Ernesto Nazareth

Ernesto Jíºlio Nazareth was the most popular composer of Brazilian national music. He had a profound influence on the course of future Brazilian music, both popular and classical. Fellow countryman Heitor Villa-Lobos called him "the truest incarnation of the Brazilian musical soul."

At the age of 14, Ernesto wrote his first composition, the polka Vocíª bem sabe, which was published the same year. He continued to write popular short pieces, and joined several musicians in giving a concert when he was 17 at the Club Rossini in Sí£o Cristóví£o. That same year, Nazareth joined a band of chorinhos, performers of the urban variety of folk music he loved. The strolling serenaders used guitar, mandolin, flute, clarinet, and the small Portuguese guitar called the cavaquinho and had evolved the nostalgic song form called choro.

Nazareth was one of the first to blend polka and maxixe with the habaí±era, resulting in a new dance rhythm that Nazareth called the "Brazilian tango." It is not closely related to the more sultry Argentine tango, but is faster and more joyful. In similar fashion Nazareth added Brazilian elements to European forms, creating what he called the "Brazilian march," "Brazilian polka," "Brazilian waltz" and "Brazilian fado."