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Harmonica Lessons: "Noites Cariocas"

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[MUSIC]
So now we're gonna
do one of my very favorite
pieces of music of any kind.
And It's called Noites Cariocas.
It means Carioca nights Carioca's are the
people who live in Rio De Janeiro and
Brazil.
And this piece was written by the great
Brazilian mandolin player and
composer Jacob Do Bandolim.
Bandolim means mandolin in Portuguese.
And he wrote in a style called choro,
which predates bossa
nova in Brazilian music.
It was the most popular type of
music in Brazil in the 1930s and
40s and into the 50s, and
it has had a big revival in recent years.
The group that plays it usually
consists of several guitars,
an instrument called a cavaquino which
is like a steel stringed ukulele.
A pandeiro,
which is Brazilian tambourine and
various solo instruments, and
then Jack Co played on the mandolin.
So we're gonna do it on a harmonica.
The tune is in the key of G.
And if you try it just to play
the melody in the first part
the G harmonica really works.
[MUSIC]
It really
does work.
[MUSIC]
But later on
in the tune has
several sections.
It gets very cumbersome
to play on a G harmonica,
so for all of you who are trying it,
you could try it on a G harp.
[MUSIC]
But
the second part gets
a little harder,
so I have to try to
play it on a C harp.
[MUSIC]
And
in order to play that melody you
need the fifth hole overblow.
[MUSIC]
So
you have to jump from three
draw to five overblow.
[MUSIC]
It involves some
very precise bending on
the second and third holes.
And it goes through the first section.
[MUSIC]
And then into the second section where it
starts sounding a little bluesy.
[MUSIC]
So it's a G7 to a C,
and then an A7.
[MUSIC]
To a D minor.
Now we're in the key of C.
[MUSIC]
And
then it goes into.
[MUSIC]
E one six two five of E.
[MUSIC]
Back
to G seven.
These are some very uniquely Brazilian
types of chord changes that you
really only find in this music.
It bears a resemblance to
ragtime in a certain way.
And also to early jazz.
In its use of these forms that have
more than one section to them.
They're not just A A B A,
they're almost Rondo form.
The way that early
Jelly Roll Morton music is.
It parallels that.
And then, at the end, I've shortened
the form for the sake of the lesson,
it has a little coda.
[MUSIC]
It plays a diminished arpeggio.
[MUSIC]
And then an E.
[MUSIC]
An A.
[MUSIC]
D.
[MUSIC]
And then it goes.
[MUSIC]
like a major six arpeggio.
[MUSIC]
And then the same.
[MUSIC]
That's
extremely bluesy.
Do do dum ba dum do dum da da bop.
Very swingy.
And obviously, the Brazilians were
listening to a lot of American jazz.
If you look at old movies, Carmen Miranda
brought over Brazilian musicians from this
style, and
these guys were great musicians.
This was the first introduction of
Brazilian music to the United States,
was through her movies because
she brought her band with her.
The lady who wore the bananas on
her head and was kind of camp,
but she had great musicians with her.
So if you're interested, you can look
up Jacob Do Bandolim recordings and
David Grisman has done
a whole series of releases.
The great American mandolin player,
he discovered Jacob's music and
thought it was really
important to put it out.
So I'm going to play now for
you Noites Cariocas, on a C harmonica.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]