Brazilian Popular Music and Citizenship

Brazilian Popular Music and Citizenship

Book Pages: 376 Illustrations: 22 photographs Published: May 2011

Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Latin American Studies > Brazil, Music > Popular Music

Covering more than one hundred years of history, this multidisciplinary collection of essays explores the vital connections between popular music and citizenship in Brazil. While popular music has served as an effective resource for communities to stake claims to political, social, and cultural rights in Brazil, it has also been appropriated by the state in its efforts to manage and control a socially, racially, and geographically diverse nation. The question of citizenship has also been a recurrent theme in the work of many of Brazil’s most important musicians. These essays explore popular music in relation to national identity, social class, racial formations, community organizing, political protest, and emergent forms of distribution and consumption. Contributors examine the cultural politics of samba in the 1930s, the trajectory of middle-class musical sensibility associated with Música Popular Brasileira (MPB), rock and re-democratization in the 1980s, music and black identity in Bahia, hip hop and community organizing in São Paulo, and the repression of baile funk in Rio in the 1990s. Among other topics, they consider the use of music by the Landless Workers’ Movement, the performance of identity by Japanese Brazilian musicians, the mangue beat movement of Recife, and the emergence of new regional styles, such as lambadão and tecnobrega, that circulate outside of conventional distribution channels. Taken together, the essays reveal the important connections between citizenship, national belonging, and Brazilian popular music.

Contributors. Idelber Avelar, Christopher Dunn, João Freire Filho, Goli Guerreiro, Micael Herschmann, Ari Lima, Aaron Lorenz, Shanna Lorenz, Angélica Madeira, Malcolm K. McNee, Frederick Moehn, Flávio Oliveira, Adalberto Paranhos, Derek Pardue, Marco Aurélio Paz Tella, Osmundo Pinho, Carlos Sandroni, Daniel Sharp, Hermano Vianna, Wivian Weller


Brazilian Popular Music and Citizenship is a significant contribution to the discussions of the Latin American social movements, cultural politics, and participatory democracy that have been taking place in the academy, policy circles, and among grassroots movements over the last 20 years. The international currency of cultural citizenship discourses, together with the present proliferation of musical expressions from Brazil’s peripheries, make this a timely publication, and its rich case studies will be of interest to scholars in cultural studies, anthropology, ethnomusicology, and related disciplines.” — Darien Lamen, The Americas

“[T]hought-provoking. . . .” — Clive Bell, The Wire

“Since ethnomusicologists have noticed and bemoaned the neglect of music in introductory anthropology courses and texts (which is all that most students will ever see of the subject), this powerful anthology will hopefully encourage anthropologists to take more seriously the place of music in contemporary politics and identity and to integrate that topic—surely one that students would enjoy hearing—into their teaching and writing.” — Jack David Eller, Anthropology Review Database

“[A] fascinating book…. the crucial role that Brazilian music plays in the social and political sphere makes this book relevant for a variety of academic disciplines and important beyond any scholarly trend.” — Kavin Paulraj, Hispanic American Historical Review

"[A]n excellent source for anyone interested in Brazilian popular music in relation to power, identity, race, and the cultural industry.”  — Rogerio Budasz, Music and Letters

“Each of these chapters in the volume presents rich reflections on compelling musical phenomena. Taken together, they constitute a necessary and important contribution to our understanding of recent trends in Brazilian popular music and in the construction and meanings of Brazilian citizenship.” — Bryan McCann, Luso-Brazilian Review

“The volume makes important contributions from the perspectives of both (ethno)musicology and cultural studies…. The anthology helps scholars consider the uneven contributions of music to discourses of citizenship; individual chapters serve as excellent stand-alone case studies that could be used to help students reflect on the social significance of particular genres.” — Cory J. Lafevers, Latin American Music Review

“Idelber Avelar’s and Christopher Dunn’s book is not only an invaluable aid in understanding the complex relationship between culture and politics in Brazil. It also helps us to understand how culture and politics act together in forming our common future, and even suggests ways in which we as citizens might have a hand in determining how things turn out.” — Arto Lindsay, musician and artist

“This book is quite important for understanding the significance of music in Brazil. It shows that music—as a complex social, cultural, artistic, and even political phenomenon—was part and parcel of the constitution of citizenship. Music has been a crucial constitutive factor in Brazilians’ sense of belonging.” — George Yúdice, author of The Expediency of Culture: Uses of Culture in the Global Era


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Idelber Avelar is Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Tulane University. He is the author of The Letter of Violence: Essays on Narrative, Ethics, and Politics and The Untimely Present: Postdictatorial Latin American Fiction and the Task of Mourning, also published by Duke University Press.

Christopher Dunn is Associate Professor of Brazilian literary and cultural studies at Tulane University. He is the author of Brutality Garden: Tropicália and the Emergence of a Brazilian Counterculture and a co-editor of Brazilian Popular Music and Globalization.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments ix

Introduction. Music as Practice of Citizenship in Brazil / Idelber Avelar and Christopher Dunn 1

Dissonant Voices under a Regime of Order-(—)Unity: Popular Music and Work in the Estado Novo / Adalberto Paranhos 28

Orpheonic Chant and the Construction of Childhood in Brazilian Elementary Education / Flávio Oliveira 44

Farewell to MPB / Carlos Sandroni 64

From Mr. Citizen to Defective Android: Tom Zé and Citizenship in Brazil / Christopher Dunn 74

Rude Poetics of the 1980s: The Politics and Aesthetics of Os Titãs / Angélica Madeira 96

"We Live Daily in Two Countries": Audiotopias of Postdictatorship Brazil / Frederick Moehn 109

Soundtracking Landlessness: Music and Rurality in the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurias Sem Terra / Malcolm K. McNee 131

Zhen's Brasil's Japanese Brazilian Groove / Shanna Lorenz 155

Embodying the Favela: Representation, Mediation, and Citizenship in the Music of Bezerra da Silva / Aaron Lorenz 172

Hip-Hop in São Paulo: Identity, Community Formation, and Social Action / Wivian Weller and Marco Aurélio Paz Tella 188

"Conquistando Espaço": Hip-Hop Occupations of São Paulo / Derek Pardue 205

Funk Music Made in Brazil: Media and Moral Panic / João Freire Filho and Micael Herschmann 223

Technobrega, Forró, Lambadão: The Parallel Music of Brazil / Hermano Vianna 240

"Tradition as Adventure": Black Music, New Afro-Descendent Subjects and Pluralization of Modernity in Salvador da Bahia / Osmundo Pinho 250

Modernity, Agency, and Sexuality in the Pagode Baiano / Ari Lima 267

Candeal and Carlinhos Brown: Social and Musical Contexts of an Afro-Brazilian Community / Goli Guerreiro 278

Of Mud Huts and Modernity: The Performance of Civic Progress at Arcoverde's São João Festival / Daniel Sharp 291

Mangue Beat Music and the Coding of Citizenship in Sound / Idelber Avelar 313

Works Cited 331

Contributors 353

Index 357
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-4906-8 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-4884-9
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