Language Resources

Samba is an electric Brazilian dance with African roots. Over the years it has become of great importance, not only to the population of Brazil but also to many people from around the world. So much is evident from the decision by UNESCO to award World Heritage status to the Bahian strand of the music form.

The instruments used complement the fast tempo of the dance with a range that has become varied over the years, because of the influence from other countries. For example, traditionally only strings and percussion were used, though North American influences have introduced brass instruments into the fold, such as trumpets.

One of the real attractions to the dance is the way it can bring communities together to celebrate. You will commonly see people involved in preparing food and making sure that everyone is dressed in samba outfits to develop its personality. The origins of samba trace back to the late 19th century, when former slaves created a dance that, along with their own movements and rhythms, also incorporated aspects of other dances, such as the polka and maxine.

Though the dance didn't really become popular until around 1917, there had previously been attempts to record samba music, though this had been infused with maxine to create a sub-genre that didn't represent the true spirit of samba. From 1917 onwards, however, the music style developed into a worldwide phenomenon that reached all the way to Japan, with samba schools found around the globe.

Latin American Dance
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