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Title: Chordophone politics in a musical lusophone atlantic: inquiring connections and autonomies
Author: Ribeiro, Jorge Castro
Issue Date: Jul-2022
Publisher: UA Editora
Abstract: Some musical instruments, and specifically some chordophones as the viola and the cavaquinho, have travelled and spanned in Portuguese-speaking contexts around the Atlantic Ocean at least from the 17th century, establishing a visible presence in different musical cultures and regions. In mainland Portugal, in the archipelagos of Madeira, Azores, Cape Verde and in Brazil these old instruments acquired a great variety of new designs, musical uses, new materials, tunings, techniques, repertoires and social statutes that reached the present. In spite of the great geographic distances between the communities that maintain this kind of highly portable instruments in autonomous “musical ecosystems” they were connected in some point of their histories. The chordophones in a musical lusophone Atlantic can be observed as “sites of meaning construction” and as “a part of political economy attuned by, or the outcome of, a range of associated ideas, concepts and practical skills” (Dawe 2003). Many historical records about viola and cavaquinho in Brazil link them to popular classes or even to the slaves and their amusements (Vilela 2005). Connections of these instruments to written music are known in Portugal since the 18th century (Morais 2013). Nowadays in certain contexts some of these chordophones have conquered a place in institutional local propaganda, being cherished by official support and taught in schools, giving rise to new repertoires, artists and luthiers, as are the cases of “cavaquinho minhoto” and “viola beiroa” (mainland Portugal), “viola caipira” and “cavaquinho brasileiro” (Brazil); “viola terceirense” (Azores), “cavaquinho cabo-verdiano” (Cape Verde), “rajão” (Madeira) to name just a few examples. In this work I propose to examine some global questions of musical connections between the lusophone communities and the autonomy of chordophones’ universes, and explore through four specific cases sensitive issues as gender, impact of tourism, transmission of lutherie knowledge and identity. All the data used for this presentation was collected within the scope of AtlaS – Sensitive Atlantic research project.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.48528/rr3x-dv56
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Appears in Collections:INETmd - Comunicações

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