Dictionary of the Social History of Samba

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Zé Carioca, a character created by Disney, brings together several stereotypes about the people of Rio de Janeiro, especially those adept at samba, considered for a long time to be the rhythm that attracted “malandragem”.

To deconstruct such figures, Nei Lopes and Luiz Antonio Simas, writers and sambistas, published the best-selling Dicionário da história social do samba (Dictionary of the Social History of Samba) [1].

The option of using social history as the guiding theme aims to provide information about samba in a critical way, highlighting the rhythm as a process that extrapolates the sounds of the pandeiro and relates it to the country’s cultural memory. Whether samba came about in Bahia or in Rio isn’t important to the authors so much because they prefer to show other aspects such as the ambiguous insertion of this musical culture in consumer society and the participation of blacks in the creation and fixation of samba.

In the book, the authors use [393] entries to present parallels between music, dance, cuisine and dress, the famous and anonymous characters, the relationship with governments and the cultural industry, among other themes. In a narrative format, the entries highlight the explicit repression of sambistas at the start of the 20th century, identified with malandragem, such as the Disney character; samba schools, pagodes and rodas as nuclei of resistance, aside from sub-genres that cropped up throughout the past century. – Source (PT)

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