Music in Rio

By Gloria Wide

Throughout our time in Rio we have experienced various types of music in several different settings. The two most popular genres of music that we have encountered are Funk and Samba. We experienced samba at our samba dance lessons, our percussion lessons, and at Pedra do Sal. The first time I heard samba was at our dance lessons and at first it was very hard to learn steps while listening to the music, but I later found that dancing was easier when I actually listened to the music. Then at our percussion lessons I discovered that in almost all samba music there is a distinctive “one, two, three” beat that makes the steps so much easier to follow in the music. When I actually had to play the beat on the drums it became obvious to me. Then at Pedra do Sal I put my discovery to the test by trying to hear the beat and dance along. I found that it was so much easier after realizing this and this makes samba such a brilliant genre of music in my opinion.

Then as far as funk music, we were exposed to it mostly in nightlife and on the radio of our ubers. I think that most students enjoy this genre more because of how easy it is to dance along to. Also, this genre sounds most like music we would hear at home just sung in Portuguese. My favorite memory of funk music is when we went out with some students from UniRio and they showed us some simple steps that work with all funk music. But overall, I would say that these are the two genres of music that we were most exposed to in Rio.

Impromptu samba dancing at our percussion class
Samba dancing at Pedra do Sal
Live samba at Pedra do Sal