Música y revolución global: la Tropicália y la evolución del significado del año 1968 en Brasil

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Carmen Inez Sotomayor Calhoun (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Claudia Cabello-Utt

Abstract: The purpose of this research is to explore and analyze how the Tropicália musical movement from late 1960s Brazil has been historicized and reinterpreted —using a variety of sources, including intellectual commentary, mass media portrayal, and autobiographical testimony—over various important temporal moments. Additionally, with the use of the theoretical frameworks of Theodor Adorno, Dick Hebdige, Jean Franco, and others, this research situates the Tropicália musical movement within a popular protest music trend that was transnational in scope and explores the tensions inherent to these global connections. For example, during the time of the Tropicália movement (1967-1969) and right after the movement took place, both Brazilian intellectuals and media figures alike reacted to this controversial musical movement and offered either a response or an interpretation of it. Then in the 1990s, another resurgence of this movement’s memory arose in Brazilian and international discussion when Caetano Veloso, one of the main leaders of the movement, released his memoir Verdade tropical (1997), as well as Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil’s release of their album Tropicália 2 (1993), which led to their profile in the United States reaching its highest point in their musical careers. Therefore, a post-Tropicália remembrance period arose in the 1990s, in which intellectuals and the media celebrated the movement’s 25th anniversary and offered a response to Veloso’s book release. Throughout my research, I propose that the historical memory of the Tropicália musical movement is intrinsically influenced by how it has been interpreted and historicized over these two particular time periods, through media figures and outlets, as well as by intellectuals. In order to establish this connection, I have supported this investigation with extensive research into the artistic influences, political atmosphere, and the theoretical frameworks or ideologies that influenced the commentary and/or artists involved. For example, I examine Brazilian poet Oswald de Andrade’s concept of “cultural cannibalism” in order to understand the tropicalistas’ ideological influence during the movement, versus intellectual Roberto Schwarz’s interpretation of Veloso’s reflection on the movement in his autobiography, written in the 1990s during the height of free-market capitalist politics. In conclusion, the Tropicália movement created musical anthems for rebels and political dissidents in Brazil and was notorious for dismantling and deciphering the cultural and socio-political systems of the time, while promoting ideas of consciousness—social, racial, and otherwise. During the 1960s, promoting social consciousness through the arts, and particularly through popular music, had become one of the most engaging forms of social protest. This phenomenon, which had truly become a transnational trend throughout much of the industrialized world, was reflected in the Tropicália movement which I argue hacked the corporate musical industry of the late 1960s and used it as a platform for social protest. As the saying goes, any form of publicity is good publicity. Although the Tropicália movement was surely misrepresented in certain media outlets and by individuals over time, the tropicalist style, lyrics, and attitude on-stage (and sometimes off-stage)—which is what truly attracted their broad fan base and scared the Brazilian military dictatorship— carried encoded meanings and was blatantly subversive. In particular, I also argue that the rise of television was one of the main factors that allowed for the tropicalistas’ message to be visually identifiable, as well as remain preserved in an almost untouchable way, even in the face of varying interpretations and representations made over time.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2017
1960s, Brazil, Caetano Veloso, Counterculture, Protest Music, Tropicalia
Tropicália (Music)
Popular music $z Brazil $y 1961-1970
Counterculture $z Brazil $x History $y 20th century

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