IASPM International Conferences - Proceedings, Situating Popular Musics

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An introduction to the concept of the "national-popular" through the songs of Chico Buarque and Caetano Veloso
Daniela Vieira dos Santos

Last modified: 2013-01-22


In this paper I present the initial results of my doctoral research, the purpose of which is to analyse representations of nationhood as expressed in the songs of two renowned Brazilian composers, Chico Buarque and Caetano Veloso. I begin by exploring the concept of the “national-popular” (characterised as a cultural project of the Brazilian left) in Brazilian Popular Music (MPB) in order to understand the different ideological and aesthetic projects of these composers. I take as a working hypothesis the argument that the representation of national projects in their songs – and in the field of MPB more generally – began to decline from the late 1970s, and this decline gained pace in the 1980s, and particularly in the 1990s, with the impact of globalisation on Brazilian culture. In this sense, it is possible to argue that by the 1990s the songs of Buarque and Veloso, as representative of the national projects of the left, had entered a crisis.

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