Marcus Pereira's Música Popular do Brasil: beyond folklore?
If Brazilian and international audiences now have a far broader view of the range of the musical tradition in Brazil, and particularly the heterogeneous richness of the regional tradition of popular music in that country, it is largely due to the pioneering work of Marcus Pereira. Following the example of Cecil Sharp and Alan Lomax, the Brazilian collector of popular music and culture set out in the mid 1970s to independently produce a series of recordings of regional popular music entitled Música
Brasil. This huge project is important for three main reasons. First, in a climate of uncompromising political and artistic censorship, Pereira attempted to bring to the fore elements of a cultural and political debate that had polarised Brazil in the early 1960s: a debate that was abruptly terminated by the military dictatorship that seized power in 1964. Second, Música
Brasil demonstrates the beginning of an awareness of a new, more complex relationship between traditional, largely rural popular culture and the increasingly urbanised Brazilian society of the mid-1970s. Finally, at a time when popular music in Brazil was increasingly orientated towards influences emanating from abroad, Marcus Pereira dramatically bucked the trend and re-introduced the Brazilian public to aspects of the regional, rural tradition of popular music and culture that would have a huge influence in Brazilian popular music over the last three decades of the twentieth century.