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The Brazilian Sound: Samba, Bossa Nova, and the Popular Music of Brazil

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Originally published in 1991 and revised in 1998, this book has been revised and expanded again to be bigger and better than the previous highly praised incarnations. Ten years on, the music is still evolving, with many new artists and hybridizations, and McGowan and Pessanha are certainly keeping up with the changes. Their book features new coverage of funk, rap, and hip-hop and profiles new samba artists as well as artists on the rise in electronic dance music and other genres. Now that the Internet has made it easier to find and explore once-exotic musical genres, people looking for information about all the kinds of music in Brazil will love this book. Lavishly illustrated with 175 black-and-white photos, 12 maps, and 12 figures, it covers the remarkable breadth of Brazilian music in a highly readable, lively manner. Highly recommended for all public libraries and world music collections, even those owning an earlier edition.
—Bill Walker

From the Publisher
"Well informed, written in plain language and smartly illustrated, The Brazilian Sound quickly became a reference book after it was published in 1991. With the recent publication of a revised and expanded edition, the good just got better...The Brazilian Sound is an informative primer, clearly designed to be useful to the curious beginner, but also substantive enough to capture and hold the attention of the initiated. This new edition retains the easy-to-read quality of the original while adding not only new artists throughout but also historical and social context to the music.... For anyone interested in exploring the vast world of Brazilian music, The Brazilian Sound will serve nicely as a smart and practical road map." —Jazziz, February 2009

"An excellent resource on some of the most popular music in Brazil.... Clearly written and offering information valuable for understanding Brazilian music in general.... Anyone interested in the evolution of Brazilian popular music and some of its most prolific artists of the past centuries will appreciate this title. Summing Up: Highly recommended." —Choice, June 2009

“[T]his book has been revised and expanded again to be bigger and better than the previous highly praised incarnations. Ten years on, the music is still evolving, with many new artists and hybridizations, and McGowan and Pessanha are certainly keeping up with the changes. Their book features new coverage of funk, rap, and hip-hop and profiles new samba artists as well as artists on the rise in electronic dance music and other genres. Now that the Internet has made it easier to find and explore once-exotic musical genres, people looking for information about all the kinds of music in Brazil will love this book. Lavishly illustrated with 175 black-and-white photos, 12 maps, and 12 figures, it covers the remarkable breadth of Brazilian music in a highly readable, lively manner. Highly recommended for all public libraries and world music collections, even those owning an earlier edition."
— Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592139293
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2008
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris McGowan has written about Brazilian music for Billboard, Musician and many other publications, and contributed to The Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. He blogs for the Huffington Post about Brazil and other subjects.

Ricardo Pessanha has worked as a Brazilian music consultant for foreign journalists, music producers and filmmakers and as a music lecturer for academic programs. He has been a translator and publicity writer for recording companies in Brazil and contributed articles to The Beat and other publications.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Revised andExpanded Edition 
Acknowledgments 
Introduction 
1. Five Centuries of Music 
2. Samba: The Heartbeat of Rio 
3. Bossa Nova: The New Way 
4. MPB: A Musical Rainbow 
5. Minas Gerais: Musical Treasures 
6. Bahia of All the Saints 
7. North by Northeast 
8. Brazilian Instrumental Music and Jazz 
9. Tropical Rock 
10. More Brazilian Sounds 
Notes 
Glossary 
Select Bibliography 
Select Discography and Resources 
Index

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 30, 2011

    The Best Guide to Brazilian Music

    For anyone with an interest in Brazilian culture and/or music or who needs an immediate upgrade in their musical life, this book is an absolute must. It will introduce you to a host of some of the planet's best musicians and performers, most unknown north of the Amazon. The rhythms, styles and currents of Brazilian music are as diverse as any place in the world, and "The Brazilian Sound" details the origins and practices of the gamut, from bossa nova and samba, to forro, maracatu, axe, frevo, and pagode, the popular wing of samba. The 2009 edition is the best yet, expanding coverage of the pagode scene (one of my favorites) with great anecdotes and details on the Old Guard singers and modern stars like Zeca Pagodinho, and profiles of the seemingly endless crop of stellar female artists--Joyce, Marisa Monte, Vanessa da Mata, Bebel Gilberto, Adriana Calcanhotta, Maria Rita. With artist interviews, great lyric excerpts (in English), details on the musical instruments (cuica to surdo to cavaquinho), coverage of all the regional musics and on-scene photos, this labor of love really does have everything you want to know about Brazilian music.

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    Posted August 4, 2011

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