Folkloric Nationalism and Essential Nationalism in José Siqueira’s Loanda and Maracatu

Elements of the Maracatu folkloric tradition and interpretative suggestions




José Siqueira, Brazilian Art Song, Oito Canções Populares Brasileiras, Loanda, Maracatu


This article describes how Brazilian composer José Siqueira (1907-1985) used musical elements from the folkloric tradition known as Maracatu in the composition of the songs titled Loanda and Maracatu. A secondary goal is to suggest interpretative performance approaches that take into consideration the musical, textual, and sociocultural aspects of these songs. The methodology for the analyses was based on the categories and terms for examining the musical frameworks of art songs outlined by Carol Kimball in her two books about art song, as well as Siqueira’s own-devised Trimodal System. In Loanda and Maracatu, the composer uses several rhythmic cells that are characteristic of the Maracatu folkloric tradition, as well as a clear twentieth-century musical language, confirming Siqueira’s two aesthetic orientations: Folkloric Nationalism (when the composer uses the pure elements of folklore) and Essential Nationalism (when the composer draws inspiration from folklore to create his own musical language).


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Author Biography

Dr. Marcel Ramalho, Augusta University

Originally from Brazil, Dr. Marcel Ramalho is currently Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Voice in the Department of Music at Augusta University. Before joining the faculty at AU, Dr. Ramalho held teaching positions at Earlham College, where he served as Adjunct Instructor of Voice, and at Ball State University, where he served as Applied Voice Instructor, as well as Graduate Assistant Conductor of Chamber Choir, Concert Choir, and Women’s Chorus. A recipient of several academic awards, scholarships, and grants, Dr. Ramalho’s operatic roles include Thomas Putnam in The Crucible  (Robert Ward), the titles roles in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro, and Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Peter in Hansel and Gretel (Humperdinck), Captain Corcoran in H.M.S. Pinafore (Gilbert and Sullivan), and Don Pedro in Béatrice et Bénédict (Berlioz). Dr. Ramalho has also recently appeared as the bass soloist in J. S. Bach’s cantatas Ich habe genug (BWV 82), Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir (BWV 38), Christ lag in Todesbanden (BWV 4), and Weinen, klagen, sorgen, zagen (BWV 12), W. A. Mozart’s Freimaurerkantante, and G. Fauré’s Requiem. Prof. Dr. Ramalho holds a Doctor of Arts degree from Ball State University with a primary emphasis in Vocal Performance and secondary emphasis in Choral Conducting, a Master of Music in Voice Performance from Indiana State University and a Bachelor of Music Education from Universidade Federal da Paraíba (Brazil).


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How to Cite

Ramalho, Marcel. 2022. “Folkloric Nationalism and Essential Nationalism in José Siqueira’s Loanda and Maracatu: Elements of the Maracatu Folkloric Tradition and Interpretative Suggestions”. Per Musi, no. 42 (May):1-24.