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Pathways of choro: between participatory and presentational on the rodas from the interior of São Paulo

Grant number: 17/10363-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2017
Effective date (End): November 02, 2021
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Arts - Music
Principal researcher:Lenita Waldige Mendes Nogueira
Grantee:Renan Moretti Bertho
Home Institution: Instituto de Artes (IA). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:16/05318-7 - Local musicking: new pathways for ethnomusicology, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):19/09481-8 - From the rodas to the sessions: confluences, limits and borders in participatory-presentational music, BE.EP.DR


Choro is an instrumental genre of Brazilian popular music that emerged in Rio de Janeiro in the last decades of the 19th century. Historically this music has been practiced in the format of rodas, that is, groups of amateur and professional musicians who join in bars for the pleasure of playing together. Currently, these rodas are found in several states and countries, and in the interior of São Paulo, many having appeared in the last decade. In spite of the short time, this practice began a movement that aggregates different locations through consistent musical pathways, thus responding to a cultural yearning in these cities. Although the roda is an area of musical sociability, marked by its informal and participatory character, the instrumentalists seek constant technical improvement to value their performances. Therefore, one of the main characteristics of this manifestation is a tension between different meanings attributed to the music: sometimes as a type of social behavior, sometimes as a type of art. Such tensions are the starting point for thinking about structures, learning processes and possibilities of engagement provided by the choro. Thus, the central objective of the research is to investigate why the rodas of choro emerged within the cities of the interior of São Paulo, what practices are involved, who participates in this movement and how this musical universe articulates with the musical aspirations of the participants. As I have been involved in rodas for almost a decade, I make use of an anthropological methodology based on processes of reflexivity. (AU)

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