Thursday, July 24, 2008

Viola - Inside Out

The viola is the name for a 10-string steel-string acoustic guitar, used in Brazilian folk music. Its origins are obscure, but some folklorists believe it to be an archaic form of the Arab lute that elsewhere evolved into the modern guitar. The Portuguese brought the viola with them to Brazil.

- Brazilian violas have 5 pairs of steel strings in a body similar to that of a smaller Spanish guitar. A large number of tunings are used; open tunings are common.

Violas are present in nearly all Brazilian music forms, anywhere in the country (although it is declining in some places). It is most often associated with Caipira Music (Brazilian country music), with some forms of North-Eastern music and with folkloric music. It was once used to play urban music, like choro, samba and Maxixe, but has since been replaced by the more common violão/acoustic guitar. (info from Wikipedia)

Cacai Nunes (b.1978) from Pernambuco, but raised in Brasilia, is one exponent of a new generation, who has devoted a study to the 10-string viola Caipira. In august 2006 Cacai Nunes released his debut album titled “O AVESSO” (Portugese for "inside out"). This work features some of his solo performances and also modern arrangments for viola caipira, bass guitar and drums. Original compositions an pieces of composers such as Pixinguinha, Chiquinha Gonzaga and Dilermando Reis, get a fresh and different approach on Cacai's interpretation.

Learn more about Cacai Nunes at his official website (- in Portuguese only) to be reached clicking here

Cacai Nunes also has a profile (- in English) at MySpace with the possibility of listening to the mentioned cd and viewing several of uploaded videos, click here

Below I insert a couple of the video performances uploaded at YouTube to give you an impression of Cacai Nunes' music. - Here is a rendition of Chiquinha Gonzaga's 'GAÚCHO (Corta-Jaca)'

To end this, here is a performance of 'Um Brasil de Viola'



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great stuff again Jo and some interesting fact about the history of the guitar.


Keep swinging


26 July, 2008  

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