Friday, July 18, 2008

The Choro Genre

This time a quoted extract about the choro genre from the book, 'Choro, A Social History of a Brazilian Popular Music' (2005) by T.E. Livingston-Isenhour & T.G.C. Garcia (published by Indiana University Press):

" The repertoire of early choro musicians consisted of dance music imported from Europe, especially the waltz and the polka, serenades, and other local popular genres. Over time a new genre arose, also known as choro, which combined aspects of choro performance practice with the formal and harmonic structure of the polka. Thus, we can speak of norms and tendencies in harmony, melody, rhythm, form, and structure that define the choro genre, many of which are direct outgrowths of choro performance practice. In terms of harmony, the early choro was thoroughly grounded in contemporary European practice. Indeed, the choro has never been harmonically progressive. Its attraction was in its expressive and rhythmic character and its showcasting of instrumental virtuosity. As in choro style, the distinguishing features of the choro genre are found in the melodies and the rhythm.(-) Choros are easily identified by their melodies, many of which are idiomatic to the instrument for which they were originally composed. Melodies and wide leaps, arpeggios based on the harmonic progression, and chromatic sequences are common.(...) Most choros are modeled on the form of European dances from which the genre developed. Sections of regular and approximately equal length are typical and may be arranged in simple structures such as AABB,ABA, and, most commonly example, ABACA (rondo form). Within these structures, harmonic motion is predictable.(...) Choro is, of course, more than its musical components." (item quoted, p.11-12)
Now, let the ladies show you what it's all about. - Here is a recent live TV performance by Choro das tres playing Nazareth's "Breijeiro"

To end this, here is a live performance of "Saxofone Porque Choras" by an accomplished female saxophonist, Emyllia Santos and ensemble



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