The interaction of Brazilian national identity and contemporary musical language: The stylistic development in selected piano works by Marlos Nobre
AuthorBarancoski, Ingrid, 1962-
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractMarlos Nobre (b. Recife, Brazil, 1939) is one of the most prominent Brazilian contemporary composers. He is the recipient of twenty-six national and international awards, and has received commissions from prestigious institutions and organizations. Nobre was influenced by the folk music of Northeast Brazil, where he was born and grew up. A national identity is evident in his music, although the composer does not use familiar patterns from national idioms. The musical texture of his works is filled with rhythmic ostinatos, syncopations, cross-rhythms, and irregular displaced accents inserted in a regular metrical structure; all of these are derived from folk rhythms. The most frequent reminders of folk melodic material in Nobre's music are modal scales and short pentatonic melodies. Nobre received training from the leading composers of two opposing schools: in 1960 he studied with Koellreutter (b. Freiburg, Germany, 1915), the founder of the twelve-tone movement in Brazilian music, and in 1961 he was a disciple of Camargo Guamieri (1907-1994), one of the defenders of Brazilian musical nationalism. Nobre has never adopted either one of these aesthetic positions. His eclectic background also includes studies with Ginastera, Messiaen, Malipiero, Copland, Dallapiccola, Alexander Goehr, and Gunther Schuller. Nobre was influenced as well by the nationalistic theories of the Brazilian musicologist Mario de Andrade (1893-1945). This study examines five selected solo piano works composed by Nobre in different style periods: Nazarethiana, op. 2 (1960), Toccatina, Ponteio e Final, op. 12 (1963), Ciclo Nordestino No. 3, op. 22 (1966), Homenagem a Arthur Rubinstein, op. 40 (1973), and "Frevo" (1977-1985) from Ciclo Nordestino No. 4, op. 43. The analysis of these works describes the evolution of the musical language in his piano music by demonstrating the shifting proportion of folk and popular musical elements relative to contemporary compositional procedures. Nobre's early style includes tonal pieces that rely heavily on melodic and rhythmic elements from folk and popular music. In later works he combines elements from different contemporary compositional techniques; melodic folk materials are no longer observed, but national identity remains present through rhythmic characteristics which are carried over and developed into his later style.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Music, Dance and Performance