Corrêa de Azevedo, Luiz Heitor (1905–1992)

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Corrêa de Azevedo, Luiz Heitor (1905–1992)

Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1905, Luiz Heitor Corrêa de Azevedo began his career as a pianist and composer, but ultimately became one of Brazil's most distinguished musicologists and ethnologists. His research begin in the 1920s, the era of Brazilian modernism: artists began to turn away from Europe, to focus instead on their own nation's richness, vitality, and history, and to search for and define the "authentically Brazilian." Azevedo's interests—which encompassed both folklore and music by classical composers such as Carlos Gomes—was in harmony with this important cultural movement. Using equipment borrowed from the U.S. Library of Congress, he recorded for posterity a trove of endangered songs from the states of Minas Gerais and Ceará and established an archive of rapidly disappearing work.

Azevedo helped to found numerous institutions, including the Associacô Brasileira de Música, the Centro de Pesquisas Folclóricas, and the groundbreaking journal Revista Brasileira de Música; he was named the very first professor of folklore at the Instituto Nacional. Azevedo worked briefly in Washington, D.C., as a consultant for the Organization of American States. In 1947 he departed for Paris, where he played a major role in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a music programmer and taught at the Institut des Hautes Etudes de L'Amérique Latine at the University of Paris. He died in Paris on November 10, 1992.

See alsoAndrade, Mário de; Gomes, Antônio Carlos.


Béhague, Gerard. "Azevedo, Luiz Heitor Corrêa de." In The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd ed., vol. 2, edited by Stanley Sadie. London: Grove/Macmillan Publishers, 2001.

Horta, Luiz Paulo. "Lembrando Luiz Heitor." In Revista Brasiliana 13 (Janeiro 2003). Available from

Magalhaes, Carolina. "Luiz Heitor Correa de Azevedo et les Relations Musicales entre la France et le Bresil" In Cahiers du Bresil Contemporain 12 (1990). Available from

Mariz, Vasco. Três musicólogos brasileiros: Mário de Andrade, Renato Almeida, Luiz Heitor Correa de Azevedo. Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 1983.

Travassos, Elizabeth. "Brazil's Indigenous Universe (to ca. 1990): The Xavate, Kamayra, and Suya." In Music in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Encyclopedic History. Vol. 1, edited by Malena Kuss. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2004.

Works by Azevedo

Dois pequenos estudos de folklore musical [Two short studies of musical folklore], 1938.

Escala, ritmo e melodia na musica dos indios brasileiros [Scale, rhythm and melody in the music of Brazilian Indians], Rio de Janeiro, 1938.

"Mario de Andrade e o folklore" [Mario de Andrade and folklore] in Revista brasileira de musica IX (1943): 11-14.

A musica brasileira e seus fundamentos [Brazilian music and its foundations]. Washington, DC: Pan American Union, Department of Cultural Affairs, 1948.

Musica e musicos do Brasil [Music and musicians of Brazil]. Rio de Janeiro: Libraria-Editôra da Casa do Estudante do Brasil, 1950.

With Cleofe Person de Matos and Mercedes de Moura Reis. Bibliografia musical brasileira (1820–1950) [Brazilian musical bibliography, 1820–1950]. Rio de Janeiro, Ministério da Educação e Saúde—Instituto Nacional do Livro.

"The Present State and Potential of Music Research in Latin America." In Perspectives in Musicology: The Inaugural Lectures of the Ph.D. Program in Musicology at the City University of New York, edited by Barry S. Brook, Edward O. D. Downes, and Sherman Van Solkema. New York: Norton, 1972.

Music of Ceara and Minas Gerais. Compact disc (CD) produced by Mickey Hart and Alan Jabbour. Washington, DC: Library of Congress Endangered Music Project, 1997.

                                 Karen S. Backstein