Survey of Brazilian Music History

LENG-111 and any MHIS-220-level course
Electable by: 
Required of: 
Semesters Offered: 
Fall Only
Boston Campus
Courses may not be offered at the listed location(s) each semester. Consult for specific term availability.

This course is a survey focusing on stylistic analysis and a contextualizing cultural exploration of the various socio-historical circumstances that have characterized Brazilian music throughout its evolution from the slave-trade defined colonial era, via the emergence of a unified national, mainstream musical identity around the early 20th century, and into its current cosmopolitan stylistic landscape. It features discussion of national as well as regionally-defined genres, introductions to representative artistic figures and their works, and places particular emphasis on the historical as well as ongoing creative exchanges among European-, Indigenous-, and African-derived musical traditions in the formation of Brazil’s musical identity. The particular impact of Brazilian popular music on the international stage will be also examined from a variety of perspectives. The class discussion includes extensive audio/visual materials, as well as weekly readings drawing on a variety of journalistic and academic sources.       


Course chair: 
Mike Mason