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Co-option, Cultural Resistance, and Afro-Brazilian Identity: A History of the "Pagode" Samba

Movement in Rio de Janeiro

Author(s): Philip Galinsky
Source: Latin American Music Review / Revista de Música Latinoamericana, Vol. 17, No. 2
(Autumn - Winter, 1996), pp. 120-149
Published by: University of Texas Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/780347 .
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Philip Galinsky Co-option, Cultural
Resistance, and
Afro-Brazilian Identity:
A History of the Pagode
Samba Movement in
Rio deJaneiro

Lauded by popular composer and scholar

Nei Lopes as "the most important musical phenomenon of the 1980s in
Brazil" (1993, 7), the pagodetrend represents a major turning point for the
contemporary urban samba, Brazil'smost famous musical genre. Although
samba is an Afro-Brazilian expression nourished largely by the black and
mulatto working-classes in Rio deJaneiro (McGowan and Pessanha 1991,
28), the genre's constituent communities in that city (and throughout Bra-
zil) have long experienced a co-option of their music by Brazil's dominant
classes.This situationhas facilitatedthe abandonment of some of the samba's
most traditional elements in the name of commercial success or other
motivations. In particular,the Brazilian intelligentsia's tendency to regard
traditionalblack Brazilian expression as a relic of the past, irrelevant to the
more pressing concerns of modernity (and thus of internationalization),
has deeply affected the samba and other Brazilian art forms (Lopes 1993,
6-7). Yet, ever since the genre's inception in Rio around the turn of the
century,many samba musicians have countered co-option and its economic,
social, ideological, and musical ramificationswith a strong show of cultural
resistance; the pagodecurrent of the 1970s and 80s is exemplary of this
legacy of resistance.
Based on the informal, communal gathering of musicians (pagode),the
movement was generated spontaneously in Rio's working-class suburbs in
the mid- 1970spartially as a response to the commercialization and corrup-
tion of the city's escolasde samba,or samba schools (large-scale, organized
carnival parade groups). The resultant style blended traditional elements
of the samba that had been somewhat neglected up to that point with a
modified instrumentation and a modern, innovative sound. As such, the
pagodephenomenon captivated a diverse Brazilianaudience which included
members of the nation's largely white middle class. At the same time, it

LatinAmericanMusicReview,Volume17,Number2, Fall/Winter1996
?1996 by the Universityof TexasPress,P.O. Box 7819,Austin,TX 78713-7819

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Pagode SambaMovement: 121

asserted a traditional Afro-Brazilian identity that countered the pervasive

internationalizing trend in Brazilian popular music-which has impacted
Rio's music industry particularly since the 1970s (Lopes 1986, 93).
In the mid- to late-1980s, the "rootsy"pagodestyle of samba and its ac-
companying event (the informal samba gathering) were popular through-
out Brazil. But by the early 1990s, a new, more commercialized samba
wave-also called pagode-had replaced the older style in the media. Today,
the traditionalpagodeis confined mainly to black and mixed-race working-
class neighborhoods where, despite its marginalization in the media, it still
enjoys a vigorous appeal alongside the new pagodeand imported black
This article attempts to show how the two idioms known as pagodeform
divergent sonic and ideological perspectives: one of a national, tradition-
bound Afro-Brazilian cultural lineage (the older pagode),and the other, of
an internationalized black Brazilian aesthetic (the new pagode).I examine
both movements, with an emphasis on the earlier one, in light of co-op-
tion, cultural resistance, and Afro-Brazilian identity, while also touching
upon questions of race, class, and authenticity.' I contend that the history
of the pagodereveals the strugglesAfro-Braziliansface in assertingthe samba
tradition in the mass media and wider society, while also exemplifying the
tenacity and renovative character of that tradition.

A History of Pagode

Originsand A Historyof the OriginalMovement

Curiously derived from "pagoda" (an Asian temple), the term pagode(pro-
nounced "pa-GOH-gee") literally means "fun,""joke,"or "merrymaking"
in Portuguese (Lopes n.d., 51). However, in the parlance of the carioca(na-
tive of Rio deJaneiro), and of urban Brazilians in general, the word has
also long meant an informal, communal gathering of sambistas(samba prac-
titioners) as well as the samba music played at such an event (ibid., 56).
Some well-known musicians even claim that during the slave era the term
was used to mean a party on the slave plantations, although I have not
encountered written historical evidence to back this assertion.2
Pagode-likeevents-whether referred to as pagodesor not-date back at
least to the urban samba's beginnings in Rio in the late nineteenth to early
twentieth centuries. In this era, at the houses of the Afro-Bahian commu-
nity in the city's center, large-scale festive parties with food, drink, and
improvised samba were abundant.3 These parties not only united Rio's
black and mulatto communities (some whites did participate, however),
but also-especially at Tia (Aunt) Ciata's house-they were instrumental in

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122 : Philip Galinsky

the genre's early development. Indeed, the very first song to be registered
and recorded as a "samba," and a carnival hit of the 1917 season, "Pelo
Telefone,"was created out of spontaneous improvisations at Ciata's home.4
The pagodeevent spread to the Afro-Braziliancommunities of Rio's sub-
urbs and favelas (slums) as well, following samba'sjourney from the center
to the fringes of the city. This geographical move reflected in part the flee-
ing of samba musicians from the authorities, who prohibited the music
and persecuted its practitioners in the early years of this century (Mukuna
1979, 78; Raphael 1990, 74). Residentialparties,streetgatherings,and events
associated with the city's carnival "samba school" associations (which had
begun in 1928) were all sources of the pagodeevent, as was the annual fair
in the Rio suburb of Penha (Festa da Penha), which spawned sambas re-
corded by the music industry (Lopes 1986, 106).
The pagode,however, seems to have taken its current form as a "back-
yard"phenomenon (fundode quinta) at the end of the 1960s at the home of
Sr. Alcides in the Rio neighborhood of Botafogo (Lopes n.d., 58). Accord-
ing to Lopes, "There, around a large table, instrumentalists, singers and
composers gathered together in the utmost informality. And Sr. Alcides
secured some money selling beer" (ibid.). The format of this now-defunct
pagodewas later echoed by a resourceful group of musicians and compos-
ers in Rio's North Zone suburb of Ramos who, associated with the carnival
bloco(bloc) Cacique de Ramos, gave birth to the pagodemovement in the
The rise of the pagodemovement in Rio can be seen as a creative re-
sponse by samba's innovators to a co-option of their music and of the
samba schools-particularly to a marginalization of the schools' compos-
ers-all of which reached a pinnacle in the late 1970s. By the 1960s, middle
class Brazilians had embraced the samba schools as bastions of authentic
national popular culture, and members of Rio's bourgeoisie began to infil-
trate the organizations (Raphael 1990, 81). While some only paraded, oth-
ers took on leadership roles, earning large sums as choreographers and
designers (1990,81). Meanwhile, the schools' neighborhood members ironi-
cally found it increasingly difficultjust to afford their own costumes (1990,
81), even in spite of generous support provided by outside sponsors. Nota-
bly, such sponsors have included gangsters called bicheiroswho, with few
exceptions, now control the workings of the schools either as elected offi-
cials or through puppet leaders (Guillermoprieto 1990, 79). By the 1970s,
some neighborhood school members were being denied the right to pa-
rade since the group could incur penalties in the competition if it was too
big (Raphael 1990, 80). And the samba school composers who once could
use the school headquarters as a place to perform and enjoy non-carnival
samba year round, found that in the 1970s the schools were fostering only
the annual theme samba (samba-enredo) in the interest of a profit.
Indeed, it was principally Rio's dominant classes who had come to

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Pagode SambaMovement: 123

benefit economically from the samba, while the "majorityof sambistascon-

tinued to be poor and anonymous" (Lopes 1993, 6). Although traditional
samba did flourish both artisticallyand commercially in the 1970s through
the work of several important figures (Martinhoda Vila, Paulinho da Viola,
Beth Carvalho, Clara Nunes, Alcione, and others), a more formulaic ten-
dency known as samba-j6ia (gem samba) also won favor at this time
(McGowan and Pessanha 1991, 50). But by the latter part of the decade,
the samba had lost status in the official culture. Not only did it cede both
media and recording industry attention to international trends, but also
the samba schools ceased to be considered the epitome of Rio's popular
culture (Lopes 1993, 7). As Lopes indicates, "It was then that the genuine
sambistasprofoundly renovated the thematic and melodic conception of
the samba's dynamic rhythm, a renovation which led to ... the pagod'e
The Bloco Carnavalesco Cacique de Ramos (The Indian Chief of Ramos
Carnival Bloc) was founded by the brothers Bira and Ubirany (president
and vice-president of the club, respectively) in 1961 "for fun ... to gather
people to have fun at carnival."5 Yet, in addition to being a spectacular
carnival group, the blocoserved as a recreational club that offered parties,
soccer games, and pagodesto its constituency as an alternative to the stifling
environment of the samba schools (Pereira 1993, 99; McGowan and
Pessanha 1991, 50). The pagodeactivity startedaround 1974.Every Wednes-
day evening after a free-form soccer game, blocomembers and their friends
would gather to eat, drink, and play samba. Ubirany explained to me how
the Cacique de Ramos drew the cream of Rio's samba musicians and com-
posers in the 1970s:
In this epoch [the 1970s]the escolasde sambawere becoming much more
closed.So you gatheredat a sambaschoolrehearsal,[and]you simplyheard
the sambaof the escolaand sambaof other escolasbeing sung. So it wasn't
that beautifulrehearsalas it was in the past, I mean, before that epoch.
Those... pastoras[women singersof an escola]dancingthe samba in the
middleof the quadra[rehearsalhall].Youused to see, you used to listento-
beforethe samba-de-enredo [themesambafor carnival]-thatsamba-de-terreiro
[sambaof the sambaschool headquarters], the composerthere to sing his
samba.[In a quietervoice] But it was closed. The escolasde sambacame to
makealmostwhatwas practicallya battle,it wasn'tlike the type of carnival
ball-[in a quietervoice]it wasn'tthe sambaschoolrehearsalas it usedto be.
So the composers[didnot have]a place wherethey could showtheirwork,
to singtheirsamba.And the Caciquede Ramoswas open for this.Then we
came to see the most diversecomposersof the big [samba]schoolsgoing to
Caciqueon thatWednesday.It wasa good pleasurethatI cansingmy samba.
And it becametraditional,thisWednesday,you understand?Bambas[samba
masters]really,big composersof the escolas,
allgatheredat Caciquetheresing-
ing samba.So it cameto be a [orthe?]strongholdof the samba,you know?

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124 : Philip Galinsky

From Cacique's weekly informal meetings eventually emerged the semi-

nal pagodeensemble, Grupo Fundo de Quintal (The Backyard Group). Ini-
tially consisting of Bira, Ubirany, Sereno, Jorge Aragao, Neoci, Almir
Guineto, and Sombrinha (the latter two joined Cacique in 1979),the group
had no intentions of becoming professional or of launching a movement.
As Ubirany told me, "It wasn't a researched thing, a movement where it
was intended to arrive at something, no."7 Nevertheless, a whole network
of sambistasthat included Arlindo Cruz (who laterjoined Fundo de Quin-
tal), Zeca Pagodinho,Jovelina Perola Negra, Beto Sem Braco, and Pedrinho
da F16rconvened at Cacique, all gaining recognition along with Fundo de
Quintal in the 1980s.
The members of Fundo de Quintal furnished a new instrumentation for
the samba. Almir Guineto supplied a small, four-stringbanjo that substi-
tuted for (or complemented) the typical cavaquinho(four-stringukelele-like
instrument). Sereno offered the tan-tanor tanta, a drum resembling a pa-
rade conga played with the hands on the lap, supplanting the heavier surdo
bass drum, which is struck with a mallet. And Ubirany modified the high-
pitched repiquetenor drum to be played with the hands, yielding the repique-
de-mdo(hand-repique).In addition to these innovations, Bira played pandeiro
(Brazilian tambourine), Jorge Aragao played six-string violao (guitar),
Sombrinha played seven-string violao,and Neoci contributedvocals. (Later,
on record and in live performances the group added Ademir Batera on
drum set as well as other guest instrumentalists on surdo,bass, and so on.)
The Cacique gang revived old samba forms neglected by the escolas,such
as the partido-alto,and their lyrics were unpretentious, centering on situa-
tions from daily life (McGowan and Pessanha 1991, 50).
Fundo de Quintal and the pagodemovement in general gained wider
exposure largely through the efforts of the popular samba vocalist Beth
Carvalho. In 1977, Carvalho participated in the Cacique pagodeand later
invited members of the collective there to appear on two of her LPs, De Pe
No Chao(1978) and No Pagode(1979), before taking them on a nationwide
tour. Then in 1980, Carvalho brought to Cacique Durval Ferreira of the
Sao Paulo record company RGE-the first, and ultimately, most important
label involved in the pagodemovement-resulting in Fundo de Quintal's
debut recording, SambaE No FundoDo Quintal(Samba Is in the Backyard).
With barely any promotion at all, the album sold 30,000 copies, and the
group went on to record with all of the big names in samba as well as
supply their highly regarded composing talents to other artists;Carvalho,
for instance, relied heavily on the group's material and instrumental skills
on her albums in the 1980s. According to one article in the Brazilian press,
by the mid-1980s, a majority of the albums by samba artists had at least
three or four songs composed by members of Fundo de Quintal.9
The ensemble-which has had a periodically shifting lineup of musicians
since its inception-has continued to release its own albums, winning

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Pagode SambaMovement: 125

commercial success and critical acclaim. Today, Fundo de Quintal remains

Brazil's foremost traditionalpagodeband.10
By 1983, the newly invigoratedpagodeevent had spread throughoutRio's
sprawling suburbs (Moura et al. 1988, 143). In addition to Cacique, other
important locales had emerged, including the Clube do Samba in Meier,
the Terreirao da Doca in Oswaldo Cruz with the rehearsals of the Old
Guard of the legendary Portelasamba school, and the Pagode do Arlindinho
in Cascadura (Lopes n.d., 58). In 1983, following Fundo de Quintal's con-
tinued success, the movement also began consistently to infiltrate the me-
dia in defiance of the city's FM radio stations'longtime neglect of the samba.
While Radio Cidade FM began to include some samba in its program-
ming during carnival season (Lopes 1986, 101),homemade tapes recorded
live with samba composers were played on Radio Ipanema's eight-hour
time-slot devoted to pagode.1 Zeca Pagodinho-a one-time Ramos adher-
ent and one of the most dynamic and influentialpagodepioneers-made his
phonographic debut that year as well, singing with Beth Carvalho on
"Camarao Que Dorme A Onda Leva" (The Wave Takes the Shrimp That
Sleeps), a now classic tune authored by Beto Sem Braco, Pagodinho, and
Arlindo Cruz. According to one source, in 1983 the pagodebegan to sur-
pass the samba-enredo (theme samba for carnival) in popularity.12
The year 1986 marked the explosion of the pagodemovement in the
media.13RGE released ten LPs of "pagode,"FM radio stations in Rio and
Sao Paulo decreased their performance of international music and began
to play pagode devotedly to great success, and Zeca Pagodinho, Almir
Guineto, andJovelina Perola Negra all produced hit records for RGE in
1986, becoming huge stars. Selling 600,000 units that year, the inimitable
Guineto earned the title, "King of Pagode." The new samba luminaries,
without abandoning their suburban audiences, began to perform on con-
cert stages and in clubs in Rio and other cities to the general public. Large-
scale festivals and free shows of pagodewere promoted by radio stations
and Rio's tourism agency (Riotur)that year and next. Meanwhile, the tra-
ditional events themselves around Rio were filled with Brazilians of the
most diverse social classes, to which many press articles at the time attest.
Indeed, the style had won an entirely new audience for samba among the
middle class, whose identification with the movement is confirmed by ra-
dio play and demographically factored record sales (Perrone 1989a, 204).'4
By this time, the pagodeevent had pervaded the country from north to
south. It was occurring every night of the week as much in Sao Paulo as in
Rio, although the style and repertory in Sao Paulo were based on Rio's
tradition.15 In Rio, the pagodesof the so-called tias (literally, "aunts";Afro-
Brazilian matriarchs)of the poorer North Zone were predominant, though
the wealthier South Zone had certain bars featuring the music as well; in
Sao Paulo, the event occurred near the center of the city, in the region of
theJardins and of the beach (principallyin Itarar6).16 By 1986, Rio's samba

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126 : Philip Galinsky

schools had acknowledged the phenomenon as well, almost all of them

featuring their pagodenights.7 And the Cacique quadra(headquarters)it-
self, which previously might have attracted only eighty people, came to
take in eight thousand during the pagodeboom.18
By 1988, the pagodehad peaked commercially (Lopes 1993, 7). Ceding
its position to subsequent fads, such as sertanejo(a mixture of Brazilian
country and romantic musics), lambada,and Bahian axe-music,the pagode
became relegated primarily to the suburbs and morros(hill-side slums) of
Rio and poor neighborhoods of other Brazilian urban centers. Pagodeart-
ists still released records but their public appearances were no longer on
the same scale. By 1990, Rio's prestigious Canecao, a gauge of success, no
longer featured the pagodeirosbecause they were unable to draw large

1990s Pagode

Around 1992, a new crop of groups emerged onto the national scene play-
ing a more polished samba. Instead of addressing the problems of living
on the fringes of the city or everyday issues, as the original pagodeiroshad
often done, most have focused on sentimental love, with a highly romantic
lyrical style borrowed from the sertanejo.20 Some samba bands have re-
tained the pagodeinstruments of their innovative forbears; others favor the
more common surdo, tamborim(small frame drum hit with a stick), and
cavaquinho.More significantly, many have embraced electric guitar, syn-
thesizers, and brass instruments, in addition to electric bass and drum set
(which the original pagodealready made use of).
This new sound is achieving a success in the 1990s that in some cases
exceeds that which the original movement had in the 1980s. Radio and
television have attended greatly to the current trend and all classes and
races in today's Brazil are consuming samba, which as of 1994 was selling
much better than rock music.21 To be sure, record buyers, who can afford
usually no more than one record a month, buy what they hear on the
radio.22The new samba has also infiltrated the club scene as a romantic
dancehall style. In fact, in 1994 it was far easier to hear cover bands play-
ing newer pagodehits and other pop songs at dances in Rio than to hear the
older style either in concert settings or as it is played traditionally-at an
informal gathering with no stage, no amplification, and no cover charge.
To experience the latter, I had mostly to venture to remote suburbs, where
the old pagodeand new pagodeare both enjoyed.
The new surge of samba is still referred to as pagode,although much of
it has also more appropriately garnered the title suingue(Brazilian Portu-
guese for "swing"),the label for a type of samba from Sao Paulo with a
strong U.S. soul influence and the marked use of brass instruments. The

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Pagode SambaMovement: 127

prominent popular musicianJorge BenJor (formerlyJorge Ben), who pio-

neered this sound in the 1960s, is the forerunner and idol of some of the
samba acts now enjoying fame. Raca Negra (BlackRace), which formed in
Sao Paulo in the early 1980s, has adapted Benjor's influence into a pop
formula, becoming the most successful and perhaps the least traditional of
the 1990s bands. Epitomizing the current suinguesound, the group sells an
average of one million units per release23and performs an average of thirty
shows a month.24The label sambanejo(samba mixed with sertanejo) has also
come into currency to describe the sentimental quality of Raca Negra and
other groups. Along with Raca Negra, the Rio-based groups S6 Pra
Contrariar (Only To Contradict) and Razao Brasileira (Brazilian Reason)
were the most popular pagodeacts in 1994.25

A Musical Analysis of the Old and New PagodeStyles

Pagodeis defined principally as the gathering of musicians to play samba; it

is not a separate musical genre, as the mass media ostensibly led many
Brazilians to believe. For this reason, Ubirany is quick to deny claims that
Fundo de Quintal invented the pagode:

Pagodeis a meeting of people to sing samba . and we didn'tcreatethe

pagodebecausethe meeting to sing sambawas alwaysdone.... Now, it's
only we of GrupoFundode Quintalwho enjoya pagodein ourway withour
instruments... our formof singingand of composing,you understand?So
we simplycame to add, but we didn'tcreateit.26

Lopes concurs with Ubirany's definition of the word, stating that, "Pagode
is not a musical genre, it is more a place and behavior. But one can speak
of a type of samba in which this instrumentation [i.e., banjo, tantd,repique-
de-mdo,and so on] is used."27It is this samba style-defined by its instru-
mentation, playing techniques, and musical traits-that I will briefly eluci-
date here, comparing it to the 1990s tendency.
Musically, the pagodestyle of the 1980s is not radically different from
the traditional type of samba that had developed in the morros(hill-side
slums) and working-class suburbs of Rio. Charles Perrone claims that the
musical structure of pagodeis "essentially the same as modern samba de
morro"(1989a, 204). Music scholar Sergio Cabral calls the pagode"a recu-
peration of old elements of the samba but without the old flavor, that is to
say, with a young flavor because the composers that made this music were
Cabral further sees the pagodeas a musical response to a transformation
of the samba-enredo (theme samba for carnival), which had greatly sped up
in tempo to enable the increasingly large schools to parade within their
specified time limit.29In the process, the samba-enredo
is said to have turned

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128 : Philip Galinsky

into another, more middle-class carnival genre-the marcha(march)-and

to have lost its rhythmic subtleties and distinctiveness:
In acceleratingits tempo ... the samba-enredo
turnedinto marcha. [And]with
thistype of sambalost a lot. It lost its
the accelerationof the samba-enredo...
subtleties.One sambaschool bateria[drumand percussioncorps]became
equalto the otherbecausethey all cameto playthe samething,becausethey
have to accompanythe samerhythm,the sametempo.It impoverishedthe
The pagode,Cabral argues, successfully attended to these shortcomings in
the samba:
The pagodesambacame to correctthis deficiencyin the samba[evidentin
the samba-enredo]
becausefromthispagodemovementyou beganto discover,
to perceivesubtletiesthat ... had been abandoned:the violdo[guitar],the
seven-stringvioldo,certainthingsin the accompaniment.The lyrics them-
selvescameto haveimportance.A slowertempo.[Fromthepagode ] emerged
a fantasticgenerationof sambistas.31
One of the defining features of the pagodeis its rhythmic texture, con-
veyed below in Figure 3. Given the highly improvisational nature of the
music in which rhythms are constantly evolving according to the whim
and interaction of the players, all notated parts here are prototypical. They
are meant not necessarily as precise descriptions of what musicians actu-
ally play, but as prescriptive patterns that can give the reader some sense
for what this music sounds like. The pagodestyle is based on the peculiar
combination of three primarypercussion instruments-tantd, repique-de-mdo,
and pandeiro-all of which are played with the hands. This feature, along
with the pagode'ssmall-group format, lends the style a softer, more intimate
sound than the hard-edged batucada(samba performance with various per-
cussion instruments) exemplified by the samba schools. As Ubirany as-
serts, "The hand is our principal instrument. Nothing is more sensitive
than the hand to take to the people the sound of our land."32
The tantdis positioned on the lap, and while the right hand beats out
the basic rhythm on the skin, the left hand percusses off-beatson the wooden
body. The smaller, higher-pitched repique-de-mao is played in a similar fash-
ion. As a substitute for the deep surdobass drum, the tantamarks the 2/4
meter of the samba, accenting the second beat of the measure, while the
repiqueswings on top of the tantdisstrong pulse by playing variations around
it.33The pandeiro,a tambourine that is played with a variety of hand strokes,
adds to this texture primarily by offering a sixteenth-note locomotion; also
common, however, is a syncopated pattern known as the partido-altofig-
ure.34Although the latter traditionally characterizes the partido-altosong
form, it may be used in other song forms as well. I have included both

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Pagode SambaMovement: 129

patterns for pandeirohere and if there are two players, the two parts may be
played simultaneously.
The banjo or cavaquinhoplayer in a samba or pagodeensemble usually
bases his (I use the male possessive pronoun here because women rarely
play pagodeinstruments) rhythms loosely on an Afro-Brazilian time-line
figure of Central African origin which Gerhard Kubik has called the
"Angola/Zairesixteen-pulse standardpattern,"a defining traitof the samba
as seen in Figure 1. (1979, 17)

Figure 1.Angola/Zaire Sixteen-pulse Standard Pattern

X . X . X . XX X . X . X . (nine-stroke version)

X . X . X X . X . X .. (seven-stroke version)

I have found that in much traditional samba, Figure 1 most often occurs in
its nine-stroke incarnation beginning from the second pulse; this is equiva-
lent to the classic samba figure played on the tamborim(small frame drum
hit with a stick), which may be regarded as an elaboration of the partido-
alto figure as seen in Figure 2.

Figure2. Classic tamborimtime-line

. Xx X x . . . xx.X

Adapted loosely from Leci Brandao's hit song "Isso E Fundo de Quintal,"
the stock banjo and cavaquinhoparts notated in Figure 3 fill in the empty
pulses of the classic tamborimfigure (Figure 2); in practice, the two parts
vary throughout a piece to complement each other rhythmically.The banjo
in particularis notable for adding little thirty-second note palhetadas(from
palheta, the pick used to play the instrument) to invigorate the rhythm at
certain points.35
The ganzaand-in concerts or on recordings,but not at traditionalevents-
drum set may support the sixteenth-note subdivisions iterated by the
pandeiro.The drum set player also adds syncopated fills on the tom-toms
and crash cymbal at key moments; the crash often coincides with points
other than beat 1 (such as the "and"of 1), creating rhythmic tension. The
electric bass emphasizes the pulse, and the handclapped patterns, usually
simple one- or two-bar rhythms, function as intermittent quasi-time-line
figures that appear during choral refrains or exciting musical junctures.36

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130 : Philip Galinsky

Figure3. Basic Rhythmic Structure of Pagode

1 1 1 I I
rantaf Jl J LX J x

k k k k
de mao



Tamborimn X
0r 0
r v
0 a
^ f au
trlgure z)

i i I4 I
U41 I I I I

Though it designates a way of playing samba, pagodedoes not necessar-

ily connote any particular samba variant. As Ubirany explains:
Pagodeis a meetingof people to sing samba.In this pagodethat I cite as a
meetingof people to sing samba,there everythingcan happenin termsof
samba.You can sing the samba-de-terreiro.You can sing a sambaromdntico
[romanticsamba].You can sing partido-alto! You can sing a samba-de-roda
[ruralcircle-samba]. can sing samba in its most diversemodalities.37
This statement was confirmed by my research outings to traditionalpagodes
in Rio, where I witnessed samba-de-roda, bossa nova, and samba-enredo, in
addition to 1980s pagodeand the latest pagodehits being played and sung
with equal enthusiasm in an informal manner.
But the pagodestyle as displayed on recordings is not quite as encom-
passing as the music played at the traditional events. Lopes notes two main
tendencies in recorded pagode:a slower, harmonically rich samba and the

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Pagode SambaMovement: 131

Figure3. (cont.)

1 r 1
$iti,J J J 3JJ J (J.J JJ. ^ ,

$-i Ir7 I I
-I I I

or j U
"palhetada" I


t Y r 1 y 7y Y

1i\. IJ JL 1

1 X J J x Jx J J Jx JJJJ J
Drum-set |

partido-alto.38The slower pagode,Lopes says, "revisitsthe bossa nova" and

is exemplified by the composersJorge Aragao and Adilson Victor.39"And
the partido alto ... that was half-marginalized gained a new impulse, prin-
cipally with the first-rateverses of Almir Guin6to and Zeca Pagodinho."40
The partido-alto,also known as pagode(Cameiro 1974, 49), is a samba
variation that probably originated in Bahia and may have strong links to
the Congo-Angolan batuque,a series of dances considered to be the Afri-
can antecedent to the samba (see Lopes 1992).41According to Antenor
Nascentes, the denomination partido-altodenotes the samba practiced by a

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132 : Philip Galinsky

Figure4. "Dor de Amor" (excerpt)

1 = Beth Carvalho
2 = Zeca Pagodinho
1 nb BLbm7(b5) Ab ,GL F7

r i r^W^D^
Xi i; (no chord)
6Blmin7 EL 21


261^ 2.U 1 jf' BLA

Bbmin7 At,Eb7 IstxonlyA F

:$ C
F min7 Echorus
26 2b. Eb7

A. Ab7 A bmin Ab7

partido,a union of men who share the same ideas that presumes itself "high"
or elite (Lopes 1992, 48). The partido-altosong form (traditionallyaccom-
panying a round dance) is performed as a desafio(musical duel) by two or
more contestantsand it comprises a choral refrainthat alternateswith verses
which traditionally are improvised or taken from the oral tradition (1992,
51). The partido-altohas had many outstanding exponents in Rio over the
years, though it was the sambistaMartinho da Vila who brought this song
form-albeit without improvisation-to the Brazilian public in 1967; this
new partido-altowas widely consumed in the commercial realm into the
1970s (1992, 42). Then again, in the 1980s, the partido-altosong form was

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Pagode SambaMovement: 133

Figure4. (cont.)
34 r^ Dl? D[min B[lm7(b5)

- F7
Ab B6rin7 7 1 Eb7

42 Cmin7 F7 BbTin7 7 i Eb7

~ib;br ITCm'^a ;

46 Ab F7 min7 E7

54 Ab GbchorusF 7 Bbmin7 Et7 1(

-A Fmin7
458 b J; JJ chorus...

to A

Performedby Beth Carvalhowith Zeca Pagodinho

on Beth (LPRCAVictor 110.0027,1986)

foregrounded in pagodegatherings, shows, and recording sessions, clearly

carrying a special importance for its practitioners. As Ubirany told me, "I
think that the partido-altowas one of the bigreasons for this pagodeboom.
I'm certain of that.... [T]he importance of the partido-altoto the pagodeis
Figure 4 is an excerpt from Beth Carvalho's rendition of "Dor de Amor"
(Pain of Love), a popular song in the partidostyle sung in duet with Zeca
Pagodinho from Carvalho's 1986 album Beth (LP RCA Victor 110.0027).
Harmonically, the song relies on a iim7-V7-I-VI7 sequence, a common
progression in partido-alto.As is typical, the verse section is more complex

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134 : Philip Galinsky

Figure5. "Malandro"(excerpt)
1Aa andante D 1stx only

i ^ Jll-- - i--- J 3D
2nd x only
3 CJ7 C77 F#Mm7(b5)

6 F#m7(b5) B7 B7

9 E7 E7 A7

12 A7 AD D

Xi' 1J 4!| J
C#7 C#7

18 F#m7(75) B7 B7

21 Em7(b5) Em7(b5) A7
? r
^'uu ^rrr}~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

than the refrain, harmonically moving from the tonic to the subdominant
and back to the tonic. Melodically, the vocal melody of the verse is also
more active, featuring syncopated manipulations of three-note groupings
often phrased "across bar lines" (here, groups of four sixteenth-notes in
which the first and last notes are tied to the previous and subsequent beats,
respectively), which are reiterated as the harmony modulates to the IV
chord and returns to the tonic. This vocal rhythm in three-note groupings
allied with the basic harmonic scheme of I-IV-I as exhibited in the verse is
very common in partido-alto,and many other pagodepieces have these same

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Pagode SambaMovement: 135

Figure5. (cont.)
A7 . . rn A7
24 -

verse melody repeats

with some variafion
27 g Am7(b5) A6m7(65)

30 A7 A7 F#min

33 F#7 B7 B7

j-'r r
v r ?: ci
36 Emin Emin A7

39 D D7

repeat B;
42 3A7 - I 7 7 1 at sign gotoCoda

to Intro

Performed by Jorge Aragao

on Um Jorge (CD RGE 342.6159, 1993)

characteristics. In addition, the piece features other standard isorhythms,

such as
nl - I In -. I

In typical fashion, the coda of the song is a repeated vamp that comprises
a line sung by one of the two soloists followed by a shortened choral re-
sponse; the solo singers alternate lines every repetition of the vamp.

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136 : Philip Galinsky

The romantic vein cited by Lopes is also pervasive, forming a second

major division of pagodesongs. Jorge Aragao's eloquent samba co-written
withJotabe called "Malandro"-stillone of the most popular songs in pagode
gatherings-exemplifies this variationwith a slow tempo, an expertly crafted
melody, and a comparatively sophisticated chord progression. The vocal
melody here also features sixteenth-notes tied over into three-note group-
ings and some of the same isorhythms found in "Dor de Amor."
In addition to these basic stylistic categories, other variantsof the samba,
such as the up-tempo samba-de-bloco played by groups like the Cacique de
Ramos during carnival, classic samba of the Old Guard of Rio's samba
schools, rural samba and other folkloric genres, samba-enredo, bossa nova,
and even the Afro-Bahian afoxeihavesurfaced on recordings by traditional
In general, the 1990s samba conforms more closely to conventions of
internationalpop than does the traditionalpagode.Characterizedby a mod-
ern, electric instrumentation, heavily romantic lyrics, and an expanded
repertoire encompassing slow, romantic samba, ultra-modernpartido-alto,
suingue,and even covers by groups such as The Beatles, Simply Red, and
the Brazilian rocker Lulu Santos, the new samba pares its rhythm down to
its basics, relying on standardized and elementary patterns for drum set,
surdo,and pandeiro;this contrasts with the complex and dynamic rhythmic
tapestry inherent in the old pagode.In much of the music the drummer will
place a snare drum back-beat on the "2"of the 2/4 measure along with the
surdobass drum, lending the rhythm a more moder feel. Unison vocals
by the group's members-ostensibly derived from the way they are per-
formed at the events themselves-contrast with the varied call-and-response
vocal patterns found in much traditional recorded pagode(this unison tech-
nique was always utilized by Fundo de Quintal in some songs, however).
Many of the new samba bands are not properly considered pagodebut
suingue.43Representing the homogenization of a style originally explored
byJorge Benjor, the current sufngueoriginating from Sao Paulo is defined
by a peculiar and persistent electric or acoustic guitar rhythm that serves
as a sort of time-line (sixteenth-note ghosted notes typically fill out the
accents) as seen in Figure 6.

Figure6. SuingueGuitar Rhythm #1


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Pagode SambaMovement: 137

This figure is pervasive in Brazilian music, appearing also in bossa nova,

Bahian samba-reggae, and traditional samba. Another common variation of
this pattern is seen in Figure 7.

Figure 7 SuingueGuitar Rhythm #2

ir 6 n 7 n t ly n i, ry i .
Figures 6 and 7 tend to be employed on medium-tempo, brassy pieces.
A more intricate pattern is found on most suingueballads.

Figure8. SuingueGuitar Rhythm #3 for Ballads, with Variations


Ul:li: J Ii InY ll II I0JIi lJmmI1T:

c d

Chord progressions in suinguetend to be simpler than and quite distinct

from traditional samba harmonies, while the tunes themselves feature less
forward momentum and a propensity for repeated notes. Sufngueis further
distinguished by synthesized or live brass that play syncopated lines in
between vocal sections or around vocal lines on medium tempo songs;
lush synthesizer and wind arrangements adorn the slow ballads. Figure 9 is
an excerpt from the 1994 hit song "Cacamba"by Grupo Molejo, which is
in the suinguestyle and exemplifies the 1990s samba sound. The basic rhyth-
mic time-line in the accompaniment is the pattern in Figure 6.

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138 : Philip Galinsky

Figure9.eCacamba" (excerpt)
Refrain: F#

h^V't'SEBOaJ I'JB-f
D#min leader...... G#min chorus ......

chorus ....
G#min leader ......

t) 1 leader......
1C# F

C# Intro: F
9 1st x only
: f rJ' III rI
p' chorus with vocables.
D#min G#min

G#min C#

C# F#

5###### Lr:rYYF~

Co F#
17 I . 1 2.

i##'- I- - I
Pagode,Cultural Resistance, and Afro-BrazilianIdentity

Epitomizing the differences between the older and newer pagodestyles, the
following two songs reveal starklycontrasting sonic textures and Afro-Bra-
zilian ideologies. "Eu Nao Falo Gringo" (I Don't Speak Gringo), written by
Joao Nogueira and Nei Lopes and performed by Nogueira (AcervoEspecial,
BMG 109.0311), asserts both musically and lyrically a strong Afro-Brazil-
ian, nationalist stance when confronted with the imposition of cultural

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Pagode SambaMovement: 139

influence from the United States.44The refrain of the song embodies this
I don'tspeakgringo/Ionly speakBrazilian/Idon'tspeakgringo/Ionly speak
Brazilian/Andthepagodewas createdtherein Rio deJaneiro/Myprofession
is bicho[theillegalanimallottery]/Ising sambathe whole yearlong.
Each subsequent verse of the song comments on the narrator's opinions
on U.S. culture or political activities, countering them with his unabashed
preferences for Brazilian culture. Musically, the song is in the format of the
neo-traditional partido-alto,and with the exception of an unobtrusive snare
drum hit on every other downbeat of the 2/4 measure, it has a conven-
tional 1980s pagodesound.
By sharp contrast, S6 Preto Sem Preconceito's song "Rap da Diferenca"
(Rap of the Difference) from their most recent 1995 recording Chegoupara
Abalar(EMI 834341 2) reveals a much more accommodating ideology vis-
a-vis U. S. cultural influence. The refrain of the song plainly states this
point of view: "What is the difference between samba and funk?/One is
pretty, the other elegant." The song's verses embrace both traditional and
international styles of music, dress, and dance, suggesting that both are
valid sources of black Brazilian identity. Musically, the piece supports this
modern (or postmodern) philosophy with a hybrid samba-funk beat, elec-
tric instruments, a catchy melody and orchestration, and intermittent
sampled sounds. Even a reference to the famous vocal build-up section in
the classic "Twistand Shout" is provided by the group at one point in the
song, a practice which is unthinkable in the traditional pagode of Joao
Nogueira and others.
For the musical and ideological differences between the older and newer
pagode,a polemic has erupted in the samba world and media between those
opposed to the new samba and those who accept and favor it. In general,
proponents of the samba tradition-which includes the original pagode-are
scornful of the current bands. For example, Jamelao, a carnival singer for
the venerable Mangueira samba school, scathingly attacksthe new groups,
There'sa fool for everything,the public acceptsany rubbish.These guys
don'thave confidencein the work they do. Unfortunately,the pagode be-
came [the]measles,it's a confusion.Eachsingsworsethanthe other."45
Much of the concern is not only the perceived bad quality of the new
samba, but also the fact that some of its exponents record Brazilian and
American rock and pop songs in a samba rhythm.46Ubirany says of the
1990s pagode,"It's not the pure samba."47Although he does not discredit
the new groups, Ubirany isolates instrumentation as a point of contention,
admitting he prefers a traditional instrumentation to one which uses
keyboards and brass.48 It is precisely its electric instrumentation and

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140: Philip Galinsky

ultra-modern sound, however, which Alberto Runkel, Marketing Director

of Local Repertoire at EMI-Odeon Brasil, cites as contributingto the style's
crossover appeal to all categories of consumers.49
Although a few of the 1990s pagodegroups do offer some material prais-
ing samba and traditional Brazilian culture-and some new songs do lean
musically toward the 1980s pagodesound-the ideological stance presented
overtly by the new samba wave is one principally of accommodation. In
other words, the new samba bands accept and adopt foreign and overt
commercial influences without reservation. In contradistinction, the origi-
nal pagodemovement-at least initially-represented a form of resistance
against the co-option of samba, against crass commercialization of Afro-
Brazilian culture, against racism and class discrimination, and against the
imposition of foreign trends in the mass media. On a certain level, the new
style may also constitute a form of resistance since its musical basis is still
the samba (albeit in a diluted form, according to a traditionalist perspec-
tive), and it has enabled many black and mulatto musicians a place in the
mass media. Furthermore,many of the new groups have emphasized their
black heritage by adopting highly Afrocentric names, a practice possibly
influenced by the progress in recent decades of the black political move-
ment in Brazil.50Nevertheless, for their ardent reception of foreign trends,
the new groups may be regarded as pandering to the culturally imperialis-
tic tendency toward internationalization upheld by the country's culture
industry and dominant classes.
The original pagodeepitomized resistance on several different levels. As
we have seen, the movement responded to the manipulation that musi-
cians and other participants faced in the samba schools by forming a new
space for the genre which geographically, economically, and culturally
opposed Rio's official culture. Stressing the informal, spontaneous, and
communal aspects of the samba, the pagodeinitially defied elite commer-
cialization and co-option through not having admission fees at its events
and remaining first and foremost a community affairin its neighborhoods
of origin. Gage Averill further observed that the pagodeevent countered
the military-likepublic pageants of the samba schools by shying away from
spectacle and public display.51
The pagodefurther resisted in its effective assertion of black Brazilian
identity to a country that may have officially accepted its African compo-
nent on a historical level, but still remains plagued by debilitating racism.
Many statements by sambistas,scholars, and aficionados of the movement
are overtly race-coded, pointing to the class discrimination and racism that
Afro-Brazilianshave had to face in getting their music accepted, and to the
strength that this music gives them in their resistance against oppression.
As Baptista M. Vargens maintains,
The pagodesmakepartof the historyof Rio deJaneiro.... Coloredreflection
of the stronglight of Africathat,in spite of the attemptsof the Portuguese

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Pagode SambaMovement: 141

oppressor,continuedto providethe flamethatrocks,heatsand sustainsour

day-to-day.(quotedin Lopes 1986, 103-4)
In a similar vein, Beth Carvalho, a white singer who has championed the
samba and its acceptance in Brazilian society, claimed that,
The pagodewas bornwhen the firstslave-tradership dockedin thiscountry.
. . . [The success of the pagode]is Brazil starting to accept its way and its
physiognomy.It is the nationrecoveredin [its]raceand in miscegenation..
. . We will be able to disappearfromthe recordcompanies,radio,and TV,
butwe will continueresistingin the morros[slums],as the slavesresistedon
the plantations.5
The pagode,like any Brazilian popular genre, cannot be identified solely
with a single racial group due to the ways in which popular musics in
Brazil cut across racial and ethnic lines (Behague 1973, 209). The pagode's
distinct association not only with the country's working classes, but also
more particularly with Afro-Brazilian experience, however, is what ap-
pears to give the style authenticity for its adherents, whether they are black
or not. A reliance on partido-altoand other old samba forms forged a link
back to some of Afro-Brazil's deepest musical expressions. The lyrics of
pagodesongs spoke about everyday affairsof the "popularclasses" or about
the political and economic situation of the country, often in a comical or
sarcastic tone, and many of them affirmed pride in the pagodeand its tradi-
tional Afro-Brazilian roots.
Another way in which the earliermovement resisted was in its subtle and
selective assimilation of foreign influences, which differs from the less dis-
criminateborrowing of the currentsamba. Banjo, repique-de-mdo, tantd,drum
set, and electric bass all gave the pagodea distinct sound, though musically
these instruments complemented and innovated on, but did not radically
change, the conventional samba texture. Furthermore,the reinterpretation
of diverse material (including 1990spagodesongs) in a vibrant, "rootsy"style
at pagodegatherings underlines not only the remarkable elasticity of Brazil-
ian popular culture;it also shows how, by reappropriating"foreign"stylistic
elements back into a familiar context, samba musicians can enable changes
that reinvigorate the traditionwithout compromising it.
However, in spite of its resistant nature, the pagodemovement was co-
opted like any other form of popular music. Lopes notes that the event itself
became more commercialized as it entered Rio's wealthier society.53And in
the media, though it was a response to the commercialization of the samba,
the pagodespractitionersironically came to have a stake in the commercial-
ization once incorporation by the media had occurred. For
instance, although Ubirany emphasized that the movement had no designs
of being a commercial venture in the beginning, he later came to lament the
lack of exposure his group was receiving in the media afterthe originalpagode
was replaced with a new style of samba. Ubirany as well as presumably

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142 : Philip Galinsky

countless other pagodeirosascribe great importance to commercial exposure

of their music.54Such an outlook reveals the way in which the pagodeunited
and juxtaposed traditionand modernity. As Pereiraobserves:
The returnto the backyard-afterall the birth[place]of the samba- not only
reinvigoratesits 'traditional'dimension.... It also reaffirmsits 'moderniz-
ing' sense ... of exchangewith the marketand with the largersociety.It
cannotbe forgottenfor example,thatthe pagode [locale]is also a big mar-
ketplaceanda placeof professionalization: it is an importantchannelof [the]
propagationof composers,[vocal]interpreters andinstrumentalists,a funda-
mentalmeetingspot betweenanonymoussambistasand the big names of
the phonographicmarket.(1993, 102)

Ultimately, some of the results of the co-option were a more orchestrated,

less vital sound with more romantic leanings for some artists in the late
1980s and 1990s, and eventually a severe marginalization due to the cul-
ture industry's perpetual search for new trends and perhaps also a high
turn-over of popular taste.
Although the original pagodemovement at least initially countered co-
option, internationalization,and commercialization, while the newer pagode
seems to accommodate these elements more readily, it should not be as-
sumed that either music necessarily represents a more legitimate or valid
form of Afro-Brazilianidentity; nor should we assume the new pagodeto be
inferior to its predecessor simply for being more commercial or interna-
tional in flavor. In fact, though not overtly aggressive musically or ideologi-
cally, the new pagodemay even be regarded as resistantsimply for its incor-
poration of musical elements derived from U.S. black culture, which
historically has been associated with an assertive racial identity for many
black Brazilians. On the other hand, its musical basis in samba (albeit a
more diluted samba according to traditionalists)and the frequent use of
Afrocentric group names, may also offer the new pagodean element of resis-
tance. Hence, to dismiss the newer movement as merely pandering to cul-
tural imperialism is, I would argue, too simplistic an explanation. Indeed,
the complex issue of black foreign musical influence on Afro-
Brazilians certainly warrants further investigation, especially considering
the current interest among Rio's black population in styles such as rap,
funk, and contemporary R&B and "NewJack Swing," all of which have
recentlybecome associatedwith widespreadculturalmovements in the city.55
Given the constantly shifting nature of the Brazilian music industry, the
new pagodeis bound to have a limited shelf life on the top of the charts, and
predictions for the next new fashion have already been made.56Yet, the
fact that this more commercialized samba has, at least for the time being,
eclipsed its traditional namesake in the mass media suggests some of the
compromises the Afro-Brazilian community must currently accept if they

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Pagode SambaMovement: 143

are to have widespread exposure in that media. Viewed within the history
of samba, the original pagoderepresents an upsurge of-and innovation on-
tradition that, for particular reasons, was able to gain access to the media
and captivate a wider public at a particulartime. But given the strong inter-
national outlook of the media, this was a relatively rare instance. In spite of
this situation, the samba tradition vigorously persists and renews itself
through various modes of resistance (and selective accommodation) as a
fundamental form of identity not only for Afro-Brazilians, but also more
generally in the wider culture, regardless of the mass media's interest in
this tradition.57Yet, the samba's status as Brazil's national music is contra-
dictory considering the low socioeconomic position of most Afro-Brazil-
ians. To be sure, the music's pervasiveness in Brazilian society is impres-
sive and curious for a country which perpetually strives toward "order and
progress" in its struggle to secure itself a more favorable position in the
unequal international order. The fact that Afro-Brazilians only sporadi-
cally receive genuine portrayals of this traditional culture in the mass me-
dia-and the fact that this culture, says Lopes, is seen as a fossil of the past
by the elite-points to the constant struggle blacks and other marginalized
groups in Brazil face in affirming their "identity through the cultural prin-
ciples inherited from their ancestors" (Lopes 1993: 6).


1. All of these issues were investigated more fully in my masters fieldwork

research in Rio de Janeiro (and secondarily Salvador, Bahia) in July
1993 andJuly-August1994 on the pagodecomplex. This projectinvolved
historical, musicological, and socio-culturalcomponents, and relied on
personal interviews with samba musicians, scholars, and other consult-
ants, as well as on sound documents and written sources. The subse-
quent masters thesis (Galinsky 1995), preceded by a historically based
article published in TheBeat magazine (Galinsky 1994), is, as far as I
know, the first substantialstudy of the pagodein the English language as
well as in the field of ethnomusicology, and it forms the basis for this
article.Aside from my work, very little has been published on the pagode
from an academic perspective. The only academic sources I could ob-
tain with ample material on the subject were Lopes 1986 (n.d.), and
Pereira 1993. In addition, very brief accounts of the pagodeare featured
in a few other Portuguese and English sources (e.g., McGowan and
Pessanha 1991, Moura et al 1988, Perrone 1989b). Aside from scholarly
sources, a host of popularpress articlesfrom Brazil-many of them highly
useful-have covered both the older and the newer pagodestyles.

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144 : Philip Galinsky

2. Marcal quoted in Tania Regina Pinto, "O truque do pagode," Afinal

28 April 1987, p. 42; Bira Presidente and Bezerra da Silva quoted in
Tarik de Souza, Cleusa Maria, Marcia Cezimbra, and Diana Aragao,
"Emquestao/Pagode: A revolu9ao do fundo de quintal,"JornaldoBrasil
Sunday, 14 December 1986, pp. 4-5.
3. Lopes (1986) cites several revealing quotations about such gatherings
at the homes of Pixinguinha, one of the samba's early pioneers; Tia
(Aunt) Ciata, a maker of sweets and an important hostess of samba
parties; and a certain Maria da Piedade.
4. Dulce Tupy, Carnavaisde Guerra,cited in Tania Regina Pinto, "O truque
do pagode," Afinal,28 April 1987, pp. 41-52.
5. Ubirany Felix do Nascimento, interview by author, tape recording,
Rio, 4 August 1994. Cacique united a whole network of families, form-
ing in essence "a big family-an enormous and efficient network of
exchange relations and mutual aid" (Pereira 1993: 98). The group's
early members, all about in their early twenties, were unified in their
love of the samba and carnival and in the heritages of the Afro-Brazil-
ian religions Umbanda and Candomble (ibid.: 97, 100). The image of
the "Indian"also played an important role, serving-in a cross between
the North American Apache and a "noble savage" covered in feathers
and colorful designs-as the group's costume and icon (ibid.: 100).
Pereira indicates that many Cacique members had indigenous Brazil-
ian names-Ubirany, Ubirajara, Ubiraci, Aimore, etc.-reflecting the
influence of the caboclo,an "incorporation of the figure of the Indian in
the universe of Afro-Brazilian religions" (ibid.). Dance scholar Bar-
bara Browning suggests that an Afro-Brazilian identification with the
caboclois linked to the caboclo'sfunction as a representation of freedom
against enslavement: "the caboclois an idealized image of the resistant
black... In Brazil, a person's cabocloor Indian aspect is a quality which
may come not from blood inheritance but from commitment to the
ideal of freedom .... the cabocloas a sign of an ideal, unhierarchical
Brazilian society is associated with nationalistic images-including the
national flag and colors. Worshipping the cabocloallows black Brazil-
ians to express their Brazilian nationalism while rejecting the existing
social stratificationswithin their nation" (1995: 24-25).
6. Ubirany Felix do Nascimento, interview by author, tape recording,
Rio, 4 August 1994.
7. Ibid.
8. Ubirany also plays a metal matchbox tapped with the fingers, an in-
strument featured low in the mix on Fundo de Quintal recordings.
9. Tania Regina Pinto, "O truque do pagode," Afinal,28 April 1987.
10. The group has won the prestigious Premio Sharp de Muisica award
seven times for best samba and pagodegroup, have attained gold and

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Pagode SambaMovement: 145

platinum records, and have spread their influential sound not only
throughout Brazil, but also toJapan, France, the United States, Portu-
gal, and Angola. The group's lineup has altered over time as well. By
the mid-1980s, Arlindo Cruz had replaced Almir Guin6to on banjo,
Sombrinha had switched from seven-string violdoto cavaquinho,Cleber
Augusto had replaced Aragao on six-string violao,and Neoci had left
the group. Today, Mgrio Sergio has replaced Sombrinha on cavaquinho
and Ronaldinho has replaced Arlindo Cruz on banjo.
11. Terezinha Vilela, "Chamado pagode, novo samba contagia a cidade,"
Folha de Sao Paulo,23 October 1986, p. 36.
12. Terezinha Vilela, "Chamado pagode, novo samba contagia a cidade,"
Folha de Sdo Paulo,23 October 1986, p. 36.
13. Many factors contributed to the pagodes nationwide success in 1986.
For one, Brazil's dictatorship ended in 1985 and a civil government
was established in 1986. At the same time, the government's plan to
combat inflation was initially successful, leading to a well functioning
economy, more purchasing power, and a marked decrease in violence
(Sergio Cabral, interview by author, tape recording, Rio, 20July 1994).
In Rio particularly, a socialist inspired government had recently sanc-
tioned the so-called "Sambadrome"for the samba school parades (con-
structed in 1984), a move which was followed by subsequent incen-
tives to popular expressions (Beth Carvalho in the linear notes to Beth,
LP RCA Victor 110.0027, 1986). According to Carvalho, as a result,
"The people felt important and had the chance to show the samba that
they made in the backyard. The mobilization for rights has to do [with
the expansion of the movement]" (ibid.). Secondly, and more practi-
cally, according to RGE's general manager Marcos Silva, the label
was searching for raw material just when the pagodephenomenon ex-
ploded in popularity (quoted in Soma Apolima'Rio, "Pagodes: o trem
segue direto para o sucesso," 0 Globo[Rio], Segundo Cadero, Friday,
5 December 1986, p. 1). The label invested greatly in the movement
monetarily and in the quality production of the artists, adding to the
style's commercial and artistic palpability. Thirdly, and more subjec-
tively, the movement dug deep into the samba tradition while adding
innovation and remaining relevant to current values of sound produc-
tion; as such, it responded to a demand for a strong local, national
identity, while meeting some of the expectations of a population con-
ditioned to appreciatetransnationalmusical standards.The pagodeironi-
cally served both the needs of tradition and modernity simultaneously,
contributing to its infectious appeal.
14. Alberto Runkel, MarketingDirector of Local Repertoireat EMI-Odeon
Brasil, told me that whites danced to the old pagodebut did not con-
sume records by its artists (interview with author, tape recording, Rio,

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146 : Philip Galinsky

19July 1994); this contradicts the claim that the middle class identified
with the movement based on radio play and record sales, since the
middle-class is largely white in Brazil.
15. Tania Regina Pinto, "O truque do pagode," Afinal 28 April 1987.
16. Ibid.
17. Terezinha Vilela, "Chamado pagode, novo samba contagia a cidade,"
Folha de Sdo Paulo,23 October 1986, p. 36.
18. Sergio Cabral, interview by author, tape recording, Rio, 20July 1994.
19. Ibid.
20. Alberto Runkel,interviewwith author,tape recording,Rio, 19July 1994.
21. Ibid.
22. Ibid.
23. Ibid.
24. Author unknown, "Pagode AJato," 0 Dia (Rio), 30June 1994.
25. Alberto Runkel, interview with author, tape recording, Rio, 19July
1994. Other successful pagodeand suinguenames in the 1990s include
Negritude Junior and Dhema (both from Sao Paulo), Grupo Molejo
(Swing Group), Ginga Pura (PureHip-Sway), S6 Preto Sem Preconceito
(Only Black Without Prejudice), and Grupo Raca (Race Group).
26. Ubirany Felix do Nascimento, interview by author, tape recording,
Rio, 4 August 1994.
27. Joana Angelica, "Samba guerrilheiro: o pagode cresce e distribui Dis-
cos de Ouro," IstoE, 18June 1986, pp. 58-9.
28. Sergio Cabral, interview by author, tape recording, Rio, 20July 1994.
29. Ibid. Cabral informed me that while in the 1960s, the samba schools
paraded with 1,000 to 1,500 members maximum, in the next decade
they came to incorporate up to six thousand participants.
30. Ibid.
31. Ibid. In a recent conversation, samba percussionist Ivo Araujo also
emphasized the pagode'sslower cadence; the word pagode,he told me,
although originally meaning the gathering itself, came to be used by
the people to refer to slow samba in general, since the music at these
gatherings-compared to the quick-paced samba of the escolas-tended
to be slower in tempo.
32. Title, date, publication unknown. From the text it is unclear whether
Ubirany or Bira makes this remark.
33. Ubirany Felix do Nascimento, interview by author, tape recording,
Rio, 4 August 1994.
34. This pattern correspondsto Kubik'sseven-strokeversion of his sixteen-
pulse standardpatternstartingfrom the thirteenthpulse (referto Figure 1).
35. Personal communication with David Rumpler, cavaquinhoand violdo
player, 17 March 1995.
36. Other typical instruments in the pagodenot included here are a six- or
seven-string violdo;a smaller tantd,which plays syncopations against

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Pagode SambaMovement: 147

the straight pulse of its larger cousin; cuica (friction drum); reco-reco
(scraper);and agogo(double bell). In addition, bandolim(mandolin) is
sometimes present, and on recorded pagode,wind instruments-and
much less frequently-keyboards and even strings might add color to a
particular rhythmic arrangement.
37. Ubirany Felix do Nascimento, interview by author, tape recording,
Rio, 4 August 1994.
38. Quoted in Tarik de Souza, Cleusa Maria, Marcia Cezimbra, and Diana
Aragao, "Em questao/Pagode: A revolucao do fundo de quintal,"Jornal
do Brasi, 14 December 1986.
39. Ibid.
40. Ibid.
41. For more information on partido-alto,see Lopes 1992, Muniz 1976,
and Cameiro 1974.
42. Ubirany Felix do Nascimento, interview by author, tape recording,
Rio, 4 August 1994.
43. Alcione, interview with author, tape recording, Rio, 27July 1994.
44. It is interesting to note the ways in which the discourse about national
identity in Brazil is caught up in questions of racial (and class) identity.
The samba's complex and-in light of racism-ironic role as both an
Afro-Brazilianform and a national symbol speaks to this issue. In the
traditional pagode,black racial/cultural pride, working-class associa-
tions, and nationalism seem to be intimately tied together.
45. Quoted in Teresa Karabtchevsky, "Tem Beatles no samba: Novos
sambistas gravam classicos do rock, misica pop e atei6-ie-ie em ritmo
do pagode," source unknown.
46. Ibid.
47. Ubirany Felix do Nascimento, interview by author, tape recording,
Rio, 4 August 1994.
48. Ibid.
49. Alberto Runkel, interview with author, tape recording, Rio, 19July
50. Carlos Alberto Medeiros, Chief of Cabinet for SEAFRO (Ministryfor
the Defense and Promotion of the Afro-Brazilian Populations), inter-
view with author, tape recording, Rio, 21 July 1994.
51. Personal communication, 2 December 1994.
52. Quoted in Marco Ant6nio Piva, "Cachaca e samba na cabeca," source
unknown, 31 December 1986.
53. Quoted in Tarik de Souza, "O pagode na hora da explosao,"Jornal do
Brasil, 2July 1986.
54. Ubirany Felix do Nascimento, interview with author, tape recording,
Rio, 4 August 1994.
55. Carlos Alberto Medeiros, interview with author, written notes, Rio, 29
July 1993. See footnote #57.

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148: Philip Galinsky

56. Lopes seems to regard this ideology as the outcome of colonialism, as

the colonized aiming to imitate the "superior"culture of the colonizer
(1986: 7). As Brazil'snational music, samba certainly does receive great
media attention at times as something of current,immediate relevance-
the annual carnival and the pagodeboom in the 1980s are prime ex-
amples. However, these instances are not proportional to the impor-
tance of samba to Brazilianculture. Besides, they seem to depend more
on the impressive resilience of samba's practitioners and adherents, to
the clever recognition of the genre's importance to the people by the
elite as a means of maintaining social order, and to an elite interest in
capitalizing on black expressive culture, than to any genuine social
acceptance of the genre and its mostly poor, Afro-Brazilian constitu-
ency as valid components of Brazilian society.
57. As Medeiros told me, "samba is the mainstream." Black youths who
enjoy funk and rap, may also participate in samba during carnival
time, for instance, and the trend is that as they get older they start
going more to samba and less to these other events. Brazilians over
twenty-five, black and non-black, he says, dance to samba and MPB
(Brazilianpopular music). Interview with author, tape recording, Rio,
21July 1994.


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