Western and Brazilian Sound in Francisco Mignone’s Valsas Chôro



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Composer Francisco Mignone’s contribution to Brazilian musical nationalism is illustrated by his Valsas Chôro, a set of twelve waltzes for solo piano. In this project, I argue that in the Valsas Chôro Mignone fused Western form and Brazilian popular music; this procedure in turn allowed him to create a Brazilian waltz style that advanced Heitor Villa-Lobos’s adaptations of popular street music. Stylistic descriptions of the Valsas Chôro reveal how Mignone incorporates both waltz and choro styles. I show that by adapting the traditional accompaniment of the European waltz, Mignone creates his own Brazilian waltz style within the dance’s triple meter. I demonstrate that Mignone transferred the characteristics of the choro ensemble and its improvisatory playing style to solo piano by using arpeggiated chords, eighth notes, and staccato. The result is a fusion of waltz rhythm and improvisatory choro style. The combination creates a blend that characterizes Mignone’s Valsas Chôro.



Mignone, Francisco, Valsas Chôro