Lyrics, melody, arrangement

elements in tension in Favela by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes


  • Silvio Augusto Merhy Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO) (Brazil)


Brazilian popular song, Samba, Slums in Rio de Janeiro, Bossa Nova, Tom Jobim, Vinícius de Moraes


Records have made easier to think over a musical issue as a document, not exclusively as an aesthetic object. Through song recordings it is possible to decompose, recompose, analyze, extract components, etc., and most of all consider them as belonging to a vast social net. Putting together lyrics, melody and arrangement poses the question of classifying genres. Musical arrangements, as a kind of song frame, can break apart the former sense of the combination lyrics/melody. Some recordings of O morro não tem vez by Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes disclose contradictions and tensions in what is called Bossa Nova and make it a permanent question.


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Author Biography

Silvio Augusto Merhy, Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO) (Brazil)

He holds a B.A. in Law from UFRJ (1968), a B.A. in Piano from UFRJ (1968), a M.A. in Music from UFRJ (1995), and a Ph.D. in Social History from UFRJ (2001). He is currently an Associate Professor II at UNIRIO. He works in music teaching mainly with Keyboard Harmony, Song Transcription and Popular Music History. He is proficient in Russian, German, French, English, Spanish and Greek. Also at UNIRIO, he was Director of the Villa-Lobos Institute and coordinator of the Graduate Program in Music.


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How to Cite

Merhy, Silvio Augusto. 2010. “Lyrics, Melody, Arrangement: Elements in Tension in Favela by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinícius De Moraes”. Per Musi, no. 22 (July):1-9.



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