Rogério Budasz: African and Brazil-born slave musicians in 19th c. Rio de Janeiro

Rogério Budasz: African and Brazil-born slave musicians in 19th c. Rio de Janeiro

Wednesday@Noon Lecture

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
12:10–1 p.m.
Arts Building Music Rehearsal Hall, ARTS 157

Rogério Budasz, Associate Professor, UCR Department of Music


Instruments, practices, and socio-economic perspectives of African and Brazil-born slave musicians in nineteenth-century Rio de Janeiro

Newspapers are rich sources for information on Brazilian music during the nineteenth century, particularly the musical practices of African and Brazil-born slaves. Playing the marimba, guitar, and cavaquinho appear in the ads as identifying features of runaway slaves, along with observations on their perceived moral and physical defects. A different discourse surfaces when a slave owner announced a slave for sale. In these cases, playing European wind instruments, reading music, and knowing some music theory were positive features that could increase a slave’s monetary value. Data collected so far reveal instances of bi-musicality, while suggesting a connection between music making and professional occupations and between the origin of individuals and the types of street and religious music making in Brazilian cities, in some cases confirming, in other cases questioning existing narratives, particularly those regarding the origins of choro and urban samba. Moreover, it shows that in a number of cases music worked as a path for newly arrived Africans to become ladinos, acculturated, even helping them to attain manumission.

Rogério Budasz is a musicologist interested on early plucked instruments, Luso-Brazilian musical theater, and Afro-Iberian musical connections. His most recent research focuses on the Atlantic circulation of musicians and repertories and the intertwined issues of power, ethnicity, and cultural reconfiguration. He has published three books, several book chapters, and a number of articles on Music & Letters, Early Music, Music & Art, Studi Musicali, and Revista Portuguesa de Musicologia, among other venues.

Budasz studied and taught lute and early plucked string instruments and Brazilian traditional music and had performed and recorded with the Curitiba Guitar Quartet (1987-93) and Ensemble Banza (2002-08). He holds a BA in guitar from the Escola de Música e Belas Artes do Paraná, Curitiba (1992), a MA in musicology from the University of São Paulo (1996), and a Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of Southern California (2001), where he was advised by Bruce Alan Brown and James Tyler. He also earned a BA in Communication from the Universidade Federal do Paraná (1989).

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