Tropicalia: Not Just Music Essay

Tropicalia: Not Just Music Essay

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Tropicalia is not only know as a form of music in Brazil but as a rebellion. Its theme of cultural non conformity was strengthened by the idea that Brazil had lost its way. Tropicalia took a stand against the social and musical hierarchy of Brazil. Though mainly known as a form of Brazilian pop music Tropicalia is deeply rooted in the political and cultural background of Brazil.
In 1967 Caetano Veloso felt that the Brazilian Popular Music after the appearance of Bossa Nova eight years prior had run out of energy and creativity. Velosos’ first idea was to get in contact with some big names in the Brazilian music industry to convince them that Brazilian music was in desperate need of new ideas but to no avail he got little to no support. Veloso then decided to gather a small group of young musicians which encompassed Bahian artists Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa and Tom Zé, the psychedelic rock band Os Mutantes, poets Torquato Neto and Capinam, and the conductor and orchestral arranger Rogério Duprat, who together would form the nucleus of a new “rebel” movement in Brazilian music (Perrone, Dunn 72-74).
By that point in time the Brazilian music scene was split into two. One side consisted of the traditionalists who were supported by both the conservative establishment as well as the leftist opposition, led by intellectuals, the cultural elite and students. They opposed all foreign influences on Brazilian music. Most artists at the time either supported or followed the “rules” set by the traditionalists. The other side were those who were fans of English and American music (Perrone, Dunn 96-97).
Contrary to the traditionalists who dominated the Brazilian music scene, Veloso and his friends wanted to “universalize” and modernize Brazilia...


... middle of paper ...


...ndards high for the new album they wanted to create something with the same musical firepower as João Gilberto's classic “Chega de Saudade” and the same advanced production as “Sgt Peppers” of the Beatles. They wanted the music to be loved internationally but still be completely Brazilian. Though the end result of the albums were amazing neither Gil or Veloso were happy with the outcome, because the recording studios in Brazil were not that great in quality at the time. Closely following the release of Gil and Velosos’ albums Gal Costa and Os Mutantes released their own tropicalismo album.



Works Cited

Perrone, Charles A., and Christopher Dunn. Brazilian Popular Music & Globalization. Gainesville: University of Florida, 2001. Print.
Veloso, Caetano, and Barbara Einzig. Tropical Truth: A Story of Music and Revolution in Brazil. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo, 2003. Print.

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