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Tunes and Grooves from Northeast Brazil | Summer 2022

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Course Information

Rachel Hayter

Choro Workshop - Standard

Here's a chance to learn Brazilian melodies, songs and rhythms from the Northeast of Brazil, with Rachel Hayter and Jansen Santana

When: Mon 20th - Fri 24th June, 18:30-20:30 BST

WhereSOAS Main Building (meet in G52 on the first day)

Delivery: In-person

Level: Open to all
The Northeast of Brazil is home to some of the most rich musical traditions of the country. Come and learn some tunes and songs from the regions of Bahia and Pernambuco to create our very own SOAS band of catchy melodies and killer grooves!
This course will be led by flautist Rachel Hayter joined by Brazilian percussionist Jansen Santana, from Bahia, to head up the groove section. The course will explore music from the traditions of the Orchestra de pífanos (bamboo flute and percussion bands) and Forró (a lively style of music and dance now popular worldwide). We will look at the rhythms of baião, ciranda, marchinha, maracatú and ijexá to accompany melodies and songs, and learn a few dance moves

Open to all instrumentalists, percussionists and vocalists. Notated music will be provided for those who prefer, but we will concentrate on teaching the tunes by ear. Improvisation will be strongly encouraged!


Course Code

Brazil Summer 22

Course Leader

Rachel Hayter
Course Description

Monday 20th - An introduction to the music of Bandas de Pifano- bamboo flute and percussion ensembles from Northeast Brazil. We will learn the melodies, songs and rhythms played by the traditional Banda de Pifanos de Caruarú and the recent music of Carlos Malta e Pife Muderno, and learn about the history and context of this style. This is suitable for all instruments, not just flutes! 

Tues 21st - An introduction to Forró, the energetic Northeastern Brazilian music which accompanies the dance that is now exploding worldwide! We will look at the music of Luiz Gonzaga and Dominguinhos, learning how to play the rhythms on percussion instruments as well as comping patterns for harmonic instruments, learn the melodies and the lyrics in Portuguese.

Weds 22nd - The day of the Ciranda! Ciranda is a traditional circle dance originally from rural/fishing communities in Pernambuco and Paraíba, most notably the island of Itamaracá, with a rich tradition of songs. The ciranda is now a symbol of unity and resistance. We will learn to play, sing and dance a selection of cirandas.

Thurs 23rd - In this workshop we will be joined by percussionist Jansen Santana from Bahia. We will look at Afro-Brazilian songs and rhythms coming from the Candomblé religion from Bahia such as Ijexá, many of which are sung in Yoruba. We will also go over the tunes and grooves learned in previous workshops with a fuller percussion section.


Fri 24th - We will recap the melodies and songs we have learned, practice the rhythms such as forró, maracatú, ciranda, ijexá and marchinha, and work on arrangements and choreography. We will put everything together, rehearsing alongside Jansen Santana, and perform as a lively ensemble of Northeastern Brazilian music!

StartEndCourse Fee 
Choro Workshop - Standard