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Mus 695 paper

Mus 695 paper

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Published by Jason Galapagos

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Published by: Jason Galapagos on Apr 24, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/16/2013

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Among some of the most interesting and colorful works by Brazilian composerHeitor Villa-Lobos for solo guitar are the five movements of the
Suite Populaire Bresilienne
(1908–1912), as published in Max Eschig’s
 Heitor Villa-Lobos Collected Works for Solo Guitar 
.
1
The work as a whole is based on the popular Brazilian
Chôro
 genre with each movement representing a subcategory thereof. As a performer, it isimportant to have an understanding of the history and stylistic nuances of each of the
Chôro
styles (from the
Schottishes
to the
Chorinhos
) as well as the technical challengesinherent in Villa-Lobos’ adaptation of them for solo guitar. This project will researchand examine the brief cultural history and unique characteristics of the
Chôro
styles, withan optional accompanying recital of the work.Background to Suite Populaire Bresilienne (SPB) and
Chôro
music:The
Chôro
genre originated during the 1870’s as a multi-instrumental ensemble inRio de Janeiro amidst the birth of 
carnival
and popular sentiment to discover a uniquenational style in music. Early forms of 
Chôro
are, according to
 
Morales, actually widelyconsidered a precursor to modern samba. “The most important primogenitor of Brazilianmusic is samba, which has evolved from earlier versions like choro…”
2
The sentimentalnature of the music is adequately labeled
Chôro
or
chorinho
which literally means “cry”and “little cry” respectively. According to Perrone:The basic instrumentation has survived until the present: guitar (6 or 7 string),
cavaquinho
[an instrument of Portuguese origin with four steel strings, akin to the
 
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ukulele], woodwind/brass instruments, and light hand percussion, usually the
  pandiero
[tambourine with taught skin]. The musicians were often joined by asinger for serenades.
3
 It is important for the solo performer of Villa-Lobos’ adaptation (SPB) of thisgenre to recognize the percussive and vocal timbres, jazz-like improvisations andBrazilian “schmaltz” unique to this style as well as its historical context. While the SPBwas clearly not written as a piece of folk music, the “improvisations” of the original folk style and influence of the early
carnival
clubs of Rio are written meticulously asarticulations and other metric gestures. The use of rubato can also add to this effect, but asense of dance meter must also be maintained, especially in the movements labeled assuch. The opening movement, labeled
 Mazurka
(Illustration 1),
 
begins with a hauntingmotif in
a minor 
with infinite expressive possibilities, however Villa-Lobos supplies uswith only a few simple clues; a dedication to the mysterious Madame Teran and a
mezzo- forte
, as if to modestly suggest that the performer should already have a basicunderstanding of the
Chôro
genre prior to attempting the piece.

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