The School of Bossa Nova
During the 1950s, Brazil left the image of an exotic country behind to emerge on the world stage as a prosperous and modern nation. The soundtrack to this historical period was Bossa Nova, a revolutionary musical genre that blends together Afro-Brazilian samba and American jazz. In this course students will explore the history of Bossa Nova, its cultural paradigms, and its global impact. As a product of samba and jazz, how did Bossa Nova deal with issues of race and gender? Is Bossa Nova a “whitened” form of samba? How are women represented in Bossa Nova’s lyrics? Also, how were Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes’ songs received in countries such as Japan, France, Cape Verde, Argentina, and the U.S.? How did these songs help change the perception of Brazil from abroad? In order to reflect on these and other questions, we will combine the reading of essays on Brazilian history and culture with the analysis of a number of Bossa Nova’s classics. Moreover, we will dedicate a section of our classes to “practice” these songs. As in the movie The School of Rock, students and teacher will rehearse for a performance, open to the Middlebury community, that will take place on campus by the end of the semester. Music skills are desirable, but not required. (PGSE 0215, or by approval) 3hrs. lect.

Schedule
12:15pm-1:30pm on Monday, Wednesday (Sep 13, 2021 to Dec 13, 2021)
Location
Mahaney Center for the Arts 209
Instructors