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Samba Music of Rio de Janeiro is a genre from which one of Brazilian most popular dances derives.

Origins of Samba

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One of the contemporary Brazilian cultural characteristics, samba became a symbol of national identity. Taken by the black migrants from northern Bahia to Rio at the half of the XIX century, it was in the then Capital of the Empire that samba acquired its most distinctive traits. Samba as a musical genre developed between the end of the XIX century and the first decades of the XX century. In Rio de Janeiro, this dance practiced by Baian slaves met and incorporated other rhythms played in the city such as polca, maxixe, lundu and xote. This gave Carioca samba its unique urban and carnival characteristics.

Modern Samba

The modern shape of samba originated at the ends of the 1920s, when the composers of carnival "blocos" from Estácio de Sá e Osvaldo Cruz, e dos morros da Mangueira, Salgueiro and São Carlos came up with some innovations. After that, the big names of samba appeared: Ismael Silva, Cartola, Ari Barroso, Noel Rosa, Ataulfo Alves, Wilson Batista, Geraldo Pereira, Zé Kéti, Ciro Monteiro, Nelson Cavaquinho, Elton Medeiros, Paulinho da Viola, Martinho da Vila, among many.

As samba consolidated as a modern and urban expression, it started being played in radios and expanded to the district of the South Zone. Originally criticised and discriminated due to its black origins, samba ended up fascinating the Rio de Janeiro middle-classes, much as it happened with tango in neighbouring Argentina.

Kinds of samba

Some derivations of samba arose: samba de gafieira, samba enredo, samba de breque , samba-canção, samba-rock, partido alto, pagode, just to name a few.

In 2007, the Brazilian IPHAN declared samba a Brazilian Cultural Heritage.

Samba typical instruments

Traditionally, samba is played with string instruments (Portuguese cavaquinho and several kinds of guitar) as well as percussive instruments such as the pandeiro (hand drum), o surdo (low drum) and tamborim (high drum).
During the 90s samba-rap appeared. It originated in the favelas and state prisons from Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. From this decade is also samba-reggae, which was created by Baian, Cariocan and Paulistan groups.

Cavaquinho

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Tamborim

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Surdo

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Caixa de samba

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The "Samba de roda baiano" was declared a Mankind Heritage by UNESCO in 2005.

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