The Brazilian Voice Unchained: Tradition and Innovation in Brazilian Candomblé as Seen Through Ritual Drumming and Popular Music

Percussion instruments are the predominant driving force behind both Brazilian popular music and the ritual music of Candomblé, a world religion birthed in Brazil. It can be argued that through the musical political movement, Tropicália in the 1960’s, drums connected the sacred and the profane in such a way as to help shape the collective identity of a people in a particular place–Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. Christopher Dunn, a scholar of popular music who researched the Tropicália movement, and its primary founders Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso, supports the theory that cultural, religious practices and political perspectives can combine to create complex new musical forms.

Angels & Serpents

When I was a teenager, I suddenly had this irrepressible urge to have a pet snake. My mother was not pleased to say the least, but I was able to sweet talk her into it (that’s what I call “snakey,” but I digress). We went to the pet store and I picked out a beautiful California Kingsnake that had alternating cream and burgundy stripes. I adored and loved my new snake who I named “Ralph.”

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