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Maxixe, Brazilian song and dance form. Performed in syncopated 2/4 time, the maxixe was created from a fusion of elements of the European polka, the habanera, the Lundu, and the Brazilian tango. The maxixe was popular from its first appearance in Rio de Janeiro around 1870 until approximately 1920. It has been variously described as the "first … truly national genre" by Charles Perrone, and "the first urban dance created in Brazil" by Oneyda Alvarenga. Its historical importance derives from its being the immediate and often indistinguishable precursor of the samba carioca (Rio de Janeiro samba). The best-known maxixe composers are Ernesto Nazareth and Marcelo Tupinamba, although both referred to their compositions as tangos.

See alsoMPB: Música Popular Brasileira .


Oneyda Alvarenga, Música popular brasileira (1982).

Gérard Béhague, "Popular Music," in Handbook of Latin American Popular Culture, edited by Charles Tatum and Harold Hinds (1986).

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

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

Additional Biblioography

Chasteen, John Charles. National Rhythms, African Roots: The Deep History of Latin American Popular Dance. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico, 2004.

Livingston-Isenhour, Tamara Elena, and Thomas George Caracas García. Choro: A Social History of Popular Brazilian Music. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005.

Neves, Maria Helena Franca. De La Traviata ao maxixe: Variações estéticas da práctica do Teatro São João. Salvador, Bahia: Secretaria da Cultura e Turismo, Fundação Cultural do Estado: Empresa Gráfica da Bahia, 2000.

                                        Robert Myers

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