Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Brazilian Series by Alberto Nepomuceno: Race, Philosophy and Political Agency in Symphonic Music at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Tagliari Rodrigues Nunes de Sousa, Miranda Bartira (2020) Brazilian Series by Alberto Nepomuceno: Race, Philosophy and Political Agency in Symphonic Music at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

This is the latest version of this item.

Download (785kB) | Preview


This thesis discusses symphonic music of Brazilian composer Alberto Nepomuceno (1864-1920) within systems of thought temporally located at the turn of the twentieth century, time of profound transition in Brazilian society: from monarchy to republic, from colonial to independent nation, from rural to urban. Nepomuceno was born in the northeast of Brazil, where he had contact with folk music traditions he would later incorporate into his works, as distinctive sound markers of Brazilianness. His personal relationships allowed him to be in contact with the most up-to-date trends of philosophical thought of his time, and his trajectory was marked by involvement in the field of politics, actively defending abolitionism and republicanism. His proximity with the School of Recife, the first group of philosophers in the country interested in defining Brazilian culture through the examination of legacies from the three formative races (European, Indigenous and African), was key to his political and social involvement. The School of Recife developed philosophical theories about Brazilian character and race, adapting positivist methods (professed by Comte) and theories of social Darwinism (Spencer) to Brazilian reality.

According to the legal, philosophical and artistic thinkers who made the School of Recife, the maturing of a Brazilian social theory implied commitment for jurists and artists, who should create laws and artistic products to help the general public to improve itself, putting the country on the path to the ultimate positivist goals, progress and civilization. The focus of thishesis is on his Brazilian Series, a symphonic suite in four movements, in which the composer displays his agency through the use of musical elements recognized as genuinely Brazilian by the contemporary intelligentsia, and the central argument is that the shifting climate in society and politics, as well as the proximity between Nepomuceno and the philosophers from the School of Recife, shaped the ways in which he incorporated local musical features into his instrumental music, giving rise to a nationalist style that was committed to making sense of the position of Brazil (as an independent nation) in the global sphere, discussing legacies of colonialism and national identity.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Tagliari Rodrigues Nunes de Sousa, Miranda Bartirambs82@pitt.edumbs82
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRoot,
Committee MemberBloechl,
Committee MemberCassaro,
Date: 16 September 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 22 April 2020
Approval Date: 16 September 2020
Submission Date: 4 May 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 75
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Music
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Brazilian symphonic music; nationalism; School of Recife; Alberto Nepomuceno; Brazilian music.
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2020 15:51
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2020 15:51

Available Versions of this Item

  • Brazilian Series by Alberto Nepomuceno: Race, Philosophy and Political Agency in Symphonic Music at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. (deposited 16 Sep 2020 15:51) [Currently Displayed]


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item