its popularity, as it comes from the English expression “for all”, which has been brazilianized later.

Funk - English word which originally stands for “psycho depression”, “body odor” or quality of something extremely informal. It has designated since 1967 a well paced kind of Afro American music, characterized by "fatback", a bass and/or drum note right before the strong tempo (second tempo) giving funk its characteristic balance.

Guarânia - Rhythm from Paraguay (its name comes from Guarany Indians who live in that country) in a waltz compass, 3/4, except that it has three tempos equally accented and with an extremely slow and suave pace.

MPB - Short for “Música Popular Brasileira” (Brazilian Popular Music). This name aroused in 1965 to designate all music made in Brazil except for rock. Actually, lots of rockers like Marina or Cazuza have styles which are mellow enough to be called MPB.

Pagode -Originally a name of a Chinese temple, today it stands for a very exciting popular dance and more specifically a simple kind of samba to be danced.

Rap - The name has two derivations, the word “rap” (jive) and the short for an expression which is very used to define rap, "rhythm and poetry".

Samba -Brazilian kind of music originated from Africa, in rhythm 2/4 and with a very particular syncopation. It aroused in the early 20th century, although the word “samba” already meant a popular ball a hundred years before that.

Samba-canção - It is just samba with a more elaborated melody, made not only to be played and danced, but also sung. Its name aroused in the 20’s and thirty years later it became a synonym to a samba whose pace is so slow that it resembles a bolero.

Samba-enredo - A samba composed and played by the “escolas de samba” (samba schools) from Rio since the 30’s. The lyrics tells a story which is related to the theme the school choses for its Carnival parade. Every year, a “escola de samba” (also in other states like São Paulo) presents different themes, specific for the sambas-enredo, which determine the visual allegory of each escola.

Sertanejo - Name of an inhabitant of the Northeastern desert and the music made in great cities that imitates that of small towns and rural areas; this is the so called "música caipira", equivalent to American country music.

Ska - Rhythm from Jamaica which originated reggae; its name is an onomatopoeia which reproduces the sound of the guitar in this rhythm.

Xaxado - Northeastern dance characterized by quick pace tap dance which is sometimes mentioned as a synonym to baião.