Choro has been called Brazil’s first independent national music. Beginning as an unwritten performance style in Rio de Janeiro in the mid-1800′s, choro compositions first appeared in print in the 1870′s. Choro’s full development came with the music of Pixinguinha in the 1920′s, before its popularity gave way to the new simpler style of samba. The virtuoso instrumentals of choro were eclipsed by the popularity of vocal styles in the early days of radio and recording, but it experienced a revival in the 1940′s, sparked by the compositions of Jacob do Bandolim and others. This period gave us most of the standard repertoire performed today, before choro once again fell from favor, obscured by the new style of bossa nova. Choro had its second strong revival in the 1970′s, a period that saw an increased interest in professional performances and recordings.
By Marilynn Mair