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Country Music, Labor and Politics (Piracicaba, 1940-1950)

Grant number: 13/15722-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2014
Effective date (End): December 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Arts - Music
Principal researcher:José Roberto Zan
Grantee:Uassyr de Siqueira
Home Institution: Instituto de Artes (IA). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


This project aims to analyse the relationship between brazilian country music (música sertaneja), labour and politics in the city of Piracicaba during the 1940s and 1950s. The chronological cut is justified mainly due to the documentation of an important cultural association founded in the city in 1945: the Piracicaba Folklore Center. This organisation,closely following the concerns of folklorists in Brazil, has acted to promote and preserve the folk traditions of the city, with special attention to cururu and moda de viola. It ('s archive)contains a still unexplored documentation, such as minutes of meeting, lyrics and other records and registers by the centre.We note that in pioneers studies had concern about distinguishing the radical differences between two kinks of a country music: the first is treated as the "authentic" culture of the rural man, while the second is seen as a commodity that would be exploited by the culture industry, led to the consumption of large mass. In the urban environment, the composer would have lost its creative autonomy, submitting passively to the dictates of the market. The country music have transformed vehicle popularizer of bourgeois ideology, a tool of alienation of the worker. However, more recent approaches on the subject has been concerned increasingly attentive to the complex scenarios of artistic environment, emphasizing the movement of musicians in the urban space and noted that, despite the pressures of the music industry, musicians had a relative autonomy in the preparation of his compositions.Without denying the country music dimension as a commodity, and recognising the importance of the music industry over the dynamics of the production of the gender, we intend, in the light of the most recent production on the subject, to address other dimension: We seek to emphasise that the production of the "música sertaneja" is closely related the experience of urban workers in the city of Piracicaba. Several compositions, which most likely were not recorded, expressed the impressions of workers about politics and the labour world.

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