Pernambuco's Music, Brazil

Frevo is probably the most familiar kind of music from Pernambuco. After the First World War it became popular for parades and carnivals, and carnival time in Recifé is certainly one of the best opportunities to see the gymnastic energy of frevo in full effect. However, frevo is not just about leaping off the street with an umbrella in your hand. Frevo da bloco, music of the blocks or houses, lacks some of the brightness of its brass accompanied cousin frevo da rua, but its heart-breaking ballads and soft laments are equally as explosive.


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Pernambuco, also in the northeast but way on the tip of Brazil's shoulder, has a violin-band tradition that's pretty much unknown in this country. It's also exceedingly rare on record. Oficina de Cordas presents an elegant, polished version.

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