sábado, 29 de março de 2008

TULANE UNIVERSITY: Brazilian Popular Music by Dr. Christopher Dunn

Christopher Dunn, Chair
Department of Spanish and Portuguese
302 Newcomb Hall
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA 70118-5698

tel: 504-865-5519
fax: 504-862-8752

Brazilian Popular Music
PORT 629: Brazilian Cultural Studies

BRAZ 481: Special Topics in Brazilian Studies

ADST 482: Special Topics in African and African Diaspora Studies

Mondays 3:30-6:00pm

Portuguese Section: 6:00-7:30pm

Newcomb 123

Office Hours:

Christopher Dunn (Tuesdays & Thrusdays 12:30-2:00pM)

Idelber Avelar (Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays 2:30-3:30)

The course will offer an in-depth inquiry into over a 100 years of Brazilian cultural history through the prism of popular music, often regarded as Brazil’s most accomplished field of artistic production. More than any other Latin American country, Brazil’s self-definition has been elaborated through the production and consumption of popular music. No other field of cultural production has had quite the same universal appeal among Brazilians, nor reached the same degree of international acclaim. The study of popular music is particularly useful for understanding Brazilian social and cultural history. In this course, students will be introduced to some formal aspects of Brazilian music and well as acquire extensive knowledge of its history during past one hundred years. Genres and cultural phenomena to be covered include: samba, choro, bossa nova, protest music, Tropicália, as well as regional forms such as forró and xaxado, and international musics appropriated in Brazil such as rock, reggae, and rap. The study of music will provide the basis for the exploration of issues such as nationalism, regionalism, developmentalism, authoritarianism, and globalization. The course will include visits by established New Orleans musicians who specialize in Brazilian music and have experience teaching it.

The course will serve both graduate and undergraduate students regardless of proficiency in Portuguese. Students of BRAZ 481 and ADST 482 are responsible for reading and preparing the readings in English. Students of PORT 629 will read scholarship in Portuguese in addition to texts from the English-language reading list. After the first week, BRAZ & ADST students will meet separately from 3:30 to 4:45pm for a discussion session related to relevant reading. After a brief interlude these two groups will be joined by the PORT 629 group for an hour lecture / demonstration relating to the topic of the week. Each week during this period we will provide a brief presentation on a featured artist. Usually these artists relate directly to the theme of that week, but occasionally they will serve as counterpoints. At 6:00pm the first two sections will be adjourned. The PORT 629 section will remain until 7:30pm for a discussion session related to a set of readings in Portuguese.


We have organized an extensive compilation of modern Brazilian music (1917-2000) entitled BRAZSONGS, which features original lyrics and English translations of canonical compositions of the Brazilian popular songbook. Using the Blackboard system, students registered for the course are able access these lyrics as well as the sound recordings using streaming media. All of the recorded material on BRAZSONGS will also be available on CDs in the Music Library together with a few commercially produced compilations from our own collections. The translated lyrics will be contained in English-language coursepack. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with this music. BRAZSONGS will serve as a basic resource for one writing assignment. The material presented in BRAZSONGS will also figure into the final exam.

In putting together BRAZSONGS, we sought to offer a selection as comprehensive and diverse as possible. However, this compiltation only scratches the surface. We encourage all students to explore the vast tradition of Brazilian popular music. In New Orleans, both Tower Records and Virgin Megastore stock reasonably good selections of Brazilian popular music. Magic Bus (527 Conti St.) has an excellent collection of used Brazilian CDs for about $10 a piece. For rarities, we recommend the online store dustygroove.com.

On Saturday afternoons from 2-4pm there is a very good Brazilian music program, "Tudo Bem," hosted by Katrina Geenen on WWOZ (90.7 FM).

English Reading List:

Chris McGowen and Ricardo Pessanha. The Brazilian Sound

Peter Fryer. Rhythms of Resistance: African Musical Heritage of Brazil

Hermano Vianna. The Mystery of Samba: Popular Music and National Identity in Brazil

Alma Guillermo Prieto. Samba

Ruy Castro. Bossa Nova: The Story of the Brazilian Music that Seduced the World

Christopher Dunn. Brutality Garden: Tropicália and the Emergence of a Brazilian Counterculture

Charles A. Perrone. Masters of Contemporary Brazil Song

Charles A. Perrone and Christopher Dunn, eds. Brazilian Popular Music and Globalization

Portuguese Reading List:

Muniz Sodré. Samba: o dono do corpo

Antônio Risério. Caymmi: uma utopia de lugar

Augusto de Campos et. al. Balanço da bossa e outras bossas

José Ramos Tinhorão. Música popular: um tema em debate

There will be two additional coursepacks, one in English and one in Portuguese available at Metro Copy on Calhoun St.

Web Resources

There has been an extraordinary proliferation of websites dedicated to Brazilian Popular Music. Nearly all of the living musicians discussed in this course have their own web-sites and many of them are bilingual. For beginners, we recommend the following general sites which contain links to individual sites.

www.allmusic.com.br (Expansive and up-to-date bilingual site edited in Brazil)

www.thebraziliansound (Good U.S.-based site run by Chris McGowen)

www.slipcue.com (A smart hipster offers his reflections on a broad range of MPB recordings, especially Tropicália)

www.mpbnet.com.br (A vast data base in Portuguese of Brazilian songs organized by composer, performer, style, region, and other categories)

www.uol.com.br/uptodate (A useful site with interesting bilingual interviews with contemporary Brazilian musicians)


Several video documentaries in Portuguese and English will be on reserve in the Language Lab in Newcomb Hall.

Class Schedule:

January 14: Introduction

Special Session on Tuesday January 22, 5-7pm : Historical Overview

Required: Chris McGowen and Ricardo Pessanha. The Brazilian Sound; Caetano Veloso, "Carmen Mirandadada" in Brazilian Popular Music and Globalization

Recommended: Charles A. Perrone and Christopher Dunn, "Chiclete com Banana: Internationalization in Brazilian Popular Music" in Brazilian Popular Music and Globalization

Portuguese section: Marcos Napolitano, "A invenção da música popular brasileira: um campo de reflexão para a história social"; José Miguel Wisnik, "A gaia ciência: literatura e música popular no Brasil"

January 28: Roots and Routes of Brazilian Popular Music

Required: Peter Fryer. Rhythms of Resistance (Introduction, chapters 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8)

Portuguese Section: Muniz Sodré, Samba, o dono do corpo; Claudia Neiva de Matos, "O malandro no samba"

Featured artist: Pixinguinha

February 4: Samba, Modernism, and National Self-Fashioning

Required: Hermano Vianna. The Mystery of Samba; Bryan McCann, "The Nationalist Logic of Noel Rosa"

Recommended: Suzel Ana Reily: "Macunaima's Music: National Identity and Ethnomusicological Research in Brazil"

Portuguese section: Mario de Andrade, selections from Ensaio sobre a muúsica brasileira; José Miguel Wisnik, "Nacionalismo musical"; Affonso Romano de Sant'anna, "As origens do samba, Noel Rosa e o modernismo" and "Ufanismo de Ari Barroso e o Verde-amarelismo de Cassiano Ricardo"

Featured artist: Noel Rosa

Já é carnaval cidade, acorda pra ver!!!

February 18: Samba and Beyond

Required: Alma Guillermo Prieto. Samba

Portuguese section: Antonio Risério, Caymmi: Uma utopia de lugar

Featured artists: Dorival Caymmi and Luiz Gonzaga

February 25: The Finished Product: Bossa Nova

Required: Ruy Castro. Bossa Nova (1-158)

Portuguese section: José Ramos Tinhorão, Música popular: um tema em debate (9-87); Selections from Augusto Campos, Balanço da bossa (17-125)

Featured artist: Clementina de Jesus

March 4: From Bossa Nova to MPB

Required: Ruy Castro. Bossa Nova (159-335); David Treece: "Guns and Roses: bossa nova and Brazil's music of popular protest, 1958-68"

Recommended: Martha Ulhoa, "Tupi or not Tupi MPB: Popular Music and Identity in Brazil"

Portuguese section: Lorenzo Mammí, "João Gilberto e o projeto utópico da bossa nova"; "Que caminho seguir na música popular brasileira?"; Walnice Nogueira Galvão, "MMPB: uma análise ideológica"; Campos, Balanço da bossa (125-141)

Featured artist: Paulinho da Viola

BRAZ 481 and ADST 482: MID-TERM take-home exercise due

PORT 629: Critical Review of book or series of articles (4-5 pages)

March 11: The Tropicalist Moment

Required: Christopher Dunn. Brutality Garden (chapters 1-4); Roberto Schwarz: "Culture and Politics in Brazil, 1964-69"

Recommended: Fred Moehn, "In the Tropical Studio: MPB Production in Transition"; "The Tropicalista Rebellion: A Conversation with Caetano Veloso"

Portuguese: Campos, Balanço da bossa (141-207) ; Caetano Veloso, Verdade Tropical, "Antropofagia"

Featured artist: Tom Zé

March 18: Beyond Tropicália: The Brazilian Counterculture

Required: Christopher Dunn, Brutality Garden (chapters 5-6), Charles Perrone, Masters of Contemporary Brazilian Song (47-128)

Recommended: Brazilian Popular Music and Globalization (chapters 5-6)

Portuguese section: Silviano Santiago, "Caetano Veloso enquanto superastro" and "Bom Conselho"; Affonso Romano de Sant'anna, "Curtição e esoterismo na marginalidade"; Jorge Mautner, "Cultura negra sem fronteiras"

Featured artist: Jorge Ben

April 1: MPB and the Tradition of Samba: Chico Buarque and João Bosco

Required: Charles Perrone. Masters of Contemporary Brazilian Song (1-44, 165-216)

Portuguese: Interviews with Chico Buarque (1970 & 1974); Jorge Mautner, "Chico Buarque e Jorge Ben" and "Chico, símbolo e herói"; José Miguel Wisnik, "O minuto e o milênio ou Por favor, professor, uma década de cada vez"

Featured artist: Raul Seixas

April 8: Minas, Milton, Metal, and Memory

Required: Charles Perrone. Masters of Contemporary Brazilian Song (130-62); Brazilian Popular Music and Globalization (chapter 7); Martha Ulhoa, "Canção da America: style and emotion in Brazilian popular song"

Portuguese Section: Marcio Borges, Os sonhos não envelhecem (155-270)

Featured artist: Elis Regina

ASSIGNMENT: Close reading of selections from BRAZSONGS or other Brazilian songs of your choosing (2-3 pages)

April 15: Afro-Bahia and the Diasporic Imagination

Required: Brazilian Popular Music and Globalization (chapters 9, 10, 11, 13)

Portuguese Section: Selections from Antonio Risério, Carnaval Ijexá; Goli Guerreiro, "Um mapa em preto e branco da música na Bahia"

Featured group: Ilê Aiyê

April 22: Contemporary Trends: Funk, Hip-Hop, and Mangue Beat

Perrone and Dunn. Brazilian Popular Music and Globalization (Chapters 8, 14, 16); George Yúdice, "The Funkification of Rio"; Cristina Magaldi, "Adopting Imports: new images and alliances in Brazilian popular music of the 1990s"

Recommended: Interview with Chico Science at www.uol.com.br/uptodate (available in both Portuguese and English)

Portuguese: Interview with Mano Brown in Caros Amigos

Featured group: Chico Science e Nação Zumbi

FINAL EXAM FOR ALL SECTIONS: Thursday May 2 (1:00-5:00 pm)

Since we have assigned a final research paper that should be critical and analytical, the final exam will focus primarily on basic knowledge and familiarity with Brazilian popular music based on readings from the course and BRAZSONGS. One section of the exam will feature audio identification of genres, styles, and artists.

FINAL PAPER DUE: Thursday May 9

The final paper should be 10-12 pages for BRAZ 481 and ADST 482 students and 18-20 pages for PORT 629 students.


Class attendance, preparation, and participation………………..…....15%

Mid-term exam or critical review………..…………………………..15%

Close Reading………………………………………………………..15%

Final Exam……………………………………………………………15%

Final Paper……………………………………………………………40%

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