Musical Differences

Curitiba Travel Blog

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trying to look like I know how to dance tango

Argentina has Tango.  Spain has Flamenco.  What does Brazil have?  Brazil has Samba, Carnival & Funk.  These musical genres are what I have been exposed to during my travels in South America.  Out of all the listed genres, the only one I was familiar was National Rock and that was only because it resembled rock and roll music from the United States.  Prior to coming on this trip, I had never actually listened to any Tango, Flamenco or Samba. 


What are the differences in these musical genres?  What makes each one special?  Well, first of all, they each originate in a different country.

the tango show here was pretty good
  I’m not sure about the origins of Flamenco, but Tango and Samba both have similar backgrounds.  Tango originated in the brothels of Buenos Aires, while samba was formed in the favelas of Brazil for the Carnival competition held in Rio de Janeiro.  Both were more popular with the lower class until the European market took notice of them.  They were both accepted by their respective societies following that. 


Flamenco originated in Spain, but it is popular in Argentina as well.  The Argentines took flamenco and added their own twist to it and it is now played in different venues like the one we attended called Cantares.  I personally thought flamenco was more exciting to watch than tango.  The emotion that goes into flamenco is so much more than what I saw in the tango show at Senor Tango.

the place where we went to see the flamenco show
  The rhythm was faster and the music had various highs and lows in it.  It kept the viewers on the edge of their seat.


I think samba is also fun to watch.  I had the privilege of attending a samba concert during my trip to Rio de Janeiro and the dancing was rather traditional.  The samba dancers started off slow, but then the music rose and the dancers started dancing faster and faster.  It was really fun to watch.  The samba music was also used with martial arts during the show.  Experts in capeiora danced to the rhythm played on traditional Brazilian musical instruments.  It was really interesting.  Samba seemed to be more fun to dance than tango.  Tango is very sensual and intricate, but samba seems to be all about fun.  I’m sure samba is hard to dance as well, but it seems like one would enjoy dancing samba more than they would tango (which is probably why most Brazilians know how to dance it).

samba dancers


Samba, Carnival and Funk are the main types of music played in Brazil today or at least that is what I’ve experienced thus far.  “Shiku te, nao te, nao te, shiku te” was Felipe Arocena’s representation of the origin of samba.  That sound is prevalent even in today’s samba music that is mixed with reggae or hip hop.  Nowadays Carnival and funk music are the ones that are really popular with the youth in Brazil.  My friend a lot of Carnival music in his car and every other car it seemed was playing funk music.  Funk music is Brazil’s version of hip hop in America.  The style was new and different to me, but I enjoyed it.  Of course, all the words in funk music are incredibly vulgar, so I was glad that I didn’t understand a word.

Ivete Sangalo is famous for singing samba and Carnival music
  The cool beat was enough for me.  I just need to make sure that nobody around me understands Portuguese when I play it back home.


Traveling through Argentina and Brazil and seeing the different styles of music has opened my eyes.  We are so isolated in terms of music in the United States.  I have never heard of Ivete Sangalo or Zeca Pagodinho back home nor have I heard of Baho Fondo or Gotan Project.  Their cds might get sold in music stores in the States, but only those who really know about tango and samba would have a clue as to who they were.  I bought a couple of their albums to take back for my family.  Hopefully they will enjoy it as much as I do. 



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trying to look like I know how to …
trying to look like I know how to…
the tango show here was pretty good
the tango show here was pretty good
the place where we went to see the…
the place where we went to see th…
samba dancers
samba dancers
Ivete Sangalo is famous for singin…
Ivete Sangalo is famous for singi…
they played funk music here
they played funk music here
photo by: joesu