Yeah, it’s quarantine here in my city, I should be studying, but I’m not, therefore, I’m bored, so why not. People have been asking for it anyway, to help them learn pronunciation and familiarize with the culture, so here it goes. Get ready to be completelly sucked into what, in my opinion, is the best kind of music in the world:
Warning: I’m not a specialist, please don’t take me seriously and, if you want, you can and should complement this guide
Typical Brazilian Genres (as far as I know, they don’t exist in other countries)
Born in Bahia with great Afro-Brazillian influence, it forms, together with Samba and Frevo, the sacred triunvirate of Carnival Music. Really dancy.
Three notable artists: Ivete Sangalo Banda Eva Chiclete com Banana
Examples of songs: Cadê Dalila - Ivete Sangalo 100% Você - Chiclete com Banana Pau que nasce torto - É o Tchan
Yeah, that’s what got us international fame. It’s really hard to describe, maybe a mix of samba and jazz. You probably heard it already.
Notable artists: Tom Jobim
(Yeah, I don’t know many bossa nova artists. Other Brazilians, please help me and add more artists here)
Update: user u/ma7h_99
sugested some more. João Gilberto Elizabeth Cardoso
Examples of songs: Garota de Ipanema - Tom Jobim A Felicidade - Tom Jobim O Barquinho - Nara Leão
pointed out it's similar to Sertanejo, but still different, so here it goes
Notable artists: Tião Carreiro e Pardinho Tonico e Tinoco Almir Sater
pointed out it needed its own category. In their words:
"It's music played along the martial art Capoeira while the dancers/fighters dance/fight. It's played with a lot of drums, tambourines and berimbau."
Notable examples: Mestre Bimba Mestre Cobra Mansa Pé de Chumbo
I knew I was missing some Southern genre! User u/uselesshc
pointed it out (see their comment below for more artists to listen to!):
"A genre of music from the South region, exalting and paying tribute to the gaúcho's culture (people from the pampas plains that consists in regions from Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina). It consists in lyrics talking about their costumes, traditional foods, livestock lands and working, and their love for the nature. Most instrumentals uses an acoustic guitar, an accordion and some percussion instruments. A more "pop" party-driven variation is called Tchê music, reffering to the popular expression often shouted around in chit-chats"
Notable artists: Os Serranos Joca Martins Luiz Marenco
Notable songs: César Oliveira e Rogério Melo - Lá na Fronteira Os Serranos - Tertúlia César Passarinho - Guri
Tipically played with a “sanfona”, (accordeon), the most well known rithym of the Northeast region. Really dancy also.
Three notable artists: Aviões do Forró
- currently disbanded, the main singers keep on singing and being succesful Luiz Gonzaga
- the King Wesley Safadão
Three notable songs: Chamego ou Xaveco - Banda Magníficos Asa Branca - Luiz Gonzaga
- the hymn of the Northeast Coração - Dorgival Dantas
Totally different from American Funk. It was born in Rio de Janeiro and is a big part of favela culture. Also really dancy.
Three notable artists: Ludmilla Valesca Popozuda
- yeah, don’t search “Popozuda” on Google Bonde do Tigrão
Three notable songs: Favela Chegou - Anitta e Ludmilla Beijinho no Ombro - Valesca Popozuda Vou Desafiar Você - Sapão
MPB (Música Popular Brasileira)
The natural evolution of Bossa Nova, known for it’s use of acoustic guitar. One of the most popular genres.
Three notable artists: Chico Buarque Alceu Valença Tim Maia
Three notable songs: Partido Alto - Cássia Eller Geni e o Zepelim - Chico Buarque O Tempo é Sua Morada - Francisco El Hombre
I don’t even know how to describe it. Reminds me of samba. Typical music for churrascos on Sundays.
Three notable artists: ExaltaSamba Sorriso Maroto Harmonia do Samba
- for some weird reason bands with “samba” in the name actually play pagode. While people with “pagode” in the name tend to play samba. I don’t know man.
Three notable songs: Me apaixonei pela pessoa errada - ExaltaSamba Sacanagenzinha - Harmonia do Samba e Anitta Deixa acontecer - Grupo Revelação
Our “country”, although it sounds nothing like American Country. Easily one of the most popular genres in Brazil today.
Three notable Artists: Marília Mendonça Maiara e Maraísa Zezé Di Camargo e Luciano
Examples of songs: Evidências -
Chitãozinho e Xororó - the hymn of Brazil basically. Every Brazillian is born knowing how to sing this, like them or not. Jenifer - Gabriel Diniz Dormi na praça - Bruno e Marrone
I only know one band of tecnobrega, but I had to include it here, both because it’s really famous and because this list is terribly lacking in styles from the North of Brazil.
Notable band: Calypso
- Disbanded, but the lead singer is still going strong
Update: user u/ma7h_99
made me remember some more: Gaby Amarantos Banda Uó
Notable songs: Voando pro Pará - Joelma A lua me traiu - Banda Calypso Ex Mai Love - Gaby Amarantos
Oh, come on, you know samba. The king rhythm of Carnival. National music genre.
Notable artists: Adoniran Barbosa Zeca Pagodinho
- See? He has “pagode” in his name, but mostly sings samba. It’s confusing Cartola
Three notable songs: Não deixe o samba morrer - Alcione Marinheiro Só - Clementina de Jesus Chiclete com Banana - Jackson do Pandeiro
Existing genres, but with Brazilian flavor:
Also called Brock (Brazilian Rock). Started to get strong on the 80s and is still strong today.
Three notable artists: Rita Lee Legião Urbana Titãs
Three notable songs: Tempo Perdido - Legião Urbana Meu Erro - Paralamas do Sucesso Admirável Chip Novo
Bonus: humor rock band Mamonas Assassinas, who lasted one year before they all died in a plane crash and which are still known by all Brazilians. Listen away from kids and Portuguese people: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WjI3DLOk4c
I had to put this here for the only Brazilian Heavy Metal band I know:
Notable artists: Sepultura
Update: user u/Mkid73
pointed out I left out Angra
Notable song: Roots Bloody Roots - Sepultura
Rap artists in Brazil tend to be really socially engaged. They are strongly associated with the black rights movement.
Three notable artists: Emicida Criolo Racionais MC
Three notable songs AmarElo - Emicida Rio 40 Graus - Fernanda Abreu e Chico Science Qual É? - Marcelo D2
I’ve seen it played in the radio sometimes, although I don’t know a lot about it.
Notable artists: O Rappa Natiruts
Yeah, I don’t know any others. Other Brazillians, please feel free to help.
Notable songs: Pescador de Ilusões
- O Rappa Natiruts Reggae Power - Natiruts
These tend to be a fever for a time and then misteriously disappear.
Notable artists: Sandy e Júnior
- formally disbanded, but still together in the hearts of fans Anitta
- she started as funk, but I have the impression that today she’s mostly a pop artist Kelly Key
Notable songs Baba - Kelly Key A Lenda - Sandy e Júnior Show das Poderosas - Anitta
Special – Dictatorship songs
Brazil has many songs that were written by artists during our military dictatorship in form of protest. Most of them were censored, but we all know their lyrics to this day, and they are really powerful and important for our History. The most powerful interpretations are still kept in video these days and shown to our children.
Examples: Disparada - Jair Rodrigues
- starts at 7:10. A great interpretation, chilling because during the video you can actually see military personel glaring at him from the public. Como nossos pais - Elis Regina
- not her song, but the most know interpretation. The hymn of defeat.
[Pra não dizer que não falei das flores - Geraldo Vandré
- it was forbidden to sing this song for years in the country. In this interpretation you can hear people booing the judges for not choosing it as the best song in a festival during the military dictatorship.
Update: Special - Tropicália
As user u/atMalkyor
pointed out, not a musical genre per se, but the closest Brazil ever had to hippie music. I'll leave some of their suggestions:
Notable artists: Caetano Veloso
- the main artist of the movement, his song Tropicália
named the style and is almost a manifesto of the movement Tom Zé Os Mutantes
Notable songs: Domingo No Parque - Gilberto Gil A Menina Dança - Novos Baianos Panis et Circenses - Os Mutantes
Instrumental music (no lyrics but still important) Frevo:
Born in Pernambuco. The name comes from an adaptation of the word “fervo”, which means “boil”. As you can guess, really dancy (really hard and exhausting to dance, too) and forms, with Axé and Samba, the triunvirate of Carnival Music.
Dancing: yeah, see if you can keep up, will ya? Classical music:
I know it exists and that Villa Lobos was an important composer, so I had to put this here. As Bachianas Brasileiras - Villa Lobos Chorinho
Played on the violas and violões. Famous, although you may not have heard the name. Tico tico no fubá - Zequinha de Abreu Brasileirinho - Waldyr Azevedo Odeon - Ernesto Nazareth
Bonus: “Brazillian” songs
Yeah, we have a habit of… uhm… adapting songs from other countries. Sometimes so well that some people actually think they are ours. I didn’t even know “Without You” was actually by Mariah Carey until recently. Enjoy?
(Paulinha - Calcinha Preta
) Without You – Mariah Carey
(Só quer vrau - MC MM feat. DJ RD
) Bella Ciao – Bassotti (I’d like to apologize to the whole country of Italy for this)
(Festa no Apê - Latino
) Dragonstea Din Tei – Ozone
(À sua maneira - Capital Inicial
) De musica ligera – Soda Stereo
(Se não valorizar - Solange Almeida
) Umbrella - Rihanna
Edit: my brain fell asleep and forgot who sang "Evidências". Corrected. Also updated to include some genres that other users pointed out