With general organization by Mónica Vermes, professor at the Federal University of Espírito Santo (Ufes), and Marcos Holler, from the State University of Santa Catarina (Udesc), the collection features a different pair of editors per volume. The book dedicated to the Southeast, for example, was the responsibility of Virgínia de Almeida Bessa, post-doctoral student at the History Department of the Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and Human Sciences (FFLCH) at USP, in partnership with Juliana Pérez González, a doctor also at the FFLCH.
Virgínia says that the idea for the collection came up during an Anppom meeting. The researchers found the existence of a powerful and important production on the history of Brazilian music that was taking place outside the Rio-São Paulo university axis, cities in which the first postgraduate courses in the area were created. With so many articles, dissertations and theses being developed across the country, the proposal for a publication that brought together this production emerged.
Dividing the collection according to regions was exactly in line with the intention of valuing the work carried out in these other centers. A public call for contributions was opened in mid-2022, looking for already consolidated research from masters, young doctors and established doctors. Academics at the top of their careers also received direct invitations to participate in the project.
Articles were received until November last year, following the process of peer review, corrections and edits that resulted in the books published in October. “We managed to do everything in this short period of time because the work was already ready. Most of the chapters bring results from research already carried out”, comments Virgínia. “The collection is more of a work to disseminate this research than something new, aimed at feeding postgraduate courses.”
This does not mean that the texts are only accessible to specialists. The publisher says that, in addition to academic excellence, didactic concerns also guided the process of composing the volumes. A concern with language and the ability to insert the reader into themes, he explains. These themes, in turn, reflect precisely the recent research interests that can be found throughout the country, configuring what Virgínia considers a “spontaneous radiography”.
“The call had precisely the purpose of highlighting the works that are being produced in academia but are not hegemonic”, explains the publisher. “And show that there is research carried out outside the Rio-São Paulo axis, a production that has only recently begun to multiply, including due to the opening of postgraduate courses.”
Songs from all over Brazil
“By proposing a collection on the histories of music in Brazil, in the plural, Anppom comes to consolidate the overcoming of two old paradigms that, for a long time, guided the studies produced in the country on the music of the past”, write Virgínia and Juliana in the Introduction to the volume on the Southeast.
“The first of them is the totalizing and methodologically unitary conception implicit in the History of Music discipline, which has not yet been fully supplanted in higher education courses. In addition to highlighting the diversity of narratives about the historical processes involving musical production in Brazil, the use of the plural is an invitation to the diversification of objects, the proposition of multiple perspectives and the appropriation of different methods, theories and approaches, many of them resulting from interdisciplinary dialogues.”
The book dedicated to the Southeast has 12 chapters, written by researchers and professors with university training in the field of music, but with interdisciplinary dialogues, especially with anthropology, sociology and history, as well as other areas in the field of arts. The texts deal with the relationships between music and the market, characteristics of musical instruments, biographical trajectories, cultural resistance strategies of traditionally excluded groups and the tension between memory and exclusion in the hegemonic narratives of musical historiography. From contemporary experimental music in the metropolis to the traditions of Japanese drums in Atibaia, ethnographic approaches are emerging concerned with themes such as memory and identity.
“The collection of works presented in this book demonstrates how much the histories of music in Brazil benefit from dialogue with various disciplines and are built on the border between different knowledge, drawing not only on knowledge originating from academia and the literate world, but also traditional knowledge, public history and artistic practice”, write the publishers.
Inez Martins, from the State University of Ceará (Uece), and Thais Rabelo, from the Federal University of Sergipe (UFS), wrote the book dedicated to the Northeast. “If, on the one hand, the Northeast Region emerges from a landscape imagined for the country in a time subsequent to its own territorial constitution, on the other hand, it is the result of the multiplicity of lives, histories, practices, customs that, in their erasure, gives rise to the imagetic discourse for the region”, write the publishers. “It is about this plural Northeast, of non-linear histories, of traditions, singularities and connections that the texts present in this e-book aim to reflect.”
With the collaboration of researchers from eight states in the region, the volume is organized into two sections. In the first, the focus is on musical practices in their different historical contexts, ranging from written records to oral tradition, in narratives that seek to address panoramic views of the Northeastern States. The second part focuses on institutions, musicians and works in their local contexts, replacing a more generalist vision with in-depth immersions. Music bands, individual trajectories, music from native peoples and religious music linked to the Church are some of the topics that arise in the section.
“Research shows how alive and pulsating the northeastern music scene was since the 16th century, from the coast to the hinterland”, write the publishers. “Through this volume, the authors point out their discoveries, hypotheses and desires; highlight striking elements and also gaps that still need study and deepening, leading to the conclusion that there is still a lot to be investigated about the Brazilian musical Northeast.”
Fernando Lacerda, from the State University of Amazonas (UEA), and José Jarbas Pinheiro Ruas Junior, from the Federal University of Northern Tocantins (UFNT), are the editors of the volume dedicated to the North region. With six texts, the e-book covers music in the Amazon during the 18th century, the presence of operatic music in the region during the Empire and the first decades of the Republic, the role of women in musical education in Belém, the belle epoque until the mid-20th century, music in Roraima and a study of the viola de buriti, an instrument found in the hinterland of Tocantins.
The book that deals with the South region, in turn, was edited by André Acastro Egg, from the State University of Paraná (Unespar), and Márcia Ramos de Oliveira, from Udesc. According to the editors, the publication looked for works that addressed the exchange between music and media, historical questions about musical activities, the relationship with important institutions for music in the region, the trajectory of musicians, dialogues with critics and music theory. and the place of oral traditions of indigenous people, caipira, Afro-Brazilians and migrants.
“Based on the evaluation of the editorial team and the group of reviewers who contributed to making this collection public, chapters resulted that are representative of the South region by addressing the States of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, whether through authorship of the texts and participating institutions, whether due to the thematic diversity covered”, write the editors at the opening of the volume.
Closing the collection, the Central-West region was under the responsibility of Ana Guiomar Rêgo Souza and Flavia Maria Cruvinel, both from the Federal University of Goiás (UFG). In the introduction to the volume, the publishers highlight the contribution that the collection brings to the integration of the multiple actors involved in musical and musicological practices in Brazil, in addition to the predominance of productions from the Southeast and the invisibility of other locations. “An initiative”, comment Ana and Flavia, “attentive to the reflections of a contemporary historiography concerning visions that understand regionalism not as an opposition to globalism, but as a necessary counterpoint, since regions are locus where social actors actually live and act”.
Musical families from Goiás in the 19th century, the musicality of Mato Grosso do Sul, Catholic music and liturgy, the lundu-canção in Goiás society at the end of the 1800s, the festivals of Mato Grosso and the place and role of women in soirées and serenades in the city of Goiás at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century are some of the subjects covered by the researchers in the volume.
“The histories of Brazilian music written in the 20th century have in common a pronounced emphasis on music from the Southeast region”, writes Marshal Gaioso Pinto, professor at the Instituto Federal de Goiás, in the preface he wrote for the volume on the Central-West. According to Gaioso Pinto, this historiography, which appears in works such as those by Vincenzo Cernicchiaro, Renato Almeida and Vasco Mariz, does not usually stray from the Rio-São Paulo axis, with only sporadic references to music made in Bahia or Pernambuco.
“It is difficult to know to what extent this situation is due to the scarcity of musical events in regions not included in our bibliography or to the stage of development of musicology that would have these events as the object of study. Research from other regions, rare and therefore of great value, generally does not reach national circulation in our stories. Specifically regarding the Central-West Region, the situation could not be more discouraging”, writes Gaioso Pinto. “Anppom, when creating the series Music Stories in Braziltakes an important step in becoming aware of the size of musical Brazil, expanding the borders of our universe of references.”
Music Stories in Brazilby Mónica Vermes and Marcos Holler (organization), Anppom, 5 volumes, available free of charge on the Anppom website.