The BerimbauSoul of Brazilian Music

The BerimbauSoul of Brazilian Music

Eric A. Galm

Print publication date: 2014

ISBN: 9781604734058

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi

Abstract

The Brazilian berimbau, a musical bow, is most commonly associated with the energetic martial art/dance/game of capoeira. This study explores its stature from the 1950s to the present in diverse musical genres including bossa nova, samba-reggae, MPB (Popular Brazilian Music), electronic dance music, Brazilian art music, and more. Berimbau music spans oral and recorded historical traditions, connects Latin America to Africa, juxtaposes the sacred and profane, and unites nationally constructed notions of Brazilian identity across seemingly impenetrable barriers. This book considers the berimbau beyond the context of capoeira, and explores the bow’s emergence as a national symbol. Throughout, it engages and analyzes intersections of musical traditions in the Black Atlantic, North American popular music, and the rise of global jazz. The book is an introduction to Brazilian music for musicians, Latin American scholars, capoeira practitioners, and other people who are interested in Brazil’s music and culture.