Category: 

What is the Bossa-Nova?

Article Details
  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
A fortune cookie company was investigated for providing the winning lottery numbers on a fortune cookie message.  more...

November 28 ,  1943 :  The key leaders of the Allied forces during World War II met for the first time in Tehran, Iran.  more...

Bossa-nova, loosely translated, means "trendy charm." This style of music dates back to the late 1950s in the upscale beach areas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The music is born from the samba, but still very different from it, as the bossa-nova has a great amount of inspiration from jazz. The term refers to a dance as well as the music, but the music ultimately became more popular for listening to than dancing to.

Many people prefer to listen to bossa-nova sounds rather than dance to them. Some people even contend that North America tried to turn the South American music into a dance craze. There was a short fad of bossa-nova dancing from about 1960 to 1965 in the United States and some groups do still dance it today. The dance features swaying movements and has some samba and rumba steps. A signature of the dance is the stillness of the body except for the soft swaying of the hips while the knees are bent.

The bossa-nova allows the dancers to add their own steps to fit in with the beat. Even waltz or fox-trot steps can be used with the dance if they are short, smooth slides. This flexibility makes it an easy dance for beginners to learn.

Ad

While samba began as working class music, bossa-nova was associated with the wealthy. The song "The Girl from Ipanema" remains as the best-known examples of this genre. Most classic bossa-nova songs are about the themes of beaches, women and love. The genre began in Brazil's Ipanema Beach and Copacabana areas.

Bossa-nova music does include samba-like drum beats, although samba usually has more percussion. It is often played on a classical guitar and sometimes the piano. In the late 1960s the genre became more political in content, giving it more samba-like qualities.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email