Viola (Brazil)


Viola (Brazil)

Besides the instrument of the violin family, viola is also the name for a 10-string steel-string acoustic guitar, used in Brazilian folk music.

Its origins are obscure, but folklorist Luís da Câmara Cascudo believes it to be an archaic form of the Arab lute (al-luth) that elsewhere evolved into the modern guitar.

Brazilian violas have 5 pairs of steel strings in a body similar to that of a smaller Spanish guitar. A large number of tunings are used; open tunings are common.

Violas are present in nearly all Brazilian music forms, anywhere in the country (although it is declining in some places). It most often associated with "Caipira Music" (Brazilian country music), with some forms of North-Eastern music and with folkloric music. It was once used to play urban music, like choro, samba and Maxixe, but has been replaced by the acoustic guitar.

The greatest virtuosos of Brazilian viola are Zé Côco do Riachão (composer from Minas Gerais) , Toninho Ramos (composer from Minas Gerais live in France) and Almir Sater (successful singer-songwriter from Mato Grosso do Sul).

A National Association of Viola Players ("Associação Nacional dos Violeiros") has been founded in 2004 and the Ministry of Culture has declared the preservation of the Viola tradition as of national interest.

External links

* [http://www.meumundo.aol.com.br/netinhaericardo/index_int_3.html Boa Música Brasileira] in Portuguese
* [http://www.ericmartins.mus.br Brazilian Musician Viola Player] in Portuguese
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iX7xsWM3tyY Junior da Violla Playing Song "Luzeiro" From Almir Sater] (YouTube Video)
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kK92rnuaWTM Brazilian Rock Band Charme Chulo Playing "Polaca Azeda" Using Brazilian Viola] (YouTube Music Video)


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