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The musical basis of the carnival celebration in Recife and Olinda (cities in the Brazilian state Pernambuco) is the frevo. It is a vigorous march-dance in fast 2/4 time. The word "frevo" comes from the Portuguese word ferver, meaning heated or fevered. Frevo appeared in Recife in the late nineteenth century. It is a descendent of the marcha-polka, a form which in turn came from the marcha, a style of military music adapted for dance use, and the popular and lively polka. It often begins in a row formation, but as the rhythms intensify a circle is formed, with one solo dancer in the middle whose dance-rhythm is syncopated to that of the beat. The rhythms then build to a frenzy, becoming so fast and powerful that the dancers seem to be crazy. Because it is an adapted form of military parade music, the frevo uses many brass instruments, plus drums and percussion. The dancers usually use umbrellas.

You can find examples of the frevo in the repertoire of MPB artists like Gal Costa and Moraes Moreira. Prominent composers and band leaders of the tradition are Capiba, Lourenço da Silva (Zuzinha), José Ursicino da Silva (Maestro Duda), and Mathias da Rocha. ("Inside The Brazilian Rhythm Section", Sher Music Company, 2001: 80 and "Brazilian rhythms for drumset", Manhattan Music, Inc., 1991: 9)

Some frevo songs you should listen to
Title Musician Composer Album Year
Frevo diabo Edu Lobo & Metropole Orkest Edu Lobo - Chico Buarque Edu Lobo & Metropole Orkest 2011
Frevo Egberto Gismonti Egberto Gismonti Nó caipira 1978
Frevo (de Orfeu) Gal Costa António Carlos Jobim - Vinícius de Moraes Gal Costa canta Tom Jobim - Ao vivo 1999
Frevo (de Orfeu) Joyce - Toninho Horta António Carlos Jobim - Vinícius de Moraes Sem você 1995
Frevo Sanfonado Spok Frevo Orquestra Sivuca - Glorinha Gadelha Passo de Anjo ao Vivo 2008
Frevo Aberto Spok Frevo Orquestra Edson Rodrigues Passo de Anjo ao Vivo 2008

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