Samba Origins

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 cults.

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.

Samba types

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
  • sambolero
  • bossa nova (mixed with jazz elements)…

Some samba dance styles:

  • Samba no Pe'
  • Samba de Gafieira (incorporating elements of tango and bolero)
  • Pagode
  • Samba de Roda
  • Samba Rock …