Samba is one of the most authentic Brazilian features. If you talk about samba,
you talk about Brazil. Like Brazil itself, samba is the result of the interaction
of many different influences and mixtures. The main samba roots were initially
the African rhythms BATUQUE and LUNDU, played mainly with drums and clapping
the hands. Later, other elements from European rhythms were incorporated through
the use of new instruments like the clarinet, flute and guitar.
Europe + Africa in Brazil
After being discovered and occupied, Brazil became a Portuguese colony and most
of its original native population disappeared with the European occupation.
During its 300 colonial years, Brazil was at some point made into a large producer
of sugar cane. The huge extension of land was populated with slaves brought
from Africa to work in the sugar cane plantations, while the Portuguese farmers
formed a small dominant aristocracy.
In Africa, many tribes were attacked and destroyed and their people shipped
to Brazil to work as slaves in the sugar production. From these sad years of
slavery, Brazil inherited its strong link to the African culture that is still
so vivid in many ways: in the food, in the music, in the peoples' features and
In some regions of Brazil, the black African culture is celebrated as one of
the most important influences in the Brazilian history and culture. The State
of Bahia is the strongest focus of the African heritage, where slaves were tortured
and abused for many decades before the Abolition Law of 1888.
Integrating the Brazilian characteristic happiness in life, the African remains
of the tragic slavery times mix together with the celebration for Freedom that
came with the Abolition law. As a result of so many mixtures and contradictions,
the complex structure of the BRAZILIAN society was formed, where SAMBA was born
as an expression of contrasts.
During the years, samba carried on incorporating more and more elements of the
popular expression and until today it's a live phenomenon, changing constantly
with time and its' people.
There are many different styles of samba:
Some samba rhythms:
- samba enredo
- samba de breque
- samba cancao
- samba reggae
- bossa nova
(mixed with jazz elements)…
Some samba dance
- Samba no Pe'
- Samba de Gafieira
(incorporating elements of tango and bolero)
- Samba de Roda
- Samba Rock