Suvarna Garge (Editor)

Música sertaneja

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Música sertaneja
Stylistic origins  Cururu, Embolada, Fandango, Recortado, Toada
Cultural origins  Late 1920s, countryside of Southeastern Brazil, Central-Western Brazil and Southern Brazil, most strongly in the states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Goiás, Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul.
Typical instruments  classic guitar, electric guitar, viola caipira, accordion, violin, keyboard instruments, drum set, percussion instruments

Música sertaneja ([ˈmuzikɐ seʁtaˈneʒɐ]) or Sertanejo ([seʁtaˈneʒu]) is a music style that had its origins in the countryside of Brazil in the 1920s. It is the most popular music style in Brazil, particularly throughout the southern/southeaster and center-wester countryside Brazil. Subgenres include sertanejo de raiz, sertanejo romântico, and sertanejo universitário.


Sertanejo songs have been, since from the 1990s on, the most played music genre on Brazilian radio, constantly topping the Brazilian music charts. Additionally, from 2000 to 2003 and since 2009, música sertaneja albums have been granted a specific category at the Latin Grammy Awards.

Most of sertanejo music artists consist of duos, at times made of brother siblings, typically with one of them being the backing vocalist to the other one. Men have traditionally dominated the scene, although recently some women (notably, Paula Fernandes and Maria Cecília) have also achieved mainstream success.

The subgenre, called "sertanejo universitário" (college sertanejo), has developed from the mid-2000s on, consisting of a more stripped-down, acoustic-oriented use of the guitars, and has come to grow very popular among the Brazilian youth.


"Sertanejo" is derived from sertão, a general term for rural backlands away from coastal metropolitan regions, although sertão itself is also often used in a narrow sense referring to the interior away from the Brazilian Northeast. Sertanejo differs from the caipira culture, specifically originating in the area that comprises the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Goias, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and Paraná. "Música caipira" or "música sertaneja" refers to the music that is composed and performed in rural areas, like the old 'moda de viola'. The instruments used by solo musicians or duos are typical of colonial Brazil, such as the viola caipira (guitar) .

First era

It was at the end of the 1920s that Brazilian country music as we know it today came into being. It was born from recordings made by journalist and writer Cornélio Pires of "tales" and fragments of traditional songs in the interior of rural São Paulo, north and west of Paraná, south Minas Gerais and Triângulo Mineiro, Goiás and Mato Grosso southeast. At the time of these pioneering recordings, the genre was known as música caipira, whose lyrics evoke the lifestyle of the country man (often in opposition to man's life in the city) and the bucolic beauty of the landscape and romantic countryside (currently this type of composition is classified as "sertanejo de raiz" (roots sertanejo), with emphasized words in daily life and manner of singing). Beyond Cornelio Pires and his "Caipira Gang" stood out in this trend, recording at a later time, duo Alvarenga and Ranchinho, and Florencio Torres, Tonico and Tinoco, Vieira and Vieirinha, among others, and popular songs like "Sergio Forero", by Cornelio Pires, "Bonde Camarão" by Cornelio Pires and Mariano, "Sertão do Laranjinha" by Pires and Ariovaldo and "Cabocla Teresa", by João Pires and Ariovaldo Pacifico.

Second era

A new phase in the history of sertanejo music began after the Second World War, with the addition of new styles (of duets with various intervals and the mariachi-style), genres (initially guarânia and Paraguayan polka, and later, the Mexican corrido and ranchera) and instruments (such as the accordion and harp). The theme gradually shifted to love and romance, however, a certain autobiographical character was kept.

Some highlights of this era were the duos Cascatinha e Inhana, Irmãs Galvão, Irmãs Castro, Sulino e Marrueiro, Palmeira and Biá, the trio Luizinho, Limeira e Zezinha (launchers of music campeira) and singer José Fortuna (adapter guarânia ~ Brazil) . Throughout the 1970s, the duo Milionário & Jose Rico systematized the use of elements of traditional Mexican mariachi with violin and trumpet flourishes to fill spaces between sentences and strokes of the glottis which produces a sobbing voice. Other names, such as duo Pena Branca & Xavantinho, followed the ancient tradition of rustic, while the singer Tião Carreiro innovated by fusing the genre with samba, coco and calango de roda.

Third era

The introduction of the electric guitar and called "young rhythm," double by Leo Canhoto e Robertinho in the late 1960s, marking the start of modern country music. One member of the Jovem Guarda musical movement, singer Sergio Reis went on to record in the 1970 repertoire traditional swing, so as to contribute to wider penetration of gender. Renato Teixeira was another artist to highlight that point. At that time, the local performance of country music was originally the circus, rodeo, and especially some AM radio. Early as the 1980s, this penetration extended to FM radio and also on television - either in weekly programs on Sunday morning or soundtracks novel or special programs.

During the 1980s, there was a mass commercial exploitation of sertanejo, coupled in some cases, to a rereading of international hits and even the Jovem Guarda's. In this new romantic trend of country music countless artists emerged, almost always in pairs, among which, Trio Parada Dura, Chitãozinho & Xororó, Leandro e Leonardo, Zeze Di Camargo e Luciano, Chrystian & Ralf, João Paulo & Daniel, Chico Rey & Parana, João Mineiro and Marciano, Gian and Giovani, Rick & Renner, and Gilmar Gilberto, and the female singers Roberta Miranda and Nalva Aguiar. Some of the successes of this phase are "Fio de Cabelo", by Marciano and Darci Rossi, "Apartmento 37 ", Leo Canhoto, "Pense em Mim, " Douglas in May, "Entre Tapas e Beijos", Nilton Lamas and Antonio Bueno and "Evidências", by Jose Augusto and Paulo Sergio Valle.

Against this trend of more commercial country music, names like the duo Pena Branca e Xavantinho reappeared, adapting to the language of MPB success of guitars, and new artists emerged like Almir Sater, a sophisticated guitar player, who moved among the styles of guitar and the blues. In the following decade, a new generation of sertanejo artists, including Roberto Correa, Ivan Vilela, Pereira da Viola, and Chico Lobo e Miltinho Edilberto, emerged who were willing to reunite the caipira traditions. The recording industry therefore launched a similar movement in the 2000s called sertanejo universitário, with names like Marcos & Leo, Joao Bosco & Vinicius, César Menotti & Fabiano, Jorge & Mateus, Victor & Leo, Fernando & Sorocaba, Marcos & Belutti, João Neto & Frederico. As this movement wins more supporters, the market formerly focused on that the advent of sertanejo artists and duos in Goias state, has today elected new idols in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul such as Luan Santana and Maria Cecilia & Rodolfo. However, Goiás has not failed to reveal big names on the national scene, it appeared the aforementioned Jorge & Mateus and João Neto e Frederico. Not to mention the artists linked to the more massive sertanejo of the previous decade, as Guilherme & Santiago, Bruno & Marrone and Edson & Hudson.

Fourth era

Starts recycling sertanejo universitário, the artists get the music division, a good part returns to the influences of moda de viola or "moda" as the artists are choosing to call the new segment is emerging, and CDS with the caption "just fashion". Yet another part follows the trends of the past romantic sertão that is the case of artists like Eduardo Costa e Léo Magalhães. In the fourth era, the lyrics no longer talk about life, now they are about woman, drink, betrayal and sex, and there is influence from funk and samba/pagode.

Sertanejo universitário

A popular variation of the original sertanejo. Instead of the traditional accordions and guitars, synthesizers and electric guitars begun to be used most often. This subgenre is sung, and is more popular with, people attending college, this being the reason behind the name of this variation.

This is the style of music played at university parties, like "Ai se eu te pego!" by Michel Teló, who found international success with the genre. This variation of sertanejo has more elements of pop as compared with others.

This specific style has found favour internationally. Besides the massive success of "Ai se eu te pego!" on many charts, hits that have found commercial success in Europe and elsewhere include "Bara Bará Bere Berê, "Balada", "Eu Quero Tchu, Eu Quero Tcha" and "Lê Lê Lê".

List of sertanejo artists

(selective, alphabetical order)
(Artists with considerable crossover European and international success indicated with * asterisk)

International sertanejo hits


  • "Ai Se Eu Te Pego!" by Michel Teló
  • "Balada" by Gusttavo Lima
  • "Bara Bará Bere Berê" - Three versions by Alex Ferrari, Leo Rodriguez and Michel Teló
  • "Eu Quero Tchu, Eu Quero Tcha" by Flavel & Neto
  • "Lê Lê Lê" by João Neto & Frederico
  • References

    Música sertaneja Wikipedia