Brazilian Samba Terms
Students will become familiar with, understand, and use terms that are associated with Brazilian samba.
Suggested Time Allowance:
One 40 minute class period plus two evenings of homework
Materials To Be Used:
A list of vocabulary terms and their meanings
1. The teacher will distribute a list of the vocabulary words and their meanings to students.
2. The teacher will lead a discussion on the terminology explaining any unusual or complicated concepts about the terminology.
3. The teacher will answer any questions, as well as reinforce or further explain the terms as needed.
4. Students will be assigned to study the words and meanings for homework over a two night period.
5. On the third day, the teacher will divide the class into two teams making sure to include students of varying abilities on each team.
6. Together the teacher and the students will review and reinforce the terminology by playing a modified version of who wants to be a millionaire.
The team with the higher number of points will receive the first place prize and the other team will receive the second place prize, both of which will be determined by the teacher.
Brazilian Samba Terms
1. agogo - a musical instrument of African origin that consists of two attached metal bells and is played with a metal stick.
2. afoxés - groups of candomblé devotees dressed in white and parade to music played on atabaques in Salvador, Bahia.
3. atabaque - a large tom tom that is used in Afro-Brazilian religious celebrations.
4. batuque - (a) from Angola, the act of making some kind of rhythm using any kind of instrument of object.
(b) Rio’s version of capoeira, a martial art.
5. berimbau de corpo - a musical instrument of African origin. It is a single stringed harp that has a bow stretched by a wire, with an open gourd attached to one end. When it is being played it rests against the abdominal cavity for resonance. The musician plays it with a stick while holding a type of rattle in his hand. It’s the main instrument used in capoeira. (The Roots of Brazilian Music: Part I)
6. bossa nova - a style of music that combines American jazz with Brazilian samba to produce a soft, smooth, cool sound. During the 1950s and 1960s it experienced popularity in both the United States and Brazil. It is not looked upon as just a fad because it was able to influence jazz both permanently and significantly.
7. caixa - the name for a snare drum in Rio De Janeiro
8. candomblé - an Afro-Brazilian religion that combines animism and Catholicism. It is similar to voodoo in Haiti and New Orleans, as well as santaría in Cuba.
9. capoeira - a once prohibited martial art that was disguised as a dance. It is accompanied by chanting, as well as the playing of the tambourine and the berimbau. It is performed extensively in Salvador.
10. Carioca - a person who lives in Rio De Janeiro.
11. Carnaval - a Roman Catholic, pre-Lenten festival similar to those in many sites around the world including Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Carnaval in Rio De Janeiro has evolved into the grandest celebration of it kind in the world. During the final week before Lent, it consists of elaborate street festivals, all-night costume balls, and gigantic parades.
12. carnavalesco - the coordinator of the samba school’s presentation in the Carnaval parade.
13. cavaquinho - a small Portuguese mandolin which was also taken to Hawaii and evolved into the ukulele.
14. caxa deguena - the name for a snare drum in Salvador.
15. chocalho - a musical instrument that looks like a Christmas tree and sounds like a shiver.
16. chorinho - means little tears and is a regional style of music from Rio that combines various sizes and types of percussion instruments, flutes, guitars, and sometimes a saxophone or a clarinet to produce an impression of sadness or tenderness.
17. cuíca - an African tension drum that is made from a small barrel covered with leather at one end. It has a short stick attached to its center, and when its rubbed with a piece of wet cloth it seems to produce sounds of laughter, cries, moans, and/or wheezing.
18. escolas de samba - are samba schools. In Rio these organizations have thousands of members and are responsible for putting on the gigantic, elaborate Carnaval parades that usually have over 50,000 participants.
19. favela - one of the working-class neighborhoods located on the hills of Rio.
20. favelado - an inhabitant of a favela.
21. forró - a very lively, footstomping, country dance from northeast Brazil. It may be accompanied by the accordion, flute, guitar, and percussion instruments.
22. frevo - is derived from the verb to boil. It is an energetic, simple style of dance from Recife. Because its dancers use umbrellas freely and are accompanied by brass instruments, the frevo is closely allied with Dixieland. The Recife Carnaval is the nearest relative to the Mardi Gras in New Orleans. (Krich)
23. ginga - the basic step of samba
24. Gregorian chants - medieval Roman Catholic religious music that was introduced to Native Brazilians and African slaves by the Jesuits.
25. Jesuit - a Roman Catholic teaching and missionary order who went to Brazil, and other locations, to spread the word of God and convert the natives to Catholicism.
26. kukuta - a bamboo flute
27. lambada - a fast paced dance whose name is derived from the Portuguese verb to whip.
28. lundu - a popular, comic song/dance of African origin that was enriched by its contact with Iberian music.
29. maraca - a musical instrument made from a gourd filled with pebbles.
30. matracas - a musical instrument made from two blocks of wood.
31. maxixe - a type of tango, a precursor of samba, that originated in the dance halls of Rio at the end of the 19th century.
32. mestre-sala - the master of ceremonies of a samba school who holds one of the most important positions during the Carnaval parade. His escort is the porta-bandeira.
33. modinha - a popular, sentimental love song sung in the 18th and 19th centuries both in Brazil and Portugal.
34. pagode - a stripped down, back-to-basics style of samba created in response to overpromoted/overelectrified Carnaval themes.
35. pandeiro - a tambourine.
36. pifano - a wooden flute.
37. porta-bandeira - a female flag bearer who holds one of the most important positions during the Carnaval parade. Her escort is the mestre-sala.
38. pulando - the jumping up and down or the leap to Heaven that is one of the basic movements in the dances that are precursors to samba.
39. puxador de samba - the main samba singer/dancer during the Carnaval parade.
40. reco-reco - a musical instrument that is a scratcher.
41. samba - the national dance of Brazil that has international roots and is the primary dance of Carnaval, a pre-Lenten festival.
42. samba-enredo - a theme song to be presented during a Carnaval parade.
43. sambadrome - a half mile long parade ground lined with viewing galleries in Rio. It is the site of the gigantic Carnaval parade.
44. sinfona - an accordion.
45. surdo - a big bass drum. Its name comes from the word for deafness.
46. tamborim - the name for a mini tambourine in Rio.
47. tambourine - a small drum, especially a shallow one headed drum with loose metallic disks at the sides played especially by shaking or striking with the hand.
48. tarol - the name for a mini-tambourine in Salvador.
49. trío eléctrico - a style of music which incorporates electric guitars. It began in 1950 as a new way of celebrating Carnaval. When it was played on top of a 1929 Ford, it became a moveable band. Many people began to follow the music through the streets of Salvador.
50. tropicalismo - a style of music that combines American rock music with Latin music.
51. Tupi - one of the indigenous Brazilian societies the European clergy attempted to convert to Catholicism.
52. xique-xique - any shaker, even dry beans in a soda can that can be used as a musical instrument.