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Music is the heart of Brazil. From a simple family gathering to carnaval. Music is the foundation for many of their festivities. In many religious ceremonies the music is one of the main focal points.
Brazilian music as well as music in general is soothing, healing, inspiring, and energizing. Music influences Brazilian life a great deal.
We will investigate the history of music in Brazil as well as making discoveries of the different sounds and styles of music. We’ll learn about cultural events and how the music is depicted culturally. In collaboration with team members we will investigate a variety of experiments to incorporate the science of sound for a science fair project. Utilizing our music teacher instruments will be made and students taught how to play them.
Before each section is introduced the students will know what will be covered in the lesson. Information should be posted on blackboard or poster board. An oral discussion of information is shared by teacher. Questions asked orally (inferential) and in written form. Quizzes and tests will be teacher made. The types of tests will be objective, matching or multiple choice.
Classical music is also part of the Brazilian culture. A man by the name of Heitor Villa Lobos is the country’s most famous composer. He composed operas and symphonies. Combining Brazilian folk melodies and classical orchestra music together, he created a style of his own.
Capoeira (kay-pooh-ay-rah) is sport and dance. It originated from the African slaves who were brought to Brazil. The instrument used is called a Berimbau (beh-reem-bow) with a metal wire attached to a gourd at the bottom. The player shakes the bow which makes the seeds rattle, the wire is struck with a cooper coin. The slaves would kick and leap in perfect time with the sound of the berimbau. The slaves did this to distract the masters when they were fighting. Today Capoeira is a popular dance done professionally as well as a sport.
Lambada is also a well-known dance throughout Brazil. Forro and Frevo are also favorites in the northeastern part of Brazil. These dances are popular in dance halls.
Music has an influence on most of the world. Music is universal language. It reaches people across cultural and socio-economic boundaries. Communication through music reaches a variety of populations in our a society, regardless if people are verbal or non-verbal.
In the early 1500’s the Portuguese settled in Brazil; the country was rich with natural resources. Mainly at this time sugar cane was a lucrative business and was exported to Europe. The Lupi Indians and other tribes were forced into slavery. Many died from diseases brought over by the Portuguese.
Over the next two centuries millions of slaves were brought from Africa by the Portuguese. They worked the sugar cane plantations. Around the time there were Portuguese adventurers who called themselves bandeirantes. They went about the country through hostile territory exploring the interior searching for gold and slaves. In 1888 slavery was abolished and Blacks from the Bahia Region began migrating to Rio de Janeiro. Gold was discovered in the southeastern town of Minas Gerais. Along with the discovery of gold, Brazil had and still has a wealth of natural resources. Diamonds and colored gems, coffee beans. Between the 1700-1800’s ten tons of gold and diamonds were mined. The sugar cane grew in the northeast region of the country.
Rubber trees were at one time quite profitable. During the late 1800’s rubber made Brazil rich. Brazil was the only country with rubber trees.
In 1914 the wealth ended. Rubber trees were being cultivated in Southeast Asia. Brazil was no longer the only country with the trees.
Brazil has 26 states. The states and the federal district each have a lawmaking assembly and a governor.
They also believe they can contact people who have died. In the ceremony people chant songs and dance to the drums until the priestess goes into a trance. They say they can feel the spirit of the god or the dead person. The priestess asks the spirits to cure the sick people in some a other way.
The Amazon river - second largest river in the world. Depth is two-thousand miles (3,218 kilometers). Mouth of the river two hundred five miles (330 kilometers). It’s an island known as the Marajo, located in the middle of the river’s mouth longer than Switzerland. Scientists estimate millions of different kinds plants and animals live in the rainforest. Some Indians or known as Amerindians still live deep in the forest.
- 1. Northeast - birthplace of Brazilian culture.
- 2. North - land of the mighty amazon the tropical rain/forest covers half of Brazil.
- 3. West Central - nation’s capital. In 1950 nation’s capital was built.
- 4. Southeast - Sao Paulo, largest city in Brazil, and Rio de Janeiro, second largest city in Brazil.
- 5. South - place of the waterfalls and cowboys called the guachos. There are 275 waterfalls in this region.
They’re called tropical forest Indians, deep jungle Indians or “foot people”. There are approximately 125 villages scattered between the border of Venezuela and Brazil which is called the Amazon Basin. The Yanomamo have maintained their native pattern of living without interference from the outside. Until a few years ago no one knew they existed. Social life is organized by principles utilized by the tribesmen: kinship relationships, marriage exchanges between kinship and descent groups. The head tribesmen stem from their belonging to the largest kinship group in the village. Everyone regardless of status still plants crops and hunt for food. They’re one of the most successful groups in the Amazon Rain Forest. They have a balance and harmony within the environment they live in. The women’s’ specialty is the art of basket weaving. They make flat and burden baskets which are carried with a strap around the forehead. The use of berries for dye and charcoal pigment color them. Geometric traditional designs are decorated on the outside of the baskets.
- Area: Venezuela and Brazil
- First Contact: (1726) 1929
- Population: 1985 0 15,000; 195 - less than 8,000
- Language Root: Yanomami (divided into 4 subgroups) - Yanoma (Yanomam), Sanuma, Ninam, Yanam.
Recently in (1993) a senseless massacre occurred. Approximately 23 persons died which consisted of mostly women and children. Since their contact with the outside, continuous active genocide occurs often, dating back to 1985. There are also 62 percent who have tested positive for diseases; new strain of Malaria and Aids.
Wai Wai Tribe
The Wai Wai live in the north central area of the Brazilian Amazon, which is close to the border of Venezuela and Brazil. The river rapids and waterfalls create an environment for farming and logging industries. The influence of the western world has severely corrupted traditional tribal culture. Many have converted to Christianity and they have their own native pastors.
- Area: Rio marpueria - Para, Brazil
- First Contact: 1613
- Population: over 2,000
- Language Root: Carib
- Economy: Art work and agriculture
This group of people are extremely talented with artistic abilities. Making baskets, pottery, woven combs, bone flutes, bows, arrows, blowguns, graters, beaded apron, necklaces and other crafts. In addition they used feathers to decorate baskets and other items. The Tururri seed is often used to make jewelry along with woven cloth. The technique known as swidden (burning and slashing) for planting small areas. They are experts in hunting (monkeys, birds). The Wai, Wai make musical and rhythmical instruments. They’re noted for their traditional dances imitating the movements and calls of a variety of the animals and birds in the rainforest.
They live deep in the Amazon rainforest of northern Brazil. For over a period of 300 years constant open warfare was waged on these people. They were feared by other tribes and others from the outside world. In 1977 to pacify a government agency, who wanted to build a Pan American Highway, along with a hydroelectric project, as a compromise the Indians went along with it. When these changes took place the population was approximately 3,000. Prior to 1977, there were seven nuns and a Catholic Priest were killed (9168), however, the number of Waimiri Indians killed was never recorded or information released. In 1999 the Programa Waimiri Atroari is a model project and is a reliable solution for the Amazon Basin.
- Area: Amazonas, Brazil
- First Contact: 1732
- Population: 374 (1996 - annual reduction 20%) in September of 1998 population was 784
- Language Root: Aruak
- Economy: Agriculture
The Nambiquara tribe also spelled this way (Nambi Kwara) make their home in the southwestern area of the Brazilian Amazon. The word Nambi means mouth. Kwara is a small palm reed dart. This is worn in a hole placed in the lower lips. The tribes specialty is their unique masal flute. This flute is played under the nostril using ones natural respiration. They also make jewelry with beads. Other crafts made with beads.
- Area: Rio Guapore - Rondonia Brazil
- First Contact: Turn of the 17th century
- Population: 885 - It was 10,000 in the 1900’s
- Language Root: alofilo
- Economy: Art and rubber
The Tucuna (Tukuna or Tikuna) live in the Brazilian Amazon forest near the borders of the Peru and Columbia. A population of Ticuna tribe members are also in Columbia. This tribe was one of the first major tribes to have contact with the outside world. They are one of the last of a large populated groups left in Brazil. There has been 400 years on contact but they’ve managed to maintain their own identity. Practices of traditional religion (Catholicism), rituals and cultural are formed. Their specialty talents are basketry, painting, wood, stone sculptures and mask making. They very much enjoy painting and paint for the value of the painting.
- Area: Alto Solimones - Columbia - Brazil Frontier
- First Contact: 1532
- Population: 20,000+
- Economics: Fishing and agriculture
In earlier times the Indian influence was quite strong. Even today in the remote regions of the Amazon Basin, the Indian culture is still prevalent in Brazilian music. The rhythm of the music is non-harmonic with short phrases and is separated by long holds. The complete range of the music is based upon the pentatonic scale. In all Brazilian folk songs the major mode is the most predominant.
Brazilian music has managed to attain its original ethnic expression. However, the sources have been derived from not one but several backgrounds. A small percentage is influenced by American music. African music more than half and a large proportion goes to the Spanish culture mainly from the Hispanic-American aspect. The European influence can be found in parlor dances; the Waltz, Polka, Magurka, and the Scholthische. The structure of the Modinha has European influences as well. The Modinha are songs that can be characterized as little arias, which represented the Brazilian empire, 1882-1889. Today, the Modinha has a sentimental flavor, reflecting the mood of the music. The Modinha is the purest strain represented from Europe. The word itself comes from the word Moda and is directly derived from Portuguese songs of that name. A priest by the name of Domingos Caldas Barbosa popularized Modinha and initially crystallized it as a musical form. A historian by the name of Jose Ramos Tinhorao described the Modinha as the Brazilian style of playing Portuguese lyrics songs which were called modas. This style was invented by people of the popular class, and of mixed races. Eventually, elite intellectuals would join the poor musicians in the appreciation of the Samba music.
Brazilian airs and dances reflect African American rhythms. The names of these dances are the Batuque, Coco, Congada, Jongo, Lundu, and the Mar a catu. These are only a few dances mentioned, and they’re from African dialects rather than European influences.
The Batuque has been popular in concert balls and performed by orchestras in the United States. The Batuque also known under the name Batucada is considered most expressive of all the African-Brazilian airs. Batucada is danced by people forming a circle, there is a great deal of clapping hands, beating on the drums, and making noise with pieces of iron, glass and wood. The basic rhythm is common to most African-Brazilian dances.
Another familiar type of music is the Congada. It has an orchestral version but into dance from by Francisco Mignone. The work Congada derives from congo. This was a religious play among the Brazilian Blacks. It was celebrated in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, a patron saint among Blacks. The Coco is a dance and falls along the same type of the Batuque. In song form it comes close to the primitive African incantations, which are short phrases shouted out.
The Jongo is accompanied only by drums. Lundu is a song and dance accompanied by guitars.
Music for the children is an integral part of Brazilian folklore. Villa-Lobos has written many Cirandas (round dances). Rodas are children’s marching songs. One example of Brazilian folk music is a well known song called Cae, Cae, Balao. This song accompanies the game of sending a balloon flying into the air. Representations of all these dance forms are exhibited during Carnival.
Those living in the jungle continued to cultivate their art styles of music. The Indians held the rites of Yurupari. The Brazilian Blacks practiced the ritual of the Macumba. From this came many Brazilian dances. The Macumba is also known under other names such as Candombl(, Babacu(, Catimbo, and Pagelanea. Another close connection to the Mcumba is the Cucumbi, which is an African-Brazilian pantomime.
An interesting feature of African-Brazilian folklore is the mixture of jungle elements and Christian symbolism.
Brazilian Opera - the first Brazilian opera in the Portuguese language was written by Elias Alvares Lobo (1834-1901). Other composers like Fernandez, Mignone, and Luis Heitor wrote operas as well. They were performed in the Rio Opera House. Musical organizations societies and clubs flourished throughout Brazil, in the second half of the nineteenth century.
Musical education in Brazil consists of excellent conservatories and music schools. In 1932 the development in modern musical education in Brazil came about. Villa Lobos was appointed General Director of Music Education. He introduced novel methods of musical instruction particularly in choral singing. Included also in the curriculum of Brazilian schools was the subject Califasia (the art of fine speech), California the art of singing. Other musicians include Ernesto Dos Santos. He is noted as an African American composer of popular music as well as the Sambas. Oscar Fernandez wrote symphonic and operatic compositions. Francisco Mignone has written compositions for the piano and the orchestra. There are over 25 musicians who contributed to Brazilian music.
Samba was looked upon as the poor man’s music. When the importance of Carnaval started to emerge, Samba music took its place among the elite group of Brazilians. Samba music is now the national music of carnaval.
Brazilian instruments utilized in the culture are the reco-reco, a agogo which is a double cow bell, the panpipe. Music where the Indians lived along the Amazon River remained isolated from other cultures. They used a slit-log drum for signaling each other. Drum conversation was common among the culture. Large and smaller drums were the most popular.
The Portuguese influence brought social dancing and playing the guitar. Dance and poetry played an important role in public and private ceremonies of a particular village.
Other instruments used were different types of flutes, fiddles, folk harps, and mandolins. These instruments changed the music to a sound that was mixed with the sound that both cultures valued highly. Mestigo music was known as mixed blood music. Combined with the instruments and the sounds of both European and the native cultures; rhythms were added as well as the call and response patterns of Africa, thus making the sound we know today, as Latin American music.
Procedure: The children will be introduced to the music as a group. A list of musical vocabulary words will be given. Each term will be defined, discussed and demonstrated by the teacher. The children are ten divided into two groups, the class will play vocabulary scramble.
Activity: The terms and definitions are placed on color coded cards. Vocabulary word must be matching with definition. Use of a felt board with velcro or a blackboard attaching magnetic strips to the back of each card can be more mobile.
Activity #1: A hands on activity involving students and musical selections. The selections could include samba music, a classical selection and possibly finding music from the Bossa Nova era. Finally listening to the sounds of the drums from the Capoeira dance. Possibly using video of the Capoeira performance.
Activity #2: Musical Ears game. (Students would have already listened to these selections prior to this activity.)
Activity #3: What do you hear? The students will listen to one musical selection. The students will be instructed to listen to the song. After, the teacher will ask what rhythms did they hear. Prior to this exercise students will practice listening to various rhythm patterns selected by the music teacher.
The students will play this game sitting in a circle. The teacher will have already selected the music the students are going to be listening to that day. Teacher will play one selection for approximately two minutes, then the other for two minutes. Students are randomly chosen by him/her to tell at least one or two similarities and/or differences in the pieces played. If they are correct they will stay in the circle, if not, they must exit and sit in a chair ( a row already prepared ahead of time). Play until you have a winner. You may want to limit the game to one class period, 30-40 minutes.
Activity: To make 3x5 flags of Brazil. Use push pins, flags, and large map of Brazil without names of countries and cities, or if possible draw a map of Brazil. Use flannel board to place up the map. (It an be made by students).
Game: One student at a time will be blindfolded. Students pins the flag on a particular place on map. Student says the name of the region out loud. If answer is correct the flag stays on the board with the name of region under the flag. Winner - the winner who identifies the most regions. This can be played in teams.
- Materials Needed
- Eight empty glass bottles that are the same size
1) Arrange the glass bottles in a row and fill the first one close to the top with water. Blow across the top of the bottle and observe the sound (pitch) coming from the bottle.
2) Fill the next bottle with a little less water than the first bottle. Blow across the top of the bottle and observe the sound (pitch) coming from the bottle.
3) Fill the remaining bottles with less water than the previous bottles. Blow across the top of the bottle and observe the sound (pitch) coming from the bottle.
4) Now tap on the first bottle with a pencil. Observe the sound (pitch) coming from the bottle.
5) Tap on the remaining bottles and observe the sound (pitch) coming from each of the bottles.
What did you notice about the pitch coming from the bottles as you blew on each one of them in descending order? Was there a difference in the pitch when you blew on the bottles than when you tapped on the bottle? Explain your answers.
Lesson developed by Joe Lewis, curriculum unit, The Science of Sound and Musical Instruments.
New Year’s Day; Carnival, the four days before Ash Wednesday; Good Friday, Friday before Easter; Easter. Tirandentes Day, April 21; Labor Day, May 1; Corpus Christi, in June; Independence Day, September 7; Our Lady of Aparecida Day, October 12; All Soul’s Day, November 2; Proclamation of the Republic, November 15; Christmas.
Carnaval lasted for approximately five days. It begins five days before Ash Wednesday. It either falls in February or March. It is the biggest and most famous holiday in Brazil. Preparation takes place all year long. The parade of the Samba schools is the main attraction. Each Samba school has its own particular color scheme. This distinguishes them from one another. Costumes are made quite elaborately. The costumes are made of feathers, stars head dresses and swirling type skirts. Songs, skits, and dances are practiced to perfection. Children participate as well as the adults. Dancing and parties are everywhere. In Rio the parade is the main attraction.
People from all over the world come to Brazil just to see Carnaval. Members of the Samba schools dance and sing around the floats in the parade through the city streets. Brazilian history and folklore are told through the singing and dancing. Many businesses close for the week. Banks close on that Thursday. The children are also out of school for the holiday. Carnaval begins in the evening on the Friday before Ash Wednesday and continues through Wednesday. Shops that sell souvenirs may be open for tourists.
Bahia is located in the northeast region and Carnaval is celebrated there also. It has a diversity of cultural traditions. It is also the birth place of the Brazilian culture. Carnaval begins in February in Bahia. Their celebration consist of afoxes which is part of a organized band. People are dressed in costumes or some of them dance in the shows that take place in beaches and in the squares all over the city. The traditional groups have started to let newcomers be a part but the cost varies. The people have to agree to buy an “abada”, the color shirt which identifies the groups members. The cost can be any where from a few dollars to approximately $350.00, U. S. Currency. Bahia has had many important Brazilian artists perform for the people. Such artists include Daniela Mercury, Carlinhos Brown, and Timbalada. Their energy and rhythm draw huge crowds. The Olodum band percussionists add flavor and excitement to the festivities.
New Year’s Eve is also a festive time for Brazilians in Rio. The festival called the Feast of Iemanj( is celebrated with people lighting hundreds of candles which are set on white lace cloths. The candles and lace are put at the edge of the water. All of the people dress up in white clothing. The people dance and sing through the night. Gifts of fruit, perfume, and flowers are offered to the goddess of the sea, they call Iemanj(. Thanks are given for the year and they ask the goddess for blessings for the coming year. Al midnight the gifts are thrown into the water. If the gifts are washed away they believe the new year will be a good. Iemanja is a religious tradition which began in Africa. The tradition was continued after the Africans were brought to Brazil.
All Saints Day is not an official holiday but is celebrate by the religious community. Saints Day honors Saint Anthony, Saint John and Saint Peter. The celebration lasts for two weeks. They’re called the June Festivals.
The saint day called Our Lady of Aparecida takes place on October 12th. She is noted as the patron saint. The story behind this holiday had to deal with a fisherman and his two friends. They were fishing but were not catching anything. They prayed and then cast their net into the water. A large statue approximately two feet high was caught in their net. The statue was of the Virgin Mary. From then on the story says they caught several fish. Yearly million of people visit the church that was built to house the statue.
Christmas in Brazil is also a religious holiday. It is celebrated by the people going to church services, songs, and presents. Homes are decorated with mangers and Christmas tress. Supper on Christmas Eve is special because its family orientated. A special meal is prepared, consisting of vegetables, fruits, turkey or ham, sweets, and nuts. The dessert called rabanadas is a favorite among Brazilians. After they finished with supper the children go to bed. They wait for Father Christmas to come. Shoes are placed on windowsills or the floor. The gifts are left in the shoes.
Procedures: The students will be ask to write one page essay. Children will be asked to read their essays out loud.
Worksheet for Lesson Plan #5
|Name: ____________________||Date: _________________|
Worksheet for Lesson Plan #1
Musical Vocabulary List
Directions: Complete list, define each word.
17) Cabaca (kah-bah-say)
Lesson #6, Research Project #1
Objective: Students will gain knowledge of another culture.
Procedure: The students will research about Carnaval. Each group will have approximately five students. Each group will be responsible for the various components that make up Carnaval.
|Group I:||Samba Schools|
|Group II:||Floats (How they are made.)|
|Group III:||Instruments used|
|Group IV:||Background information on how Carnaval began as a holiday.|
Research Project #2
The Rain Forest
Objective: The students will be able to compare and contrast different biomes.
The students will be divided into groups of five. Each group will be responsible for a different topic that pertains to the Amazon Rain Forest.
This book provides a variety of Brazilian style recipes.
Christmas in Brazil. World Book Publications, Chicago: world Book 1991
Details and pictures describe this special holiday.
Lewington, Anna. Rain Forest Amerindians: Threatened Cultures. Austin Texas: Raintree Steck Vaughn Publications 1993.
This book provides information on the Indians still living in the rain forest.
Liza, Papi. African Brazilian Folklore and Crafts. New York Rizzoli: International 1994.
Describes the crafts and folklore, their origin relating to Carnaval.
Nambiquara Tribe Hands Around the World Indian Cultures from Around the World: http//indian-cultures.com/cultures/ticunc.html
This site provides information on the area, first contact made with tribe, population, language, economy, and artistic interest.
Slonimsky, Nicolas. Music of Latin America. Thomas Y. Cromwell Company, 1946.
The history and origin of the music in South America. Brazil has its own chapter. Book can be found in the Sterling Music Library Yale University.
Ticuna Tribe Hands Around the World Indian Cultures from Around the World: http://indian-cultures.com/cultures/ticunc.html.
Site gives information on the area, population, economics, language, and the arts.
Vianna, Hermano. The Mystery of Samba Popular Music and National Indentity in Brazil. North Carolina: North Carolina Press, 1999.
The history of Samba and how it became popular. Book can be found in Sterling Library, Yale University.
Wai Wai Tribe Hands Around the World Indian Cultures from Around the World: http://indian-cultures.com/cultures/wai.html.
Site provides information on the area, first contact made, population, language, economy, and artistic abilities.
Waimiri-Atroari Indians Hands Around the World Indian Cultures from Around the World: http://indian-cultures.com/cultures/waimiri.html.
Site provides information on the area, first contact made, population, language, economy, and artistic abilities.
This book reviews the geography, music, customs of Brazil
Waterlow, Julia. Brazil. The Bookwright Press New York, NY. 1992.
This book provides a comprehensive and up-to-date introduction to Brazil, highlighting the features that gives the country its particular character and describing what it is like to live there today.
The story is about two men in the Amazon Rain Forest in Brazil. Non-fiction gr.3-5
Jordan, Martin and Tanis. Journey of the Red-Eyed Tree Frog. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991.
This book is beautifully illustrated and follows the journey of a tiny tree frog as he struggles to save his home in the burning rain forest.
Kendall, Sarita. Ransom for a River Dolphin. Minneapolis: Lerner, 1993.
Carmenja finds a seriously hurt dolphin in the Amazon near her small Colombian village and nurses it back to health.
Lewis, Scott. The Rainforest Book. New York: Berkley Books, 1993.
This informative book provides up-to-date statistics and insight on the state of today’s rain forests for the middle grade teacher.
National Geographic Video Series. Amazon: Land of the Hooded Forest. National Geographic Society, 1990.
Graphic footage explores the natural wonders and extraordinary wildlife that exists in the Amazon’s forest, transformed by torrential rains.
Sperry, Armstrong. The Rainforest. New York: The Macmillan Company
Nature lovers, coloring book fans, and environmentalists of carefully researched, beautifully drawn portrayals of life in the world’s rainforests.
Ward Pat and Barbara. Science Activity Book Resource Rainforest. Mark Twain Media/Carson-Dellosa Publishing Company, Inc. 1998.
Information and worksheets along with illustrations. To be used for grades 5-8+
Edwards, Phyllis. Social Studies Series World Geography. Evan-Moor Corp. Monterey, CA, 1995.
This book contains materials to support learning, remembering about basic geography facts.
D.M.A. Mathieson Fisher Carol. Fine Arts Activity Book Music of Many Cultures.
Mark Twain Media/Carson-Dellosa Publishing Company, Inc. 1996.
McHenry, Ellen J. Musical Instruments Coloring Book. Dover Publications Inc. New York 1995.
Brief description of instrument and coloring page.
DiDominicis, Lynn. A Literature Guide for Using the Great Kapok Tree in the Classroom. Teacher Created Materials, Inc., 1997.
Video Visits Brazil Heart of South America, South American Collection, International Video Network, A Division of IVN Communications, Inc.
Contents of 2000 Volume V | Directory of Volumes | Index | Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute