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Choro, Chorinho

Choro, Chorinho

Chorinho Choro, a small Brazilian urban band or the kind of music performed by such a band; a word literally meaning "to cry." A choro ensemble typically includes flute, clarinet, trombone, trumpet, large and small guitars, cavaquinhos (Brazilian ukulelelike instruments), and a few percussion instruments.

Appearing as a musical genre in the late 1880s, choro was at first strictly an instrumental style, and was marked by its improvisational character and the virtuosity of its solos. Thus it has often been compared with ragtime and early-twentieth-century New Orleans-style jazz. Formally, its structure is in three parts in the pattern A-B-A-C-A. Vocal forms of choro in which the voice substitutes for a solo wind instrument began to appear in the 1920s and 1930s. Among notable examples of the genre are "Urubu," by Pixinguinha, and "Sai faísca." This music style had lost a great deal of popularity by the 1960s. However, two national chorinho choro festivals broadcast in 1977 and 1978 helped revive the genre. Consequently, the choro remains an important and vibrant part of the Brazilian music scene.

See alsoLundu; Maxixe; MPB: Música Popular Brasileira; Samba.


Oneyda Alvarenga, Música popular brasileira (1982).

Mário De Andrade, Dictionário musical brasileiro, coordinated by Oneyda Alvarenga and Flávia Camargo Toni (1982–1989).

Charles A. Perrone, Masters of Contemporary Brazilian Song (1989).

Additional Bibliography

Diniz, André. Almanaque do choro: A história do chorinho, o que ouvir, o que ler, onde curtir. Rio de Janeiro: Jorge Zahar Editor Ltda., 2003.

Murphy, John P. Music in Brazil: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

                                      Robert Myers

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