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date: 08 May 2021

Popular Music and the Growth of Brazilian Culture Industries since 1945locked

  • K. E. GoldschmittK. E. GoldschmittWellesley College
  •  and Eduardo VicenteEduardo VicenteUniversidade de São Paulo

Summary

The period following the end of Getúlio Vargas’s second government (1951–1954) saw a massive expansion of the media industries, with popular music in particular becoming an important cultural touchstone. A major feature of the postwar period was the politicization of music and other media such as radio, television, and social media. Other salient trends include the incorporation of international musical influences (especially jazz, rock, and countercultural postures) into Brazilian musical production starting in the late-1950s, and the rise and prominence of regional genres in the national discourse. Along with the fluctuations in the national economy, the recording industry expanded and contracted. Brazilian media industry infrastructures have taken part in artistic expression, including both major multinational record labels as well as independent record companies. Popular music production has regularly responded to the social and economic upheavals that have characterized Brazil since the end of World War II, including the military dictatorship (1964–1985). While much of the international reputation of Brazilian music in this period relies on the popularity of bossa nova, the history of the country’s media industries shows how other genres such as música popular brasileira, rock, brega, and sertanejo adapted to public tastes. Even during the height of the military regime’s repression, the efforts of record companies and recording artists saw the expansion of Brazilian popular music into still more diverse sounds, a trend that continued through the first decades of the 21st century. Interdisciplinary perspectives, including communication studies, history, anthropology, and ethnomusicology, show some possible new routes for music and cultural industry research in Brazil.

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