São José dos Campos, São Paulo - Sexta, 14 de agosto de 2020
Popular Culture   

Popular Culture

A brief history of Carnival

This party was around in Brazil's colonial times, but it only became a really popular event at the beginning of the 20th Century



According to some historians, Brazil’s carnival celebrations were around in colonial times. In the 17th Century the Portuguese brought “entrudo” to Brazil, which was a very different “carnival” from today’s, as it had no music and the party was nothing more than fun between people. From the 1840s the first masked balls appeared in Brazil. However, the great popularization of carnival only began at the beginning of the 20th Century, when this party became more attractive, with marchinhas (a kind of carnival music), samba, samba ‘schools,’ and various other ingredients. In the 1930s carnival was in its golden age, thanks to the development of radio and, mainly, thanks to the fantastic work done by composers such as Ary Barroso, Lamartine Babo, Braguinha and Noel Rosa.

The 1930s: The Golden Age of Brazilian Carnival

  The carnival marchinhas began to appear in the 1920s, but it was from the 1930s that the most beautiful marchinhas in Brazilian carnivals were created. Those marchinhas were such creative songs, so happy and fun that they were contagious for Brazilians and transformed the 1930s into The Golden Age of Brazilian Carnival. At that time, radio began to take off in the country and it was fundamental in spreading the beautiful carnival music to the main Brazilian cities. Some of the biggest hits of all time in Brazilian carnival were from that time. Marchinhas such as Mamãe eu Quero, Me dá Um Dinheiro Aí and Cidade Maravilhosa are popular even today. 


   Lamartine Babo and Braguinha are considered to be Brazil’s greatest composers of marchinhas. They were friends and even made music together, such as Cantores do Rádio. But besides the marchinhas they also created music of the most diverse styles. Braguinha, also known as João de Barro,  was born in Rio in March 1907. He has composed more than 400 songs – many of them becoming classics, such as Balancê, Pastorinhas and Carinhoso (in partnership with Pixinguinha).  In the 1940s, Braguinha was given a gold watch – a present from an illustrious fan called Walt Disney.
   The composer, singer and radio broadcaster Lamartine Babo was born in
Rio de Janeiro at the beginning of the 20
th Century. If he were still alive, he would have turned 100 years old on January 10th this year. He is considered to be the king of marchinhas and also the king of the carioca soccer fans.  This is because Lamartine is the writer of the club anthems for Botafogo, Flamengo, Fluminense and Vasco, besides also having composed the anthem for his favorite club, América. Co-writer of classics such as O Teu Cabelo Não Nega and No Rancho Fundo, Lamartine composed more than 350 songs of the most diverse musical styles.

            Marchinhas in São Luiz do Paraitinga


São Luiz do Paraitinga, a small city of 10,000 people located in Vale do Paraíba, has one of the liveliest carnivals in the interior of São Paulo. Since the middle of the 1980s there have been competitions for carnival marchinhas there. The best songs are recorded on CD, played on the radio and are the soundtrack for the city’s carnivals.



Fotos - Olinda (Passarinho / Pref. de Olinda)

Vila Isabel desfila na Sapucaí, Rio - AF Rodrigues/Riotur

Ilustração: Calberto



1 brief – breve

2 to be (was/were) around – estar no ar (no texto = já existia)

3 masked - mascarado

4 ball – baile
5 to take off – decolar / se espalhar

6 to spread - espalhar

7 lively – animado
8 soundtrack – trilha

9  radio broadcaster – locutor de rádio

10 alive – vivo

11 soccer fan – torcedor de futebol

12 anthem - hino

13 co-writer – co-autor