cover of book

A Respectable Spell: Transformations of Samba in Rio de Janeiro
by Carlos Sandroni
University of Illinois Press, 2021
Cloth: 978-0-252-04402-1 | Paper: 978-0-252-08608-3 | eISBN: 978-0-252-05296-5
Library of Congress Classification ML3465
Dewey Decimal Classification 781.640981

A landmark in Brazilian music scholarship, A Respectable Spell introduces English-speaking readers to the rich history of samba from its nineteenth century origins to its emergence as a distinctive genre in the 1930s. Merging storytelling with theory, Carlos Sandroni profiles performers, composers, and others while analyzing the complex ideologies their music can communicate in their lyrics and rhythms, and how the meaning of songs and musical genres can vary depending on social and historical context. He also delves into lundu, modinha, maxixe, and many other genres of Brazilian music; presents the little-heard voices and perspectives of marginalized Brazilians like the African-descended sambistas; and presents a study in step with the types of decolonial approaches to ethnomusicology that have since emerged, treating the people being studied not only as makers of music but also of knowledge.

Incisive and comprehensive, A Respectable Spell tells the compelling story of an iconic Brazilian musical genre.

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