chapter  1
"Chic le te com Banana": Internat ionalizat ion in Brazilian
ByCharles A. Perrone, Christopher Dunn
Pages 38

Spann ing a cont inent , Brazil has a diverse and vast musical system with a com-

plex history. In varied manifestat ions, popular music stands out as a particularly

powerful m o d e of expressive cul ture there. Wi th respect to product ion and cir-

culat ion of goods, Brazil is one of the world's six largest musical markets. Artisti-

cally, the Brazilian contr ibut ion to m o d e r n urban popular music is, in a certain

sense, immeasurable . Since the formative years of the late n ine teen th century,

questions of foreign in f luence and international relations have been part of Bra-

zilian popular music , having emerged with greater force in publ ic discourse in

decades of authori tar ian rule. O n the domestic front, song and dance music

have been sensitive registers of the construct ion of nat ional identity since the

r e g i m e of G e t ú l i o Vargas (1930-1945), w h e n mus ica l d ip lomacy , inf lux f r o m ab road , especial ly t he U n i t e d States, a n d responses to Brazi l ian mus ica l p rod-

ucts first c o n c e r n e d th inkers a n d make r s of p o p u l a r m u s i c in a m o r e a p p r e c i a b l e

fash ion . S i n c e t he 1940s a n d t h e heyday of t he wel l -known C a r m e n M i r a n d a ,

t h e s o u n d s of Brazil have e n j o y e d h i g h levels of in t e rna t iona l exposure a n d c o n - s u m e r interest , m o s t no tab ly wi th t he bossa nova m o v e m e n t of t h e early 1960s. In

t h e final t h r ee decades of t h e twen t i e th century , analysts of Brazi l ian mus ica l

p h e n o m e n a at h o m e a n d abroad — i n c l u d i n g journalis ts , i n d e p e n d e n t scholars , a c a d e m i c s , a n d a r t icu la te mus ic i ans-regu la r ly p o n d e r e d , at t imes wi th ev iden t

anxiety, cu l tu ra l impor t a t i on a n d expor t quality. D e b a t e s ini t iated d e c a d e s ago

are re invigora ted as n e w mus ica l styles e m e r g e a n d evolve. W h e t h e r focused o n

t h e era of radio or t he age of t h e In te rne t , discussions of u r b a n p o p u l a r m u s i c in

Brazil inevi tably involve in s o m e way i n t e r h e m i s p h e r i c soundings , t he in te rp lay

of t h e local a n d t h e global , a mu l t i f ace t ed d y n a m i c of in te rna t iona l i za t ion .