José Maurício and Marcos Portugal

a false polarization in a context with multiple protagonists




José Maurício Nunes Garcia, Marcos Portugal, Souza Queiroz, Fortinato Mazziotti, tasks and positions


Though it may be regarded as a “given”, the supposed rivalry between Fr. José Maurício Nunes Garcia and Marcos Portugal, as habitually portrayed, is extremely reductionist and simplistic. When the Portuguese court arrived at Rio de Janeiro in 1808, José Maurício was the only musician in a position to take on the leading musical roles and to provide the range of compositions that the court needed. However, little by little, the successive arrivals of musicians from Portugal relieved him of certain tasks: not only Marcos Portugal, but, before him, Bernardo José de Souza Queiroz and Fortunato Mazziotti. Thus the question of the professional relations between the various protagonists in the first years of the Royal Family’s stay is much more complex than the traditional polarisation between José Maurício (the goodie) and Marcos Portugal (the baddie). A grasp, on the one hand, of the range of tasks and positions to be fulfilled and, on the other, of their distribution among the principal musicians available, reveals a great diversity of musical activity and various figures that stand out.


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Author Biography

David Cranmer, FCSH-Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Assistant Professor, Musical Sciences Department, FCSH-Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Coordinator of Caravelas - Center for the Study of the History of Luso-Brazilian Music.



How to Cite

Cranmer, David. 2019. “José Maurício and Marcos Portugal: A False Polarization in a Context With Multiple Protagonists”. Per Musi, no. 39 (August):1-12.



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