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Log book

This study comprises a setting that articulates statements made by seven of the eight artists interviewed for the project. Three of them act in the solo guitar scope, relating to the written, erudite or concert tradition: Sérgio Assad, Marco Pereira and Paulo Bellinati; three others, in the popular song scope: João Bosco, Paulo César Pinheiro and Luiz Tatit; and two, Guinga and Elomar, both composers, guitarists and singers act in both scopes, establishing a presence in the fields herein studied. [i]

The interviewees were born between the years 1946 and 1952, which allows us to consider them — despite the specificity of each biography — representatives of the same generation. The artists are briefly presented below according to their contribution to the present study. Elomar, born in 1937, is exception.

The order to briefly present the artists follows the order of the interviews because it seemed to be the best form to refer to what the reader will find in the sequential pages. This setting somehow turns out to delineate a “Log Book”, which matches the trajectory of this book:

1st interview – Oct 3, 2011 – Luiz Tatit (1951): Composer, singer, guitar player, and Associate Professor at the Linguistic Department – University of São Paulo, where he develops a study on the popular song in Brazil. He has decidedly contributed to the format of this study since the very beginning, even before this interview which turned out to be the first for the project. In this specific encounter central questions were posed such as the distinction between “song” and “music” – which represented important stimuli to weave the present crossing between the different points of view of the artists interviewed.

2nd interview – Dec 20, 2011 – Paulo Bellinati (1950): Guitar player, composer, musical arranger and producer who throughout his career has gathered studies linked to solo guitar and song in the intersection between popular music and concert music. He has represented an important parameter for the meanders of perception that the soloist-guitar player shapes in the field of interaction approached in this study. The consistency of such a parameter has favored us with the conception of a line of study which deals with differences between approaches, conceptions, styles that even within the strictly guitar range turn out to be markedly plural.

Qualification of the research Project – Oct 5, 2012 – the qualification board is composed of José Miguel Wisnik, Ivan Vilela, and thesis advisor Gil Jardim. At this point the guidelines of the study were defined.

3rd interview – Jan 5, 2013 – Sérgio Assad (1952): Guitar player, composer, arranger, and guitar professor at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. One of the players in “Duo Assad”, he is our main interlocutor as far as “concert” music and guitar is concerned. The specificity in the case of Assad is the condition of a renowned concert guitar player-composer — who, as a composer, declares himself decidedly influenced by the Brazilian song, and consequently by the songwriter practice [i]. Assad significantly articulates the theme of this study with the Music Department’s post-graduation erudite music program at the Escola de Comunicações e Artes – USP- University of São Paulo (School of Communications and Arts – USP). The present study is formally inserted in this Music Department in the research area called “processes of musical creation”.

4th interview – Jan 27, 2013 – Guinga (1950): Composer, guitar player and singer. Along with Elomar, he represents an axis in this study insofar as he is a “song composer” [i], who takes constant creative incursions into the instrumental music – including in the condition of soloist guitar player – and articulates in his authorial and performance practice the spheres herein studied. The wide range of his action takes this artist to the position of natural mediator of music information between those universes, which justifies that his work, statements and musical executions make him the character to have the largest presence in the setting of the interviews presented.

5th interview – Jan 29, 2013 – Paulo César Pinheiro (1949): Poet and composer. Lyricist who throughout his work since the 1960s has helped settle some of the aesthetics parameters that are referential to the Brazilian popular song, and who brings to this study a view on music traversed by the word. As partner to some of the main composers and guitar players in the music in Brazil, among them Baden Powel, Pinheiro is inserted in this study for nourishing the investigation on the soloist guitar player’s conduct while creating a song.

6th interview – Jan 31, 2013 – João Bosco (1946): Singer, composer, and guitar player. He aggregates his very personal management of music to this study herein intertwined with his also interesting observation on points to accomplish the voice-guitar synthesis. The view of the artist who sings and at the same time plays the guitar, and thus composes the song – a fact that pervades the history of our music – is represented here by João Bosco who is one of the most popular artists in Brazil.

7th interview – April 6, 2013 – Marco Pereira (1950): Guitar player, composer and arranger, and assistant professor at the Department of Composition – Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). Referential instrumentalist in the popular solo guitar field, Marco Pereita masters the language that contemplates aspects resulting from his erudite concert player background and that provides basis to a transit of musical information coincident in several points with the initiative herein adopted. The recording of this last interview was conducted based on the contents gathered in the previous interviews, a fact that favors a greater presence of the artist in the present setting.

From April/2013 to June/2013 – 12 weekly classes based on the video material resulting from the interviews. It represented an important moment for reflection and sedimentation of the physical structure of the dissertation.

Dissertation thesis defense – Feb 2014 – the consolidation of the study. The thesis committee composed of José Miguel Wisnik, Ivan Vilela, and Gil Jardim, provided significant orientation and requested a reviewed version.

Launch of the film – Sept , 2016 – The audiovisual documentary Violão-canção (Guitar-song): a Brazilian soul, codirection of Rose Satiko, is launched in the InEdit Brasil festival in São Paulo, having the following synopsis: “In the path of his artistic pursuit, Chico Saraiva delves into the experience of seven masters: João Bosco, Sérgio Assad, Paulo César Pinheiro, Paulo Bellinati, Marco Pereira, Luiz Tatit and Guinga. The talks accompanied with a guitar in hand reveal multiple forms in which music flourishes from the relation – especially fertile in Brazil – between the solo guitar (in its nature more connected to the written tradition) and our popular song”. In Dec 2017, the film had its premiere on television channels SescTv and Arte1.

8th interview – FEB, 2017 – Elomar:  a fundamental figure in this book. Despite being averse to having his image registered in photos or videos, the musician welcomed us at the mythical Casa dos Carneiros for a statement – registered in audio – whose most significant points are transcribed in the chapter “Elomar e o inapreensível” (Elomar and the inapprehensible).  The talk held at a unique moment and favored by the interviewee’s centrality concerning the theme of this research revisits questions in a conclusive manner in relation to the core point of the book: the coupling between a written guitar piece and the song. Thus, the visit to Elomar propels the denouement of this study, which is inspired in the idea of cinema setting, just like the last scene to be imagined by the reader.

Chico Saraiva’s personal artistic trajectory, developing activities as composer and guitar player, has proven to be an adequate tool for the purpose of this study inasmuch as his handling of musical information – experienced as an artist – provided him with fruitful ground to conduct the interviews.

In order to know more about Chico Saraiva’s trajectory, discography and projects, visit his official site

  1. Elomar (1937) would represent together with Guinga a second presence in the axis herein studied, eccentric to the fields of the guitar and the song. However, Elomar’s artistic project does not include registers in video. That fact challenges us to go on searching for a way to present the important contributions of Bahia’s composer-guitar player to the theme, some of which already manifested by a fertile personal contact.

  2. As in the English language there is a clear difference between composer (compositor) and songwriter (cancionista), which does not occur in Portuguese, we opted to keep both terms in the original form.

  3. LINK with this same idea presented in – 3.1- the non-song?  – in the statemet of Guinga.