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Poetic improvisation in the Brazilian Northeast

DOI: 10.1590/S1809-43412011000100010

Keywords: improvisation, sung poetry, repente, cantoria, brazil - northeast region.

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this study concerns the singing called repente or cantoria, a modality of improvised sung poetry, practiced in the northeast region of brazil. its practitioners are called repentistas, cantadores or violeiros, and they always sing in duets, alternating in the composition of strophes according to strict parameters of meter, rhyme and thematic coherence. there is a set of rules formulated for this purpose, but the repentistas improvise their verses on a practical basis, such as the poetic rhythm incorporated. the improvisation places the repentista in relation to aesthetic models, such as the rhythm of the poetry, the melodic patterns and the singing rules, at the same time it puts him into a dialogue with the other singer and with the expectations and reactions of the audience. the improvisation, therefore, is not only the poetic vibrant v.8 n.1 jo?o miguel sautchuk creation, but also the unfolding of a game of interaction between the poets and the other participants in the singing situation.


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