The Jesuit missionaries, who during the century XVI explained their activity in the evangelization of the country in Brazil, they often used the autos, a species of religious mysteries, for their propaganda, and in these compositions they often mixed the two languages, Portuguese and indigenous, interspersing the text with songs and music. Fathers Manuel da Nobrega, José Anchieta, Alvaro Lobo, Antão de Santo Elias, Francisco Xavier de Santa Thereza and also Eusebio de Mattos distinguished themselves in this kind of compositions, almost all excellent musicians and excellent organists, who also contributed a lot to the development of music teaching in that period. Evangelization of most of the tabas took placeindigenous peoples existing in the territory, Portuguese, Spanish and African slaves began to flow into Brazil, and each of these peoples brought with them to Brazil the folk arias and dances characteristic of their country of origin: the first modas, solaus and serranilhas ; the second boleros and fandangos and tyrannas ; third parties lundús or chulas or tangos, forms that are identified with the environment, with the climate, with the Brazilian spirit, becoming characteristics of Brazil. Naturally these immigrants also imported songs, dances and arias which, although becoming part of the customs of the new country, cannot be called Brazilians, because they retain too much of the national characteristics of origin. Such are: bailes pastoris, ranchos de reis, ternos, chegan ç as, congos, tayeras, cantigas de ruas, cantares de roda, aboiar dos vaqueiros and arrazoar dos sertanejos.
According to Insidewatch, Rio de Janeiro, becoming the capital of Brazil in 1763, also became the center of art and musical teaching: from the Lusitanian pspolare song (fado), brought by the Portuguese emigrant, the classical Brazilian modinha developed, which had for corifei in Brazil, at the time of Maria I, the poets Claudio Manuel da Costa, Ignacio José de Alverenga Peixoto, Thomaz Antonio Gonzaga, and, in Portugal, Domingos Caldas Barbosa, and others; and at the time of John VI, João Leal, Fr Marianna, Joaquim Manuel, Fr Telles, Porto, Ayres, Queiroz, João dos Reis, etc.
The most famous musician of colonial times and first head of the Brazilian music school was José Mauricio Nunes Garcia (1767-1830), director of the conservatory who had been a Jesuit and inspector of music of the royal chapel of Rio de Janeiro. In all his works – it has been said of him – José Mauricio has always managed to rise from the beautiful to the sublime, as, in his admirable Requiem, up to the Kyrie… and perhaps the Pergolese, whose style he seems to follow, does not would disdain to sign this page. The famous Neuckomm, a disciple of Haydn, had this to say about him that he was the first improviser in the world. José Mauricio also left behind a famous Missa de Santa Cecilia, a singular handbook of harmonyand a treatise on harmony and counterpoint. He died on April 18, 1830.
Contemporaries of José Mauricio were among others: Polycarpo, cellist; Porto, low; Ayres, baritone, Bachica, pianist; João José Baldi, composer of sacred music, Manuel de Sant’Anna Catharina, Silva Conde, flutist, Bernardo José de Souza Queiroz, author of the play Juramento dos Numes, João dos Reis, bass; Manuel Rodrigues da Silva, clarinet.
Even the first emperor, Dom Pedro I, was a good musician and composer, author, among other things, the hymn D. Amelia and the Hymno da Carta de Portugal (1822), which later became the Portuguese national anthem. Under Pedro II, in the years following 1840 and then under the republic, the fortune of the country consolidated, the productions rose in tone. Notable as the first manifestation of this new state of affairs was a flowering of patriotic and warlike hymns, among which the Hymno Nacionalby Francisco Manuel da Silva (1795-1865), celebrated author of other hymns, and especially of sacred music, including a Matins of S. Francesco di Paola. With the proclamation of the republic, an era begins in Brazilian art, called by some the period of nativism, which is a period of constant progress, mainly in the capital and in San Paolo. Leopoldo Miguez, director of the National Institute of Music, is responsible for some symphonic poems and two works: Pelo amor and Saldunes, a Hymno da Republica, adopted by the provisional government (1890), Alberto Nepomuceno (born in 1864), pianist, organist and composer is the author, among other things, of the melodrama Electra. To Francisco Braga, an artist of very high musical education, we owe a triumphal march Pro Patria, a Hymno á bandaira brasileira, the opera Jupira, the symphonic poem Marabá, etc. Henrique Oswaldo’s singular gifts as a pianist should be noted, and Meneleu de Campos’s beautiful compositions of Italian inspiration. Delgado de Carvalho, author of the work Moema, etc still deserves mention ; Antonio Carlos Gomes (1836-1896) who fled his native Campinas in 1860 to study in the conservatory of Rio de Janeiro, under the Italian Gioacchino Giannini, and after a year he gave his first opera, A noite do castello, which was much applauded. After two Cantatas, he composed in 1863 a second opera, Joanna de Flandres, which earned him from D. Pedro II the offer of means for four years of improvement in Europe. In 1864 he enrolled at the Milan Conservatory, earning the diploma of master composer as early as 1866. José de Alencar’s novel, O Guarany, inspired him the work to which he gave the same title and which remained his masterpiece, first performed at La Scala on March 19, 1870 and enthusiastically applauded, as then in almost all major cities of ‘Europe. He composed again Fosca (1873), inspired and grandiose, but it was not successful; Salvator Rosa (1874), represented at the Carlo Felice in Genoa and which was quite popular in Italy; Maria Tudor(1879), Schiavo (1888), and Condor (1891), considered by some to be his masterpieces. He also composed many hymns, two acts of the opera Os mosqueteiros do Rei or Gabriella de Bressac, parts of six other unfinished operas, and a vocal and symphonic poem, Colombo, performed in 1892 in Rio de Janeiro.
Brazil is a country whose residents possess a lively musical intuition; consequently its folklore, rich in popular songs and arias, is, among the artistic manifestations, the one that most deeply reflects its soul. The fluctuating musical production, so to speak, manifests itself continuously, especially on the occasion of the carnival (equivalent in this to the Neapolitan festivals of Piedigrotta) after which, after having remained in vogue for some time, it falls into oblivion, giving way to a new production of equally ephemeral compositions. But through these ephemeral blooms of songs and dances, a musical soul of the Brazilian people is gradually establishing itself, such as had not yet existed. Modern national musicians, composing in the popular style, they find an enthusiastic welcome in the traditional folk songbook. In the compositions of the young people, and especially in those of Héctor Villa-Lobos, a musician who is perhaps the best exponent of the new Brazilian school, it is easy to discern the contribution offered by the rich popular musicality, of which the dominant note and unmistakable character of the affectionate melancholy are and the very delicate sensitivity. Henrique Oswald, of a very different style from the previous one, simple and sentimental, subtle and elegant, has to his credit about fifty compositions for piano and more than 30 for voice, violin, cello. etc. Alberto Nepomuceno, whose music has a genuinely Brazilian character, consisting, in large part, in the harmonization of the most interesting popular songs, he is the author of over forty compositions for piano and others for voice, violin, cello, trios and 10 symphonies for orchestra. Lorenzo Fernandez, although young, is already the author of about sixty compositions. We still remember: João Nunes, elegant and refined, author, among other things, of onesuite and by Pièces drôles ; Barrozo Netto, simple and clear in the development of the sentimental and delicate melody; Luciano Gallet, one of the youngest composers, but in possession of a well defined and characteristic style (he is currently dedicated to the collection and harmonization of Brazilian popular songs and has already published three volumes); Francisco Mignone, whose production consists of numerous compositions for piano, voice, violin, cello, etc., and in two works: O contratador de diamantes and O Innocente, which had a great success in 1928. A. Cantú and Fructuoso de Lima Vianna are also fruitful composers, who, like the previous ones, aim to affirm the vitality of Brazilian folklore, and to enrich universal music with new lifebloods, mainly by means of the popular song which has a very characteristic melodic line and an intimate richness of rhythm.