Brazilian Bossa Nova and Cultural Anthropophagy

Main Article Content

Gian Luigi Corinto


The music discourse was central for the definition of the national identity in the 1920s Brazil, as the Modernista movement assumed it to start a profound reflection on what would be the features of the culture of the Country. Choro and maxixe, dances and music for questionable people living in deprived areas of Rio de Janeiro, spread an energetic culture of life, soon contaminating the rest of the Brazilian society. The ‘negro’ music of mulato musicians could resist the European cultural colonization by imposing sensual and complicated rhythms onto traditional styles as waltz and polka imported from Europe by colonizers. It has been ‘cannibalized’ by formally educated European composers such as the French Darius Milhaud. In its turn, it has been capable of cannibalizing the European and North American cultures. The musical descendants of choro are today well known as samba, bossa-nova, and jazz-samba, produced by contamination and hybridization by Antonio Carlos ‘Tom’ Jobim, and João Gilberto. This music conquered the worldwide success maintaining, over time, an indisputable cultural-geographical identity forged onto the ideas that Oswald de Andrade heralded by his Manifesto Antropofágo.

Article Details

How to Cite
Corinto, G. (2020). Brazilian Bossa Nova and Cultural Anthropophagy. International Journal of Anthropology, 35(1-2), 1-21.
Author Biography

Gian Luigi Corinto, University of Macerata

Gian Luigi Corinto
Section Environment and Territory,
Department of Education, Cultural heritage, and Tourism,
University of Macerata, Piazzale L. Bertelli 1,
62100, Macerata

Italy. Email: