Brazilian Samba

Samba is a genre of music that has its roots in Brazil but, much more than that, is woven into the national character and the identity of the country. It is very much part of the country’s African tradition, and can be traced back to the African continent via the West African slave trade.
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Brazilian Samba during the Carnival

The modern style of samba that most people will recognise was first popularised at the beginning of the 20th Century. Musically it consists of a 2/4 rhythm played by string instruments and various other percussion instruments. Later on, with the influence of other styles of music, it started to incorporate a more varied instrumental base, including trombones, flutes and clarinet.
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Samba isn’t, however, just about the music. The dance, the food and the costumes are all integral to the genre, and, largely thanks to Rio’s infamous Carnival, are just as recognisable to outsiders as the sound itself. It’s thanks to this easily identifiable aesthetic that samba is recognised as the definitive musical style of Brazil, even if other genres are now more popular in the country itself.
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Samba Pa Ti
The first recordings of samba came in the 1910s,
but the first to become popular was ´Pelo Telefone´. This recording, considered the first ‘official samba’ song, paved the way for the popularisation of the genre. Samba spread across Brazil, eventually leading to it mixing with other styles, finding it a wider audience.

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In the 60’s, a new subgenre Samba Rock was created by Jorge Ben Jor with his album "Bidu/Silêncio no Brooklin". He  was folloed by a great number of artists including Banda Black Rio, Trio Mocoto and Terra Samba.

Since this time samba has only grown, and today is one of the most popular, recognisable musical styles in the world.
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Suggested Listenings:
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Cartola
- Carlos Cachaça
- Ismael Silva
- Patrulha do Samba
- Zeca Pagodinho
- Seu Jorge
- Terra Samba
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Where to dance Samba?
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If you're interested in samba clubs, an excellent resource is 
www.samba-choro.com.br. It lists all the live Samba offered in Rio in a week, as well as Sao Paulo.
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