Samba is one of the most authentic Brazilian features. If you talk about samba, you talk about Brazil. Like Brazil itself, samba is the result of the interaction of many different influences and mixtures. The main samba roots were initially the African rhythms BATUQUE and LUNDU, played mainly with drums and clapping the hands. Later, other elements from European rhythms were incorporated through the use of new instruments like the clarinet, flute and guitar.
After being discovered and occupied, Brazil became a Portuguese colony and most of its original native population disappeared with the European occupation. During its 300 colonial years, Brazil was at some point made into a large producer of sugar cane. The huge extension of land was populated with slaves brought from Africa to work in the sugar cane plantations, while the Portuguese farmers formed a small dominant aristocracy. From these sad years of slavery, Brazil inherited its strong link to the African culture that is still so vivid in many ways: in the food, in the music, in the peoples’ features and cults. The African remains of the tragic slavery period together with Brazilian characteristic happiness in life formed the complex structure of Brazilian society where Samba was born as an expression of contrast.
During the years, samba carried on incorporating more and more elements of the popular expression and until today it’s a live phenomenon, changing constantly with time and its’ people. There are many different styles of samba rhythms, like samba enredo, samba de breque, samba cancao, samba reggae, sambolero and bossa nova.
Interesting facts about Samba:
• In the 1930s, a group of musicians led by Ismael Silva founded the first Samba school, Deixa Falar.
• Samba is thought to be able to unify because individuals participate in it regardless of social or ethnic group.
• Samba is extremely popular in Japan.