BBC 6 minute English-Brazilian music

BBC 6 minute English-Brazilian music

BBC 6 minute English-Brazilian music


Transcript of the podcast

NB: This is not a word for word transcript

Rob: Hello I’m Rob. Welcome to 6 Minute English. And today we’re going to talk about

Rob: …Brazilian music! Ah… the samba…! And I’m joined today by Grace, from Brazil. Hi Grace

Grace: Hi Rob. Can you sing well? Or do you usually sing, let’s say, out of tune like me

Rob: Out of tune, so you mean singing or playing notes that are at the wrong pitch. Yes, I definitely sing out of tune

Grace: Well, that was the voice of the Brazilian recording artist Monica Vasconcelos

Rob: A recording artist – so that’s a singer or musician who creates and releases music either through a record label or independently. She does indeed have a very beautiful voice

Grace: And she sings many types of music including samba, jazz and bossa nova. Talking about bossa nova, Rob, I have a question for you

Rob: OK

Grace: One of the most famous bossa nova tunes is ‘The Girl from Ipanema’. It was composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes. Do you know the song, Rob

Rob: I know it very well. Even Frank Sinatra recorded it, didn’t he

Grace: Yes. So when was the song ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ recorded commercially for the first time? Was it

a) in 1955

b) in 1962

c) or in 1969

Rob: OK, well, I know it’s quite old so I’m going to go for 1962. You know, I’ve always wanted to know more about the bossa nova. How different is it from the famous Brazilian samba music

Grace: Let’s listen to the expert, Monica Vasconcelos. Which two words does she use to compare these musical styles

Monica Vasconcelos, Brazilian singer

Samba is very energetic and full of life… and bossa nova is… It’s a little smoother; it’s more understated. Bossa is a combination of complex harmonies, coming from… particularly Europe and this very cool bossa groove that comes from samba. In addition to that, you have some particular themes: the sea, love… The bossa nova composers, they were into beauty

Rob: So smoother – that means calmer – and understated, meaning more controlled, more discreet

Grace: And it’s easy to understand the themes of these songs

Rob: Yes, she says the composers – the writers – of bossa nova were into beauty – to be into something means to be interested in something. They were interested in the beautiful things in life

Grace: The lyrics – the words of the songs – were about boats sailing away, a beautiful woman walking by the beach

Rob: A beautiful view and beautiful lyrics. And bossa nova has a very special kind of groove, meaning the feel and style of the music – and the bossa nova groove is cool, funky and smooth! And what about rock and pop music – do Brazilians like these music styles

Grace: Yes, we do like rock and pop, but a common complaint is that our radio stations play too many songs from Britain and America. Monica explains. What phrase does she use to describe the effect of globalisation on local music

Monica Vasconcelos, Brazilian singer

You take a traditional rock rhythm… and then take a samba groove… The first example is simpler, so what happens in the process of globalisation where you have rock and pop coming into different markets all over the world… you have a flattening of the local grooves which may be a bit more complex, so the simpler ideas end up taking over

Rob: Monica talks about a flattening of the local grooves – a simplifying of more complex local music that has happened as a result of rock and pop influence coming in through globalisation

Grace: I know you like travelling a lot, Rob. Would you like to go abroad and find only the very same things you have here in Britain

Rob: Absolutely not! No! Travelling is all about discovering, hearing local music, discovering local foods – things that are different from things that are back at home

Grace: Well, now let’s see how much you know about bossa nova. I asked when the song ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ was recorded commercially for the first time? The options were: 1955, 1962 and 1969.

Rob: And I had a guess and said 1962

Grace: Oh you got it right, Rob! Yeah, you got it right! The first commercial recording of ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ was by Brazilian singer Pery Ribeiro

Rob: Well, I love talking about music and other cultures but our time is running out

Grace: So let’s recall the words we heard today

Rob: Yes, we heard

out of tune recording artist smoother understated groove to be into lyrics flattened

Grace: Thanks, Rob. And as we’ve been talking about music, shall we say goodbye in the rhythm of samba

Rob: OK, let’s give it a try. Please join us again soon for 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English

Rob: You’re doing it better than me

Both: Bye

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