This semester I’ve been taking an amazing class at NYU called Brazilian Music and Globalization. I absolutely love it. I couldn’t have chosen a better course here at NYU or back at Duke.
As far as our NYU courses go, we’ve all had different experiences. It was tough signing up for courses–it would be nice if we had an NYU advisor assigned to our Duke group to help us out. Even still, with perseverance, many diverse and different courses were available to us.
Here’s a brief profile of my NYU class (and please please please make sure to check out some of the Brazilian tune’s I’ve posted. They’re awesome.):
My class is cross-listed in the Music, Africana Studies, and Spanish and Portuguese Departments of the NYU College of Arts and Sciences. Professor Jason Stanyek teaches the course–he’s an expert in Brazilian music, has taught extensively on the subject, has lived in Brazil for many years in the past, and plays many of the instruments we discuss in class. He’s also extremely enthusiastic and engaging as a lecturer. His bi-weekly lectures are consistently well-organized and interesting, incorporating much audio and video. About fifty students take the course, but Professor Stanyek and his two TA’s make themselves available and accessible.
Brazilian music is, above all, DIVERSE. Over the course of the semester, we’ve studied in depth the music of capoeira, Rio’s Carnival samba, bossa nova, pagode, tropicalia, the music of candomble and umbanda, and samba reggae. This is only a sampling of Brazil’s music–we’ve also touched on many other styles and movements. Popular music holds an exalted position in Brazil and is connected to complex issues of racial identity, authenticity and Brasilidade (Brazilianness), and internationalization.
In the sidebar, you’ll find some cool samples of the many many many Brazilian tracks I’ve listened to this semester. If you want more info, ASK ME!!! I love talking about this stuff.
The track and artist names did not come through very clearly, so here’s a list of what I’ve posted (without the necessary accents–sorry!): "Nobre Vagabundo" Daniela Mercury, "Morena Tropicana" Alceu Valenca, "Perdido de Amor (Ao Vivo)" Timbalada, "Vai Vadiar" Zeca Pagodinho, "Vem pros meus bracos" Beth Caravalho e Zeca Pagodinho, "Tropicalia" Caetano Veloso, "Domingo No Parque" Gilberto Gil, "Alegria, Alegria" Caetano Veloso, "Tropicalia" Beck, "Aguas de Marco" Elis Regina and Tom Jobim, "The Girl from Ipanema" Tom Jobim (composer) and Frank Sinatra (performer), "Chega de Saudade" Joao Gilberto, "Corcovado" Joao Gilberto, "Kizomba: A festa da raca" Vila Isabel (Rio Samba School–the winning 1988 samba), "100 Anos de Liberdade: Realidade ou Ilusao" Estacao Primeira de Manguiera (Rio Samba School–close second in 1988).