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3.2 – “rose petals spread by the wind”

Paulo César Pinheiro, who has already written lyrics for music with songs composed in the most different manners, values the resources typical to the creation processes that spare the instrument and approach the first category of our schematization. The excerpt of our dialogue transcribed below nears such questions:



00:00 the active instrument in the melodic search

00:45 Tom Jobim’s equilibrium: Chovendo na roseira




[Plays and sings the second part of the same music]




Not natural, right? [i]

In the second part, which is more elaborated,

it’s necessary then that I “double” the melody

playing it also on the instrument.

Just like Jobim used to do so many times, [i]

in order to give a support to the voice.

Otherwise, it doesn’t work.



And they are popular.


Popular and highly sophisticated.


That’s that!


In the video [i] featuring Elis Regina and Tom Jobim rehearsing this same music for the anthological recording of the long play Elis e Tom, there is a dialogue between the composer and the singer which corroborates the vision herein presented. The dialogue is transcribed below:




“pétalas de rosa espalhadas pelo vento”

[and says]

“this “upward singing” is hard , isn’t it?!”


“That’ why I haven’t recorded myself singing this music”.


“So you’ve left it for me, right?”.


“That’s for a professional singer”.

  1. This first phrase that is symmetrically equilibrated – as we can visually verify – exemplifies a melodic construction that meets precepts historically cultivated by teachings in Counterpoint. The melody has its leaps compensated by conjugated degrees in the direction opposite to what is happening, preserving naturality, intonability and memorization of the horizontal direction of the melodic line. Those questions are spontaneously presented to the “songwriter” and, in an analogous manner, represent foundations for the written music tradition.

  2. The melody in the second part presents uninterrupted leaps – including the increased fourth –, which make the intonation difficult  and at the same time places it as a “sophisticated” song. On the other hand, those leaps take place within the circle of fifth of the same mode – myxolidian – which makes its assimilation easier and may produce this “popular” sense.

  3. Chovendo na roseira – Tom Jobim e Elis Regina – the dialogue mentioned starts at 02:38.

  4. It is worth mentioning that composers from the romantic period that fed Jobim – like Schumann and Schubert – used the piano “doubling” the melody with the voice, in the moments when the “lied” presents a greater presence of jumps in the melody.