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Notes 60.1 (2003) 237-239

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Digital Media Review

Alex McLane

Surfing Down to Rio:
Brazilian Classical Music on the Web

It may come as a surprise to some of us that Brazil has about half the population of South America and half the land area of South America, and is larger than the continental United States. And it may come as a further surprise that Brazil has a much older tradition of the cultivation of classical music than the United States and has by far the largest presence on the Web in South America. Brazil may be famous for monkeys, tropical fruit, tiny bathing suits, lovely beaches, and coffee, but its classical music is hardly a secret—at least within the country itself. What follows is a whirlwind tour of sites in Brazil related to classical music, with the more detailed and informative sites considered first. VivaMúsica is particularly important in that its primary mission is to disseminate information about classical music in the country (with many useful links), while those that follow are more tightly focused. All sites were accessed on 20 May 2003.

VivaMúsica!—A agenda de Música Clássica do Brasil. Heloisa Fischer, editorial director; Andrea Fraga d'Egmont, operational director.

A major contributor to public awareness for classical music in Brazil is VivaMúsica, which is the calendar of choice for musical events nationwide. VivaMúsica began as a monthly review of classical music in 1994, published until it was incorporated in the Brazilian edition of Classic CD in 1997. It produced a Web site at the dawn of the Internet in Brazil in 1995, and began publishing an annual guide in 1998. The guide includes more than fifteen hundred entries for Brazilian musical organizations, including agents, bands and orchestras, libraries and archives, publishers, and producers—in short, everything having to do with the business of classical music in Brazil. It is intended for an international readership, so portions of the content as well as the indexes are translated into English. The VivaMúsica Web site, in Portuguese only, includes daily listings for concerts, organized by location (click on the day in the calendar, and you see what is on tap). The listings database can also be searched for a range of dates, and restricted by concert location. The keyword search means that you can quickly find a particular performer, composer, or instrument. Registered users can easily submit their concerts electronically for listing in the calendar. The site has a useful collection of links to other Brazilian music Web sites.

Centro de Documentação de Música Contemporânea. José Augusto Mannis, coordinator; Marcos Rogério Pereira, Webmaster.

Perhaps the most important site for research into contemporary Brazilian musical life is that of the Centro de Documentação de Música Contemporânea (CDMC), which was founded in 1989 as the Brazilian branch of the Centre de Documentation de la Musique Contemporaine—Cité de la Musique, Paris. Its objective is the "documentation, dissemination and promotion of contemporary music." The center, based at the Federal University at Campinas (UNICAMP) publishes the MUSICON: Guia da Música Contemporânea Brasileira (Campinas, SP, Brasil: CDMC Brasil/Unicamp, 1995-. Biennial. $15.00), a guide to contemporary music which contains in print essentially the same information available at the CDMC Web site for free. The site contains listings of composers, soloists, conductors, chamber ensembles, orchestras, bands, vocal groups, researchers, works lists for composers, media, producers, educational institutions, festivals, centers for documentation, performance sites, supporting institutions, and publishers. It might seem that there is some redundancy here with the VivaMúsica site, but it is important to bear in mind that CDMC is focused on contemporary, "new" music. The composer and performer listings are particularly useful. The composer entries include date of birth, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address, and details about the composer's activities, which often include recordings, positions held, prizes, and so forth. There are separate works lists for composers, but...


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