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Choro or chorinho

Choro first appeared in Rio de Janeiro in the 1870's. With roots in the polkas, schottisches, and waltzes of the European salon music which had arrived to the cosmopolitan city in the 1840's, choro grew out of the backyard gatherings of amateur and semi-professional musicians. The original instrumentation contained flute, cavaquinho (soprano guitar), and one or two guitars. The flute provided melody, the cavaquinho rhythm and harmony, and the guitars harmony and contrapuntal bass lines (baixaria). Always preserving the presence of these parts, the instrumentation began to expand to include instruments of the marching bands including trumpet, trombone, clarinet, saxophone and oficleide, stringed instruments including bandolim and a seven-string guitar, and pandeiro. While maintaining the rondo form of the imported repertoire, the combination of the underlying rhythm, syncopated lines, and perhaps the character of the original compositions and performances resulted in a uniquely "Brazilian" genre. Choro was adapted by Brazilian composers Chiquinha Gonzaga and Ernesto Nazareth in their works for solo piano and by Heitor Villa-Lobos in numerous works for solo guitar, chamber ensemble, and concertos.

Always an important element of Brazilian popular music, choro has undergone a resurgence of popularity since 1995 amongst practitioners and listeners alike. The vital centers of today are Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, and São Paulo.

Important figures include Joaquim Antônio Callado, Anacleto de Medeiros, Pixinguinha, João Pernambuco, K-Ximbinho, Radamés Gnattali, Jacob do Bandolim, Waldir Azevedo, Paulo Moura, Garôto, Altamiro Carrilho, and Ademilde Fonseca. ("Inside The Brazilian Rhythm Section", Sher Music Company, 2001: 54)

Some choros you should listen to
Title Musician Composer Album Year
Tico-tico no fubá Paquito D'Rivera Zequinha de Abreu Tico! Tico! 1989
Brasileirinho Yo-Yo Ma Waldir Azevedo Obrigado Brazil 2002
Noites Cariocas   Jacob do Bandolim
Carinhoso Paulinho da Viola Pixinguinha Meu tempo é hoje 2003

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