Brazil in France, 1922: An Anthropological Study of the Congenital International Nexus of Popular Music

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"Brazil in France, 1922: An Anthropological Study of the Congenital International Nexus of Popular Music," Rafael José De Menezes Bastos, Latin American Music Review, Volume 29, Number 1, Spring/Summer 2008, pp. 1-28

Abstract:

In 1922, the famous musical ensemble from Rio de Janeiro, Os Batutas, spent six months in Paris, playing in night clubs and parties. The group was under the direction of Pixinguinha and included Donga, composer of “Pelo Telefone’s” music. The trip is a little-known episode in the history of Brazilian popular music, with important consequences for Pixinguinha’s career and the future of Brazilian popular music. The article is an anthropological study, approaching it as the departure phase toward Pixinguinha’s consecration. Theoretically, the article is based on the author’s formulations regarding the understanding of popular music as a crucial language of the system of relationships of modern nation-states, with articulated local, regional, national, and global nexuses. Here art, folk, and popular music are considered as universes in communication and sound recording (“phonography”) as a constitutive process. The reconstruction of the journey is made through the reading of French newspaper and other texts of the time.