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Gerard Béhague, „Bossa & Bossas: Recent Changes in Brazilian Urban Popular Music”

Ethnomusicology, Vol. 17, No. 2 (May, 1973) pdf

 

Brazilian urban popular music of the last fifteen years has undergone drastic changes. The determinant factors for these changes are numerous and varied, and some of those will be briefly mentioned in this study. Since the advent of bossa nova (1958-59), the history of popular music in Brazil seems to have followed the fundamental pattern of modernization witnessed in the urban areas. The tremendous growth of urban population in the last fifteen years has made it possible to develop a diversified music market of incredible proportion for a so-called „underdeveloped” country. Moreover, the consequent emergence of a powerful urban middle class, with modernizing aspirations, has created a favorable climate for experimenting with new styles and for promoting greater competition among popular musicians. Social scientists define modern societies as being relatively secular, anthropocentric, and developing universalistic achievement and impersonal orientations. One characterization of modernization is the necessity to close the gap between what Shils calls the „center” and the „periphery,” i.e., between the „national” and the „international.”

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