Brazilian Music History, Rhythm, and Repertoire for the Jazz Practitioner



This course is designed to introduce and examine Brazilian music from both academic and performance perspectives. Beginning with an overview of Brazilian music history, regional groups, rhythms, and styles, it will proceed by considering each style or rhythm group. For each style the students will learn and perform fundamental rhythms on percussion instruments including tamborim, agogó, ganzá, caxixí, triangle, pandeiro, and surdu. Each area of focus will be covered in one or two sessions, and include lecture, listening, reading, and performance of exemplary pieces. As the students are first and foremost performers, a primary focus of the course is the incorporation of the Brazilian music universe of rhythms, phrasing, and repertoire into their developing styles. They will be required to complete a research project on a specific topic, to be chosen with the instructor, and to become familiar with repertoire associated with their respective instruments (see repertoire list below). The aim is to produce a performer who is well informed not only about musical components and necessary skills for performance, but also about the history and context in which Brazilian music develops. In addition, the course can be directed in some part towards the creation of repertoire and arrangements for combos, big bands, vocal soloists and groups, and chamber ensembles. Students will gain the essential musical and esthetic information to create works that are both stylistically authentic and contemporary.