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ISME Website History Standing Committee BRAZIL - Historical Overview     Music Education in Brazil: An Historical Overview (Part 1)  By Luciane Wilke Freitas Garbosa and Claudia Ribeiro Bellochio Edited by Robin Stevens  For an unedited version of this historical overview of music education in Brazil that includes pictorial images, click on the icon below:     INTRODUCTION  Brazil is a South American country with a long history. It may be characterized as being highly diversified in many respects—cultural, political, economic, social, religious and artistic--which results from the intermingling of its population since  the year 1500 when the Portuguese arrived and came into contact with the native Indians. Thus, tracing the history of music education in Brazil is a complex task, particularly as we cannot speak of only one history, one education or one music. Instead, we see multiple versions and manifestations of Brazilian society in different regions, ethnic groups, cultures and traditions, all of which contributed for the formation of pluralistic identities that characterize the Brazilian people. The scenarios that have contributed to the history of music education in the country cannot be forgotten. This composite picture includes a variety of pedagogical influences, theoretical underpinnings,  methodological bases, performance perspectives (instruments and playing techniques) that have come  together and supported each other is the discourses in various scholarly and epistemological fields of endeavour.  Accordingly, it is only possible to speak about the history of music education in Brazil if we dealwith multiple stories that interconnect through practices that were usually transient, casual, and lack documented evidence to authenticate their existence. None of the accounts written in this area drawn from the perspective of recognised institutions, esteemed teachers and pedagogues, public political discourse, scholarly research and development, professional practice, didactic materials, professional associations, graduate programs or multiple learning environments are able to fully tell “the whole story” of the music education in Brazil. The overriding objective is therefore to contribute to the multiple stories that build what we may refer to as Music Education in Brazil.  PRE-COLONIAL AND COLONIAL PERIOD: THE BEGINNINGS OF FORMAL MUSIC TEACHING IN BRAZIL  The Indian population indigenous to Brazil used music as part of their rituals and social activities well before the year 1500. However, formal or institutional music teaching only came into being after the arrival of the Jesuit missionaries in the year of 1549. Their goal was primarily to convert and civilize the natives through Catholic teachings. The colonizers thought the Indians were devoid of religion and civility. In this context, the original Indian music and dances were studied by the Jesuits and adapted to be used strategically in a pedagogical way for the missionary work. Indigenous music therefore assumed an important role in the Society of Jesus missionary work. The Portuguese colonizers also brought European music with them which they introduced to the Indian population through the schools established by the Jesuits. “The introduction of European musical elements by the Jesuits influenced some aspects of the formation of regional cultures which are kept until today, but that are impossible to be traced back to its origin due to the deportation of the Fathers in 1759 and the interruption of the process” (HOLLER, 2006, p. 204).  The Jesuits utilised music as an important aspect of their teaching of the catechism and the celebtration of the Mass. Music was used not only as a tool to convert the ’heathens” to Christianity, but as a way to inculcate European culture, manners and habits in the new territory. Accordingly, music became an integral aspect of the proselytizing the first inhabitants of this land ultimately resulting in a Portuguese acculturation and an Indian deculturation. In other words, the musical identity of the Indians was suppressed as they assimilated Portuguese cultural elements. In this process they were taught to play music on European instruments which in turn were based on the European repertoire in addition to the use of music for Christian religious ritual.  Many schools established by the Jesuits aimed to teach the Indian children to sing, dance, and play instruments such as the flute, harmonica, tambourine, viola and even harpsichord. These instruments were supported their doctrinal purposes and their religious practices. Between the years 1564 and 1605, twenty-one autos were performed—autos were “a form of musical Brazilian art based on the diatonic-chromatic system of the cultured people” (MELLO, 1908, p.7) which combined drama and music and used as a tool for conversion(ALMEIDA 1942; CERNICCHIARO, 1926; KIEFER, 1976; LANGE, 1966; LEITE, 1949). . Since the Indians were accustomed to have music as part of their religious rituals, indigenous people related well to music and the Jesuits included it in their education as a means of preparing performers to contribute to the church services.  The Jesuits are therefore considered to be the first music teachers in Brazil. Their teachings had a different focus considering that they aimed to unify society through the use of music following the European model (CAMÊU, 1977). This elitist education excluded the general population’s needs in that Brazil “became, for a long time, a country from Europe with the eyes looking out of itself, deep-rooted in a transplanted, alienated and alienating intellectual culture” (ROMANELLI, 1989, p. 35).  After the first Portuguese colonizers came to Brazil in the 16th century, consignments of slaves were continually brought from Africa to work on the sugarcane plantations of the colony. Slaves brought to Brazil comprised mostly people from Sudane, many of whom were of the Islamic faith and others called Bantus. Given that the population of Portugal was so small that it could not supply the number of immigrates required, and given that in Africa slavery was then common practice, the Africans from the north of the continent were being brought in as a saleable commodity.  Pictures made by artists from that time often represent the black people using tambourines in dancing circles with a lead performer in the middle. In spite of captivity and their work as slaves, Sundays - the chosen day by sugar planters for their religious practices - was commonly allowed as a day for the slaves to sing and dance, especially in the rhythm called “batuque” in their own living quarters.  Music was one of the cultural elements held onto by African slaves which, because of its strong rhythmic construction and the erotic components tied to their dances, instilled a certain amount of fear among Portuguese colonizers. Gradually a type of African-Brazilian music developed which was condemned by the Church. The African slaves resisted in a particular way to the European dominance in that they “pretended to accept the impositions of their masters, they strongly maintained their culture, so that it suffered only apparent transformations” (NEVES, 1981, p. 14). On the other hand, there were also group of up to thirty member of the African community who adopted and performed European music.   THE 17th AND 18thCENTURIES   There were only sparce references to Brazilian music and how it was taught during the seventeenth century, but it is known that the religious music was still the most utilised form of music making. There are accounts about an Organic Law enacted between 1658 and 1661 that specific the form and content of voice lessons (JANNIBELLI, 1971, p. 40). It also should be noted that during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries most of the musicians were self-taught and those who wished to acquire additional skills and knowledge had to go to the Court in Portugal.  During this period, however, musical fraternities begin to be formed, some of them consisting exclusively black people. One such group, the Santa Cecília group which had its head office in Lisbon, was particularly significant because it acted like a music union.  The first theaters and concert houses begin in the eighteenth century and were called “opera houses”. In the meantime, other theaters were built in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Recife and Bahia, examples of which were the Teatro da Câmara built in 1729, and later the Casa da Ópera da Praia in 1760, both in Bahia state.  During the second half of the eighteenth century Marquês de Pombal made some changes on the system referred to as ‘reformas pombalinas”. He aimed reform the Portuguese state to align with the Enlightenment ideals, so religious orders such as the Jesuits had their school systems radically altered.  This resulted in a system of free public education being established.. In the year 1759, Pombal banned the Jesuits from Brazil and the capital from the Colony was transferred from Bahia to Rio de Janeiro, marking the decline of the educational system started by Christian missionaries.  BRAZIL IN ITS IMPERIAL PERIOD - THE 19th CENTURY - WITH THE ARRIVAL OF THE PORTUGUESE ROYAL FAMILY AND THE CREATION OF THE NATION’S FIRST MUSICAL INSTITUTIONS  The Portuguese Royal Family arrived in Brazil on 29 November 1807 after having fled from the march of Napoleon’s troops towards Portugal. Their coming marked a new era of development for the country in many respects, including the performance and teaching of music. After their coming to Rio de Janeiro and quick sojourn in Salvador, the Royal Family’s presence in Brazil resulted in great transformations occurring in the urban life of the new capital, mostly in the artistic and cultural aspects.  After John VI installed himself in the colony, the increased urban development led to a period of great growth that stimulated the cultural life. The Royal Press (Imprensa Régia) was created, the Royal Library (Biblioteca Real), the Royal School of Sciences, Arts and Occupations (Escola Real de Ciências, Artes e Ofício) were founded. In the meantime the formation of São José Theater and of the Royal Chapel (Capela Real)—or Royal Music Chapel (Capela Real da Música) as it was also called—was undertaken to replicate the original institutions as they had existed in Lisbon. This last institution consisted of musicians either born in Brazil or who came from Portugal. The Master of the Royal Chapel was priest José Maurício Nunes Garcia, a mulatto musician who wrote the first Music Compendium and Pianoforte Studybook in 1818, both important works in the development of music in Brazil.   From the early 1800s, singers from the Royal Chapel in Lisbon as well as instrumentalists begin to arrive in large numbers in Rio de Janeiro. The musicians were attracted by the possibilities of the work available because of the permanent installation of the Royal Court in the city and the building of the opera theatre. (BERNARDES, 2002, p. 43) With the arrival of the Royal Family, “the Carmelitas Church—the “new Sé”—became the Royal Chapel of Rio de Janeiro and this city was than considered the most important core of religious music from America” (FAGERLANDE, 1996, p. 12). The presence of the Royal Family resulted in great support for the arts, albeit that access to the arts was restricted to the elite classes.  In 1810 the Military Academy was established and two years later, the Royal Theater of São João. The installing of the Portuguese Royal Court in Brazil and especially their residence in Rio de Janeiro resulted in a cultural effervescence which had not been seen in the previous three centuries of Portuguese colonization. Besides the remodeling of the urban space, the imperial government encouraged the immigration of foreign artists and scientists; Debret, Ernst Ebel, Spix and Martius were some of the artists and scientists who arrived in Rio de Janeiro after the opening of the harbour in 1808. (OLIVEIRA, 2007, p.02)  In 1813, several important musicians arrived in the country; these included Marcos Portugal, a Portuguese composer and conductor, and Sigismund Neukomm, an Austrian composer, pianist and disciple of Haydn. Neukomm came to Brazil with the so-called French Mission, a group of painters, sculptors and architects. When he arrived, Neukomm befriended José Maurício and became a great admirer of his work. He became a music teacher of Peter I, Leopoldina and Francisco Manoel da Silva, who later composed the Brazilian anthem and founded the Musical Beneficiary Society (1933) which promoted concerts of foreign and local musicians.  The Portuguese Court and the musicians who arrived in Brazil influenced the system of music education, particularly undergraduate programs where more emphasis was given to meeting the interests of the cultural elite. Due to this fact, little was done for the middle school and high school levels of education. Thus, the goals of educational institutions were largely commercial as opposed to being educational, which resulted in poor teaching and a lack of forward planning. In this context, the few music schools that had been established lacked proper organization and those appointed as the directors of these institution were often inadequate to the task..  In this sense, the neglect of the establishment towards the organization of music education in Brazil was not unexpected, as may be seen in the Additional Act of 1834. This act established a centralized system of education with the government being responsible for regulating education at all school levels, not only in the capital but nationally. (MURASSE, 2005, p.06) Specifically in relation to music education, the first officially sanctioned music course in Brazil was established by law in 1818 (OLIVEIRA, 2011; ALVARES, 1999).  BRAZILIAN INDEPENDENCE (1822): THE CREATION OF SOCIETIES, CLUBS, CONSERVATORIES AND ACADEMIES  When John VI returned to Portugal in 1821, there was a decline in the cultural atmosphere of the country which also resulted in music education becoming unstable and remaining so until the coronation of Peter II in 1841 (ALVARES, 1999). During the reign of John VI, the Royal Chapel had more than one hundred musicians, but later it was reduced to just few singers and instrumentalists.  The independence of Brazil from Portugal was declared in 1822 and the idea of a nation began to develop. This period was marked by the wane of the musical life due to a financial crisis in the country. Although music in Rio de Janeiro was still linked to the Church and the Court, musical culture began to change as a new social group—the bourgeoisie—emerged as the dominant social class. At the same time this group appeared, the musical societies also emerged. Thus, space was created for music teaching and for the manufacture and marketing of musical instruments as well as the publishing of musical scores: “An immediate result of all of this [was] the inflow of the listeners of concerts in the opera houses, which made them to have their spaces grown” (KIEFER, 1997, p. 66).  Because of the rise of the bourgeoisie, concerts became paid entertainment which influenced the choice of repertoire played and the music composed. In the meantime the bourgeoisie also began to pay for music lessons provided by private teachers. Private music teachers took ona special role as substitutes for the musical training traditionally provided by conservatories. Private piano studies became part of a good upbringing and education, particularly in the case of young women, with this custom crossing centuries and marking a key historical aspect of music in Brazil.. Amato (2007) emphasizes that the social function represented by the piano was more important than the educational function of the instrument during the nineteenth century.  In the context of the upward social mobility of the bourgeoisie, Francisco Manoel da Silva founded the “Beneficent Musical Society” in 1833, which later became the first institution dedicated to promoting music in the country.  In 1841, this society became the first official music education institution in Brazil, being referred to as the “Imperial Music Conservatoire”.  With the founding of the Imperial Music Conservatoire in Rio de Janeiro in 1841, a system of music education was formally established through Decree n. 238 enacted on 27 November in that year. Decree n. 1.542, enacted on 23 January 1855, established a new organizational structure for the Conservatoire that catered for both men and women who wished to study music, offering lessons on “[the] basics of Music, music theory and notions of voice” (BRASIL, 1855, p.54). The decree also provided for classes in accompaniment, organ, woodwind and string instruments, and even lessons in composition. The teachers were suppose to be chosen according to “Portaria do Ministro e Secretário d’Estado dos Negócios do Império” [Legislation of the Minister and Secretary from the State of Business from the Empire] (ibid., p.54-55), based on the proposal of the director, and the remaining places were suppose to be filled through a public competition. According to Silva (2007, p.232), “the first teachers of the Conservatoire, despite all difficulties, were able to build an institution and an educational model which remains until today.” Years later and after many changes, the institution was called School of Music of the Federal University from Rio de Janeiro. Franciso Manoel da Silva, composer of the Brazilian national anthem, was able to arrange for the education of the Brazilian musicians to be in the hands of the government by organizing the first lottery fund to finance the Conservatoire that was enacted through the Decree number 238 of 27 November 1841. (OLIVEIRA, 1992, p. 36)  The year 1835 was of great significance for the development of music education in the city of Niterói city in the state of Rio de Janeiro because it marks the establishment of the first Teacher Training College (Escola Normal).  Part of the course was the inclusion of music in the training of future teachers. the next development was the founding in 1842 of the Bahia School for Teachers. The rationale for it being established was the unpreparedness for teaching of already practicing teachers and the need for a reference point – a model – for course content and pedagogical methods for preparing new teachers. The curriculum content was imported from Europe, especially from France, with music being included on the basis of two principal arguments – as a means of achieving discipline and sense of order (FUKS, 1991). Vocal music teaching had been the foundation for all music education since its introduction to the curriculum as well as representing a practical link between the school and society. and it reflected the thought in an articulation between school and society. Fuks (1991) argued this in his analysis of the “Escola Normal” [School for Teachers] as an institution that utilsed music for non-musical goals.  This was especially so in relation to “songs of command” which could be a substitute for and lessen the need for the “disciplinary function of the school.”  In reaction to this, the press supported an alternative approach to school music pointing to the “need of taking advantage of the use of popular songs at school” and also the importance of “singing in the national language” (ibid., p. 99).  According to Mello (1947), the first regulations that set out the music curriculum in 1847 included (a) solfège, (b) voice, (c) string instruments, (d) woodwind instruments and (e) harmony. After Decree 630 in 1851, the “public schools of primary instruction were divided in first and second class”. In the first class, the regulations state that instruction should also include grammar of the national language, arithmetic, notions of algebra and elementary geometry. The curriculum should also include readings and explanations of the gospels as well as elements of geography, national history, linear drawing, music and voice exercises (see  Decree 1.331 in 1854 specified that schools and “public and private establishments of primary and secondary instruction” should be divided in two classes: “the elementary instruction, called elementary and middle school, [and] superior primary instruction, called high school” (BRASIL, 1854, p.11). In this context, basic and middle school had to include music and voice lessons in line with what was prescribed in Decree 630. Other curriculum areas were added including elementary geometry, land surveying, linear drawing, music notation and voice exercises, gymnastics, and a more developed study of the system of units of measurements, the latter to aid students in commercial relations both within Brazil and with other nations (see and  In 1857 the Imperial Academy of National Music and Opera was founded to offer training courses for opera singers. Besides the institutions that offered specialized music education, the public and private schools created in the nineteenth century were obliged to teach music so that “whatever person with little specific knowledge of music could be a teacher of that institution”.  The musical repertoire at this time consisted mostly of “French and Italian songs” (FUKS, 1991, p. 144).   After the Rangel Pestana Reformation, Law Number 81 of 1887, choir practice became an obligatory school activity that was the responsibility of teachers who had graduated from the School for Teachers to implement this in the schools. In 1890 with Decree Number 27, music education became an obligatory study in all basic teacher training courses (Escolas Normais) and was maintained when in 1911 when the teacher training course was extended to four years duration.  All of these events occurred at a time when the dominant artistic syle, Romanticism, was being explored by the local artists. So it was that Brazilian folklore and popular traditions inspired composers, painters, writers and educators to incorporate nationalist elements into their professional work. However, there was opposition towards the influence of indigenous folklore, especially on the part of the Concert Societies, who considered that the richest part of Brazil’s traditions came from the African culture, particularly as slavery had only been abolished in 1888. Overview ISME Website History Standing Committee Copyright © 2014 History Standing Committee, International Society for Music Education (ISME) [ Go to Part 2 ] [ Go to Part 2 ] IHME Homepage IHME Homepage Overview