Viola, Paulinho da (1942–)

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Viola, Paulinho da (1942–)

Brazilian musician and composer Paulinho da Viola (born Paulo César Batista de Faria on November 12, 1942) was raised in an environment dominated by samba and choro, the popular music of the day. His father, guitarist César Ramos Faria, was a member of the group Época de Ouro, and played with some of the most important popular musicians of the day. The young musician started composing at an early age, and by his teens was busy playing cavaquinho and guitar (in Portuguese the viola, hence his nickname). He composed his first Carnaval samba in 1962, and later was active with several samba schools.

Known as a performer as well as a composer, da Viola's music embraces the two traditions in which he was raised. He recorded and performed samba and choro extensively through the 1960s and 1970s; by the 1980s he was one of the most popular samba singers in the country. In the 1990s his work demonstrated sophistication uncommon in samba, combining various popular music traditions. His 1996 album Bebadosamba, which sold more than 100,000 copies, is exemplary of his work, bridging the gap between traditional and progressive. He has stated that "I do not live in the past, the past lives in me."

See alsoMusic: Popular Music and Dance; Samba; Samba Schools.


Dunn, Christopher. Brutality Garden: Tropicália and the Emergence of Brazilian Counterculture. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001.

McGowan, Chris, and Ricardo Pessanha. The Brazilian Sound: Samba, Bossa Nova, and the Popular Music of Brazil. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998.

Perrone, Charles A. Masters of Contemporary Brazilian Song: MPB 1965–1985. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1989.

                      Thomas George Caracas Garcia

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Viola, Paulinho da (1942–)

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