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In search of the ideal tempo. Musical socialisation and the cultural legitimacy of bateria mestres and jurors in the samba schools of Rio de Janeiro1

Antoinette Kuijlaars
Traduction de Hélène Windish
Cet article est une traduction de :
À la recherche du tempo idéal. Socialisations musicales et légitimités culturelles des mestres et juré·es de bateria dans les écoles de samba de Rio de Janeiro [fr]

Résumé

This article aims at showing the different levels of musical socialization at work in the elaboration, reception, and reality effects of a socially built musical norm: the tempo in the carioca samba schools’ baterias. To do so, we consider the socializing frameworks, as well as the musical socialization of actors who occupy opposite positions in the social space of samba schools’ carnival (mestres de bateria towards bateria judges, but also mestres de bateria between each other). Through the perspective of the construction of the technical norm, of the modalities of its imposition, and of the mestres and judges’ different musical socializations, it is possible to understand their relationships towards different levels of cultural legitimacy. It is about showing the articulation between collective and individual socialization processes, through the study of the multidimensional institutional systems at work in the definition of the “right” tempo, and the processes of its (non-)acceptance.

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Introduction

  • 1 The interviewees’ names have been changed, except for the mestres’ names, due to their public posi (...)
  • 2 See Marcadet Christian, “Le samba : un genre populaire chanté emblématique ni afro-descendant ni o (...)
  • 3 Desafio maior”. Santos Lucas, Arthur Franco: Desafio inicial é colocar samba em andamento legal(...)
  • 4Adequar ao andamento que hoje é empregado pelas baterias, diferente de décadas atrás”. Ibid.
  • 5Ainda que seja preciso adequar o andamento, tem que haver o cuidado para não deixar a obra muito (...)
  • 6Voltando às suas raízes”. Carnavalesco Redação, Supremacia em verde e branco. Imperatriz coloca a (...)
  • 7A gente caiu um pouco o andamento () para não perder muito as características do samba”. Santos (...)
  • 8(…) umas bossas mais simples (…) porque o samba também não pede nada mirabolante”. Ibid.
  • 9andamento confortável”. Rocha Amanda, Imperatriz 2020: Aos gritos de campeã, escola confirma favo (...)
  • 10 Amancio Vitor, Gigante acordou! Focada no Especial, comunidade da Imperatriz canta forte no ensaio (...)
  • 11 A Sapucaí is one of the nicknames of the Sambodrome (along with Passarela do Samba and Avenida, or (...)
  • 12 Imperatriz Leopoldinense thus became first in her group, the Série Ouro, and can now join the carn (...)

1In 2019, the Imperatriz Leopoldinense Samba School was preparing for the upcoming carnival on the basis of a re-edition of an old samba-enredo,2 composed some forty years earlier and presented during the 1981 parade. This practice was at odds with the principle of carnival renewal, which is based on the annual creation of new songs, but is allowed by the rules of the Rio de Janeiro samba school parade. Such re-editions guarantee an enthusiastic mastery of the lyrics and melody by all the parade participants and the audience, which is an asset to win over the jury members – as the carnival of the samba schools is a competition. However, these re-editions present a “major challenge”:3 they are difficult to reinterpret within the contemporary institutional and musical framework, which has changed considerably in just a few decades. The samba has to be “adapted” to “the tempo used in today’s baterias, which is very different from that of several decades ago.”4 It has to meet both the structural constraints of the parade – getting several thousand people through in a given amount of time, which implies a fast tempo – and the musical constraints of the lyrics and melody, composed in a completely different context and intended to be sung at a much slower tempo. For performer Arthur Franco, “although it is necessary to adapt the tempo [to the new structural constraints], care must be taken not to make the work too fast.”5 Lines that are mumbled or poorly pronounced or a melody that is not clearly perceptible would be penalised. The definition of tempo has many other practical consequences, influencing the execution of dance steps. In addition, the spirit of the parade defined by the carnavalesco (parade designer) Leandro Vieira aims to “return” to the “roots”6 of the samba school, to pay homage to the carnivals of the past, which were less constrained by organisational and media norms, and had a lower degree of musical rationalisation. This perspective led the mestre de bateria Mestre Lolo to “drop [decelerate] the tempo a little (…) so as not to lose too much of the characteristics of the samba,”7 and to set up “breaks that are simpler” than what is practised in contemporary times, “because the samba doesn’t require anything fancy.”8 This painstaking work of adaptation, carried out during the months of pre-Carnival preparation, to reflect practices in force forty years earlier, without it being materially or structurally possible to reproduce them, bore fruit in this case. During the 2020 Carnival parade, the interpreter and the mestre de bateria managed to define a “comfortable tempo,”9 between “140 and 142 BPM,”10 to meet all the constraints, while still enjoying the benefits of a re-edition. A specialist media columnist described the samba-enredo as “the school’s strong point,” “already known by the community,” which “encouraged singing [by both the community and the audience] and filled the Sapucaí [audience] with enthousiasm.”11 What is more, Imperatriz Leopoldinense’s parade was praised by the jurors, winning the competition.12 This anecdote provides a way of objectifying the changes in practices when it comes to the definition of tempo in samba schools. What it also shows – even with its happy ending – is that the definition of tempo crystallises a number of issues and power relations specific to the world of samba schools.

  • 13 Kuijlaars Antoinette, La civilisation du samba. Sociologie des ritmistas d’école de samba à Rio de (...)
  • 14 Site Apoteose, Pensando Bateria – Andamento (6/7), Rio de Janeiro, Batuque Digital, 2016. Terms us (...)
  • 15 Ibid. Terms used by Thalita Santos in Ibid.
  • 16 Foucault Michel, Surveiller et punir : naissance de la prison, Paris, Gallimard, 1975, p. 173.
  • 17 Samba has been constantly evolving since the first samba schools appeared in the 1920s, and it’s e (...)

2This work is based on an ethnographic study carried out since 2005 in samba schools in the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro, as part of a master’s degree and then a doctorate in sociology. The analysis focuses on a cultural practice that is both associated with a marginalised, black, working-class population and held up as a symbol of Brazilian national culture, transcending class and race.13 As part of an investigation into the role of a specific type of institution in the practical and symbolic ways in which the Afro-Brazilian population is integrated into the national community and culture, a number of questions have emerged about the interweaving of antagonistic relationships to time in samba schools and their impact on the construction of musical tempo. The survey material is supplemented by documentary research into the debates, results and justifications of bateria jurors in recent years. A central issue in the musical practices of baterias, the definition of the “right” tempo is a point of crystallisation or, in the words of the interviewees, a “serious matter”14 subject to “controversy.”15 It lies at the crossroads of a number of contradictory dynamics, power struggles, “hierarchical observations” and other “normalising judgments”16 – particularly in the context of evaluation and grading by carnival jurors. However, this “right” tempo is constantly evolving, and it is this evolution, which can be perceived by everyone in a limited amount of time,17 which is at the root of many debates about the “authenticity” of the samba practised in samba schools.

  • 18mais pra frente”.
  • 19pra trás”.
  • 20gosto pessoal”.
  • 21 Lizé Wenceslas and Roueff Olivier, “La fabrique des goûts”, Actes de la recherche en sciences soci (...)
  • 22 Ibid.
  • 23 Bourdieu Pierre, “The Forms of Capital”. In J. Richardson (Eds.), Handbook of Theory and Research (...)
  • 24 Ibid.
  • 25 Robert Alexandre, “La transformation d’une oreille. Déodat de Séverac à la Schola cantorum”, Revue (...)
  • 26 I would like to thank Mélanie Guillaume for this suggestion.

3The definition of the ideal tempo in and for baterias is structured between a preference for a fast “push forward”18 tempo, or for a slower “pull back”19 tempo, currently within a maximum range of around twenty beats per minute (between 138 and 158 BPM). This is considered by the respondents to be a “personal taste,”20 whether it be that of the juror, the mestre or the ritmistas. Consequently, this preference is perceived and presented in the respondents’ discourse as an individual, absolute given, which should not be judged – particularly between peers, between mestres de bateria. Nevertheless, in practice, judgements are legion and lead to distinction and disqualification according to the dominant norm: this norm is the product of complex power relations and varies over time. Thus, from a sociological point of view, it is heuristic to treat the preference for tempo in terms of taste and to raise “the question of the social logics of production”21 and appropriation, from a multi-scalar analysis perspective. Here I follow what Wenceslas Lizé and Olivier Roueff propose to “grasp together the different levels of socialisation and the mechanisms that act on the formation of taste.”22 This concerns the definition of the ideal tempo in baterias, and also includes the processes of differentiated internalisation of the socially constructed musical norm through the affirmation of preferences according to different registers of cultural legitimacy. Depending on whether or not this preference coincides with the dominant norm, and whether or not the “volume and the composition”23 of cultural capital enabling registers of legitimacy to be activated are close to those of the prescribers, the extent to which heterodox positions are tenable in the face of the imposed dominant norm becomes apparent. The aim is to emphasise “the interrelationships between the four major production instances” of taste, namely “the social space, the institutions of the field (…), the sociabilities of reception” (understood here to mean the reception of practitioners, perceptible in the practices they implement) “and life paths.”24 While the “socialisation of perpetual reinforcement” is characterised by a framework and socialising agents that implement a “discursive, ideological and aesthetic homogeneity,”25 it can be noted that samba schools have the particularity of concentrating socialising bodies prescribing contradictory norms within their very organisation. That is why it is necessary to talk about a socialising matrix,26 whose operating principles and effects on practices and representations will be analysed in this article.

  • 27 Bourdieu Pierre, La distinction : critique sociale du jugement, Paris, Les Éditions de Minuit, 197 (...)

4The aim of this article is to show the different levels of musical socialisation at work in the elaboration, reception and practical and symbolic consequences of a socially constructed musical norm. To do this, it considers the socialising frameworks and the musical socialisation of actors who occupy opposing positions in the social space of the samba school carnival (mestres de bateria in relation to bateria jurors, but also mestres de bateria among themselves), structuring power relationships with regard to the definition of good practice and several levels of cultural legitimacy. By putting into perspective, the socially constructed nature of the technical standard, the ways in which it is imposed and the different forms of musical socialisation of mestres and jurors, it is possible to understand the relationship between the different registers of cultural legitimacy maintained by them. Taking an interest in the processes of defining and appropriating the “right” tempo reveals the social issues at stake, which constitute so many anchor points in the positions and practices of bateria mestres and jurors, as a result of their prior and on-going musical socialisation, and as agents of tempo socialisation. The multi-dimensionality and multiplicity of dynamics that crystallise in the definition of tempo make it a practice that can be appropriated in different ways by resorting to various registers, authenticity, technicality, competitiveness (not necessarily mutually exclusive), and can be a way of stigmatising others, as well as distinguishing oneself from others.27 By uncovering the multidimensional institutional mechanisms at work in defining the “right” tempo, and the processes through which it is accepted (or not) by practitioners, I also want to shed light on the link between collective and individual socialisation processes.

5The first part will examine media coercion and compulsory timekeeping as dynamics at the root of the acceleration of bateria tempo that constitute a disciplinary socialising device. In the second part, the opposite dynamic will be brought to light, through the study of bateria jurors as socialised and socialising agents at the root of the deceleration of tempo in baterias. Finally, the aim will be to understand the position of mestres in relation to these contradictory dynamics, as a function of their musical socialisation and sometimes conflicting registers of cultural legitimacy.

Baterias in the Sambodrome

Samba schools are institutions that represent a sub-genre of samba: samba-enredo. The parade of a samba school today, after a process of expansion and contraction over decades, is made up of around three thousand members, divided into alas (literally “wings”, sections), which are punctuated by allegorical floats. The bateria, generally presented as the “heart” of the parade, is an ala made up of around three hundred ritmistas (percussionists) divided into eight to ten instrumental sections. It is directed by a mestre·a de bateria (drum master, almost exclusively men) and his team of directors, who relay his instructions within each section, and are responsible for the cohesion of their section with the others. The mestre and his team are responsible for the cohesion of the bateria (both musical and social), for defining, regulating and maintaining the tempo, and for composing certain breaks (paradinhas) and arrangements. The bateria accompanies a song (samba-enredo, literally “samba-which-tells-a-story”) lasting a few minutes, performed by a lead singer assisted by four others, two cavaquinhistas and a 7-string guitarist – making up the harmonic section. The samba-enredo is sung in a loop throughout the parade, which now lasts seventy minutes. While a standard ala will cross the Sambodrome in around thirty minutes, the bateria and the harmonic section remain there for the entire duration of the parade to provide the soundtrack, at the cost of complex movements. The bateria also plays a warm-up for around twenty minutes, in front of the public in sector 1, before the official start of the parade. The Sambodrome is divided into twelve sectors. Sector 1 is one of the three so-called “popular” sectors, with cheap entry tickets. Even though it is part of the Sambodrome, it is unique in that it is located before the official start of the parade, with the gate marking the start of the stopwatch located in front of sectors 2 and 3.

Note: The positions of directors are still largely dominated by men, but a few women have managed to gain access to them, particularly as regards the direction of the “small” instruments. The same trend can be observed with regard to the official performers, who are exclusively men, while it is now fashionable to include a woman in every team of secondary singers. As for the cavaquinhistas (cavaquinho players) and 7-string guitarists, they are all men. For a more in-depth look at gender relations within the baterias, and the sexual division of labour by instrument, see Kuijlaars Antoinette, “L’hexis corporelle des femmes des baterias : entre idéal de féminité et modèle de virilité”, Brésil(s). Sciences humaines et sociales, no. 11, 2017, https://0-journals-openedition-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/​bresils/​2202, accessed 18 July 2023.

The principle of speeding up. Media pressure and timekeeping as a disciplinary socialising device

  • 28 Bourdieu Pierre, Le sens pratique, Paris, Les Éditions de Minuit, 1980, p. 136.
  • 29 Ibid.
  • 30 Elias Norbert, La civilisation des mœurs, Kamnitzer Pierre (trad.), Paris, Pocket, 2002, p. 300.
  • 31 Ibid., p. 301.
  • 32 Ibid., p. 365.

6Changing the tempo of a musical performance is no trivial matter. Indeed, “its temporal structure, i.e. its rhythm, tempo and orientation, is constitutive of its meaning.”28 As a result of the contradictory dynamics that underlie the definition of bateria tempo, it has evolved significantly over the decades. However, “in the case of music, any manipulation of this [temporal] structure, be it a simple change of tempo, acceleration or deceleration, causes it to undergo a destructuring that is irreducible to the effect of a simple change of reference axis.”29 Tempo acceleration has its origins in the limitation of the temporal framework of parades in order to fit them into television programming schedules. Translated into parade regulations, this limitation has given rise to a “modelling” of behaviour made possible “thanks to the development of a technical device”:30 timekeeping. Timekeeping and reduced parade times are two inextricable phenomena. Despite strong protests when they were introduced (1960 and 1970), pointing to the discrepancy with what then seemed to be incompatible relationships to time, they gradually became, through gentle encouragement/coercion or more violent reminders, constraints that were internalised by samba schools’ members, who developed and passed on practices enabling them to manage these constraints more and more effectively. In this way, “the development of a technical device in line with the new standards made a powerful contribution to the establishment of modified habits.”31 As a result, with the emergence of new practices, reflected in the division of labour within samba schools into positions specialised in managing time constraints, and in the development of musical techniques directly linked to them, “social relations were transformed in such a way that reciprocal constraints took on, in each individual, the character of self-constraint.”32

An unstoppable march towards a faster tempo?

  • 33perda de uma autenticidade original”. Cavalcanti Maria Laura Viveiros de Castro, O rito e o tempo (...)
  • 34 Farias Júlio César, Bateria – O coração da escola de samba, Rio de Janeiro, Litteris, 2010, p. 49.
  • 35 Ibid., p. 45.
  • 36 Ibid., p. 107.
  • 37 Ibid., p. 54.
  • 38 Ironically, the samba-enredos composed during this period, decried because of the processes descri (...)
  • 39 Safra. An indigenous term used to describe the songs produced during a carnival season.

7Samba school baterias are often criticized for playing too fast, distorting the traditional, “authentic” samba rhythm. This criticism goes hand in hand with the rhetoric of the “industrialisation of carnival,” which is said to be responsible for a “loss of original authenticity”33 in samba schools. This backward-looking vision is structural to the world of samba schools: as soon as the first schools appeared in the 1930s, people were already talking about the altering of traditions and the loss of “authenticity.”34 The acceleration of tempo is one of the crucial elements. Several phases of acceleration can be observed in the tempo of baterias, and they were always linked to the constraints and demands of the parade. Changes in the economic, social and political structures of samba schools were accompanied by tempo acceleration. As soon as samba was institutionalised in schools, concomitantly with the introduction of competitions, processes to rationalise practices were gradually put in place. As a result, songs had to be designed to be performed in parades in the best possible way. This had immediate consequences on the forms of these songs, with the introduction of “a slightly faster samba tempo, which was more appropriate for use in the procession of blocos and samba schools, making it possible for the sambista to play the instrument while walking.”35 While “until the 1970s, baterias had a tempo that allowed everyone to sambar [individual samba dance] and evolve [parade], hovering around 120 to 140 BPM,”36 a new phase of tempo acceleration followed, linked to the “spectacularisation” of the parade,37 requiring an ever-growing number of participants wearing ever more impressive costumes and floats that vied with each other for grandiosity. It was also at this time that the parade started being broadcast on television, which would gradually impose its technical and programming requirements – right up to the present day. Spectacularisation led to ever-lengthening parades, while media coverage imposed a greater focus on the parade, particularly in terms of time. This tempo acceleration was accompanied by a shortening and simplification of melodies and lyrics, so that they would be easy to memorise by the audience and television viewers, and easier to perform at a fast tempo.38 This process seems to have reached its peak in the 2000s, after which it slowed down again, a phenomenon that has been accompanied by a qualitative surge in the annual “harvest”39 of songs since the 2010s.

Media constraints: fitting the parade into television schedules

  • 40 Cavalcanti Maria Laura Viveiros de Castro, “Le carnaval des écoles de samba au Brésil”, Brésil(s). (...)
  • 41 The following information on the development of the practical arrangements for timing the parade i (...)
  • 42 Galvão Walnice Nogueira, Le carnaval de Rio : trois regards sur une fête brésilienne, Witkowski Ar (...)
  • 43 Cavalcanti, “Le carnaval…”, p. 7.
  • 44 Ibid.
  • 45 Cavalcanti, “Le carnaval…”, p. 8.

8Timekeeping was made compulsory through a decade-long process. During the 1960s, the samba schools’ carnivals underwent a number of transformations, with the aim of broadening their “social base,”40 massifying (each parade now boasted over a thousand participants per school) and integrating them into a commercial model, notably through ticket sales (1961) and the erection of bleachers (1962). The question of timekeeping arose in this context, with the explicit aim of circumscribing the time allotted to the parade, which began on Sunday morning and lasted without interruption until around midday on Monday. The first unsuccessful attempt to introduce timekeeping is indicative of the violence involved in imposing a new relationship to time. In 1960,41 a time limit per parade was introduced, and schools that did not respect it were penalised. As the final ranking was significantly altered by this criterion, it was widely rejected, provoking revolts that were put down by the police.42 Following these events, the timing of the parade was not mentioned for ten years. The material conditions of the shows continued to evolve in the 1970s43 and so did their commercial success: increased capacity of stands, recording of the sambas-enredos by record companies,44 etc. In 1970, the time criterion was firmly reintroduced to facilitate television broadcasting. Despite protests from several samba schools, the final result of the competition remained unchanged. Bolstered by the 1960 failure, the organisation opted for a bonus for respecting the time limit rather than a penalty, until this norm was internalised. In fact, from 1991 onwards, the logic changed again, with more or less severe penalties depending on the deviations from the time rule – whereas the time bonus was indivisible. The construction of the Sambódromo in 198445 amplified the logic of temporal control of the parade, making it possible to systematically measure time through the rationalisation of space. The clear physical boundaries delimiting the activation and deactivation of the stopwatch (the entrance and exit gates) were accompanied by the installation of electronic clocks all along the route.

  • 46 We’re talking about 20 million viewers every night of the show. Redação Sambarazzo, Globeleza? Des (...)
  • 47 Pinto Marcus, Globo tem problemas com transmissão de Carnaval no Rio, Site Terra, 15 January 2013.
  • 48rendida”. Nicolay Ricardo, Cultura popular rendida: desfiles de escolas tradicionais fora da TV, (...)
  • 49 Redação SRZD, Escolas evitam falar sobre não transmissão de alguns desfiles em 2016, Site Sidney R (...)
  • 50Síndrome de Estocolomo”. Baltar Anderson, Síndrome de Estocolmo no samba, Site Rádio Arquibancada(...)
  • 51 Redação Sambarazzo, Presidente da Tijuca questiona contrato com a TV Globo : “Tem que rever”, Site (...)
  • 52 Redação Sambarazzo, “Quem definiu foram as escolas”, diz Liesa sobre menos tempo de desfile, Site (...)
  • 53 Independent League of Samba Schools of Rio de Janeiro.
  • 54 Ibid.
  • 55 Redação SRZD, Desfiles do Grupo Especial terão menos tempo, alegorias e cabines de jurados, Site S (...)
  • 56 Dias Leo, Globo quer reduzir desfiles da Sapucaí em mais cinco minutos para 2021, Site UOL, 19 Feb (...)

9While the very principle of parade timing is no longer questioned, the definition of time regulation is still a controversial issue. This is inextricably linked to the conditions under which parades are broadcast. TV channels and samba schools have conflicting interests, between limited insertion in the programme schedule and the desire for full media exposure. Samba schools do not have the upper hand in negotiations, due to TV Globo’s monopoly on transmission rights for samba schools’ carnival. Since the channel is mainly interested in its evening ratings,46 it tries to maintain its usual early evening programming, thus postponing the live broadcasting of the parade as long as possible. After a few years without broadcasting the first school of each evening of the Special Group parade,47 the channel launched a more incisive offensive, which led to reducing the statutory parade time. In 2016, it tried not to broadcast the first two samba schools each evening, provoking the ire of samba school members. In addition, the parades concerned were not be broadcast in their entirety at the end of the show, but were compacted into 20 minutes – a reduction to a quarter of the regulation time. The specialised press was furious, speaking of “hostage-taking,”48 castigating capitalist rationality,49 comparing the relationship between the samba schools and the channel to “Stockholm syndrome,”50 while the samba school directors kept a low profile. Less than 24 hours after the announcement, the channel backtracked – in effect, ratifying the situation by denying the samba schools their prime-time slot in the early evening. However, the channel persisted, announcing a few months later changes in broadcasting conditions for 2017 – despite a growing audience.51 The management of the samba schools agreed to a further reduction in the allotted time: from 82 minutes to 75 minutes. The fans’ reaction was clear:52 they denounced LIESA for giving in53 to the demands of TV Globo, and announced the consequences of this new restriction: an increase in the tempo of the bateria to get through as many people as possible in as little time as possible and, consequently, an “altering” of the nature of samba. In the face of such criticism, LIESA president Jorge Castanheira asserted the role of the samba schools in the decision. He did, however, reveal the nature of the power struggle with the channel, referring to the “conquest we’re fighting for,”54 i.e. restoring live broadcasts for all the schools. The channel did not soften its stance on maintaining its early evening programming schedule, despite the carnival context. It has regularly continued imposing a shortened regulatory time, going down to 70 minutes in 2020,55 and has already evoked the possibility of 65-minute parades.56

Internalisation and reminders of time constraints: the reality effects on practices

  • 57 Elias Norbert, Du temps, Paris, Fayard, 1996, p. 16-17.
  • 58 A set of practices designed to make the parade flow more smoothly and to ensure that as many membe (...)
  • 59 Site Apoteose, Pensando bateria.

10Timing and adherence to time regulations have become an imperative logic for samba schools, “a system of self-discipline.”57 Nowadays, schools do not hesitate to prevent some of their members from marching to avoid time penalties, which is a great violence for the people concerned, and causes scandal in the milieu. Since carnival time is no longer flexible, it has become necessary to improve “evolution” techniques.58 This has been the role of harmonia directors, who have a quasi-scientific knowledge of how to manage time and movement in the parade: positioned throughout the parade, they are equipped with headsets and walkie-talkies to communicate with each other and determine whether or not their section should move forward, speed up or slow down. Some have a direct influence on the mestre de bateria and the definition of the tempo used by the ritmistas, to the detriment of aesthetic criteria and musical technique, as denounced by bateria directors Sampaio Júnior and Waguinho do Repique in an online interview with a specialist media outlet.59

  • 60 “For this type of problem, which unfortunately occurs frequently, baterias have to work as a whole (...)

11This has had a direct influence on bateria practices. The management of overall parade time has a direct impact on the evolution of the bateria and, consequently, on the marks awarded. The mestres must abide by the time limit, defend the higher common good of the school, and consider the evaluation criteria specific to the bateria. While playing, the bateria must enter the first stall to open the parade, let half of it go by, cross two-thirds of the Sambódromo, enter the second stall, let the second half of the parade go by, and then close it. This is the only ala in the samba school that has to perform these movements. The bateria must also stop to perform its breaks in front of the jurors’ seating areas. The practical details of these arrangements must be determined in advance and in agreement with the harmonia director, as the manoeuvres specific to the bateria must not interfere with the general smooth running of the parade. Moreover, in view of the pressure placed on the mestres and the arbitration they carry out, keeping to the allotted time is more important than the presentation of the bateria, which is also penalised as a grading criterion in its own right. Often caught short at the end of the parade, the bateria has to catch up with the other sections of the parade. Having to walk too fast – or even run – may lead to stretching the bateria out in space and losing sonic cohesion.60 There has been a visible evolution of parade practices towards an ever-greater control of every gesture, every movement, and every action, all duly rehearsed throughout the year. It can also be noted that the mestres do not question the superior value of respecting the time limit, and modify their practices and those of their ritmistas to manage the ensuing contradictory injunctions.

  • 61 Rainho Hélio Ricardo, Carnaval 2017: A TV e a Cronometragem, Site Sidney Rezende, 16 May 2016.

12Excluding members (admittedly on a one-off basis), setting up surveillance and adjustment systems before and during the show, and streamlining parade practices are all techniques whose aim is to impose the time constraint. While this constraint is in the process of being internalised – compared to the 1960s – it still requires a series of reminders to “make [carnival] fit into television [format].”61 In contrast to this structural and institutional dynamic, the tempo is slowing down. This too is driven by the institutional logic, through the juror recruitment policy, and is structured according to jurors’ previous musical socialisation, their gradual socialisation to the practices and stakes of baterias, and their socialising power through their normalising sanctioning function.

At the heart of tempo deceleration: socialised and socialising bateria jurors.

  • 62 Foucault, Surveiller et punir…, p. 190.
  • 63 Ibid.
  • 64 Foucault, Surveiller et punir…, p. 192.
  • 65 Ibid., p. 172.

13Within the framework of the temporal system described above, which involves the interweaving of several concomitant dynamics and results in an almost mechanical increase in tempo, is the system to assess baterias, which for many years has been pushing towards a deceleration of the “ideal” tempo. A veritable “sumptuous form of examination,”62 the parade of samba schools is a disciplinary “ceremony,”63 broken down into ten assessment criteria, each of which is given a mark and written justification, and the sum of which determines the final ranking. The judging process not only “classifies,” but also “forms categories” and, above all, “sets norms.”64 However, while the jurors’ “hierarchical gaze”65 is socialising in that it leads to the development of certain practices among the mestres de bateria, it is also socialising through the jurors’ gradual understanding of what is at stake in the ritmista practice, and the consequent suitability of the judging criteria.

The aesthetic constraint: “normalising judgement”66 and the social configuration of judgement

  • 66 Ibid., p. 179.
  • 67 The term “middle and upper classes” is used here directly in Portuguese to reflect the different w (...)

14The aesthetic constraint is an essential milestone in the structuring of relations of legitimacy concerning samba schools. The judging process raises the question of the identity of samba school members, and their recognition and acceptance by members of the classes médias e altas.67 The social composition of the juries is part of the legacy of the practical arrangements when samba schools emerged and the competition was set up, arrangements which crystallised class and race relations. On the one hand, the penalisation and then public recognition of samba schools in the first decades of the twentieth century led to an intense quest for legitimacy and a posture of deference towards social and political elites and to legitimate culture. On the other hand, the control exercised by newspapers over the organisation of competitions institutionalised a class relationship in the passing of judgement.

  • 68 Ferreira Felipe, L’invention du carnaval au xixe siècle : Paris, Nice, Rio de Janeiro, Paris, L’Ha (...)
  • 69 McCann Bryan, Hello, hello Brazil: popular music in the making of modern Brazil, Durham London, Du (...)
  • 70 Vianna Hermano, Samba : musique populaire et identité nationale au Brésil, Souty Jérôme (trad.), P (...)
  • 71 Vidal Dominique, “De l’écart entre la fiction et la réalité. La démocratie à l’épreuve de la race (...)
  • 72 Rivron Vassili, “Le goût de ces choses bien à nous”, Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, v (...)
  • 73 Enders Armelle, Histoire de Rio de Janeiro, Paris, Fayard, 2000, p. 270.
  • 74 Ibid.
  • 75 Ibid., p. 262-270.
  • 76 Ferreira, L’invention du carnaval…
  • 77 Galvão, Le carnaval de Rio…, p. 34-37.
  • 78 At the origin of the powerful media group to which the channel TV Globo belongs. Enders, Histoire (...)
  • 79 Cavalcanti, “Le carnaval…”, p. 6.

15The samba school carnival emerged among other carnival practices, the subject of a power struggle to define the most legitimate practice, and part of a civilisational debate.68 The challenge for the samba school carnival was to carve out a place for itself in the face of the dominant practice at the time – the bourgeois carnival imported from France and Italy. Representing savagery, cultural degeneration and civilisational backwardness at the end of the nineteenth century, and an embarrassing cultural manifestation of the “black element” in a Brazilian society that clung to European models,69 samba, particularly through the emergence of samba schools, was gradually constructed as a symbol of national identity and Brazilian singularity during the first decades of the twentieth century.70 This process took place in the context of the construction of national identity: from the 1930s onwards, the state apparatus developed and disseminated the ideology of miscegenation, racial democracy, the cordial man and gentle slavery – the aim of which was to unify the nation without affecting social stratification and to prevent the formation of contentious interest groups based on class, race and gender.71 Samba schools were one of the means to achieve this aim, as they were officially recognised by the public authorities and the content of their parades were controlled. The schools were the result of many transitions between different social strata, which were characteristic of the formation and consolidation of samba as a musical genre,72 and they included popular Afro-Brazilian cultural elements as well as elements from the dominant culture – to make them both “authentically” Brazilian and socially acceptable.73 Samba schools were institutionalised from 1935 onwards in order to hold a carnival without disturbing public order, in order to enhance the carnival of the working classes, the descendants of slaves, and bring it out of illegality;74 and in order to transform this initially Afro-Brazilian, popular culture into a national symbol by merging different class cultures, a symbol in which the entire Brazilian population could recognise itself.75 At the same time as samba schools emerged, they started organising their own competitive parades. From the nineteenth century onwards, journalists played a decisive role in the legitimate way of organising carnival, by staging bourgeois and aristocratic parades, for which they defined the classification.76 From 1930 onwards, newspapers began to organise competitions in samba schools.77 They chose jurors among literati with close ties to journalistic circles (i.e. from the intellectual bourgeoisie). The competition was codified and graded according to a scale from 1933, when the daily O Globo took over the competition.78 The assessment criteria were designed to maintain the “authenticity” of the samba and to allow for rationalised judging. Certain practices were banned, such as the use of brass instruments and improvised verses, despite the fact that these were key to the emergence of samba schools. The development of competition was also behind the grouping of samba schools into leagues.79 Thus it was a class relationship, partially overlapped by a race relationship, that structured the judging of samba schools in the context of a competition set up by “outside” agents, but inherent in the practice of carnival parades.

  • 80 Bourdieu, La distinction, p. VIII.
  • 81 Ibid., p. II.
  • 82 Ibid. It is this feeling of being overwhelmed that the jurors interviewed describe when they talk (...)

16LIESA recruits jurors according to several criteria, in an attempt to avoid accusations of corruption on the one hand and to legitimise the parade on the other. They must not belong to the world of samba schools, to avoid any risk of favouritism; however, they must be competent. LIESA’s directors favour jurors who are graduates and/or representatives of major artistic institutions. The singularity of the social configuration of samba school judging thus places members of the classes médias e altas in the position of “laymen,”80 while the members of the baterias may perceive their lack of knowledge at worst as a lack of respect, and at best as the basis for their illegitimacy to judge them. Attending a parade “presupposes an act of knowledge, an operation of deciphering, of decoding, which implies the use of a cognitive heritage, a cultural skill,”81 while “the spectator without the specific code feels overwhelmed, ‘drowned’, in front of what appears to him as a chaos of sounds and rhythms, colours and lines without rhyme or reason.”82 The fact that this relationship of legitimacy is embedded in the structural class and race relations of Brazilian society, inherited in particular from colonial (1500-1822) and slave society (1500-1888), increases the symbolic violence of the social configuration of the judgement tenfold.

  • 83 Terms used by the two jurors I interviewed.
  • 84 Grinberg Felipe, Carnaval 2022: Justificativas dos jurados causam polêmicas nas redes sociais, O G (...)

17Judging and grading samba schools is a great “responsibility”83 for jurors. Grades and justifications provoke passionate reactions and are commented on in the media. By confronting the different ways in which the schools are graded, by pointing out injustices and even misunderstandings on the part of jurors, samba school members give them the dunce’s cap. Worse still, jurors are shamed when they demonstrate their ignorance: by penalising certain specific characteristics and mistaking them for errors; by referring in their justifications to instruments that do not exist in the baterias; by using the wrong school in their justifications.84 These blunders, due to and revealing their lay status, are largely responsible for the lack of legitimacy from which they suffer. In spite of everything, the jurors’ marks and justifications classify and sanction the practices in force within samba schools. These tend to conform progressively, but not totally, to jurors’ criteria. The social configuration of the judging produces a confrontation of socially marked cultural representations and practices through the practicalities of the competition. However, the complexity of this power struggle is not limited to this confrontation, as the two parties are bound by a set of rules and constraints that neither of them can define: it is the presidents of samba schools who vote the rules. What is more, as these are processes and not fixed positions, over the years there have been alternative configurations of judgement beyond the usual, even ritual, framework of confrontation, through a partial and reciprocal socialisation of techniques and practices.

Practical conditions for the competition

The samba schools’ parade is a competition, assessed and graded on the basis of around ten criteria (quesitos), divided into four or five (depending on the year) jury modules located along the route. Each module has one juror for each criterion. The jurors must justify the marks, divided into tenths of points between 9 (the minimum mark, “equivalent to a 0”) and 10 – the maximum mark. They are broadcast live on television on Ash Wednesday, during an event known as “apuração”: a moment of intense tension, during which each note is greeted by the public (gathered in the premises of each samba school broadcasting the event on a giant screen) with cheers, whistles and fan songs. The justifications for the scores, which only concerned the scores below the maximum, were not immediately published (they were sealed after each night of the parade), with the explicit aim of letting the result settle and reducing the pressure. Instead, they are published several weeks later and commented on by specialist journalists, management and members of the samba schools. The samba schools are grouped into six tiers, similar to the way football divisions work: the winner “moves up” while the loser “moves down” or “falls”. The most prestigious group is the Special Group, made up of twelve to fourteen schools (depending on the year), and the winner of this group is crowned carnival champion. The school that “falls out” of the last group loses its “samba school” designation and (re)becomes a bloco de enredo. Each group is governed by a league made up of the presidents of the samba schools, who vote on the rules for the parade, among other things. The Special Group league is the LIESA (Independent League of Samba Schools).

  • 85 Throughout the history of the carnival, there has only been one woman, a white woman, appointed as (...)
  • 86tirania”. Sinval, cozinha director in Porto da Pedra since 2004 and member of the Cidade do Samba (...)
  • 87injustiça”. Eduardo, Joueur de caixa depuis 1989, cozinha director in Estácio de Sá and Tijuca, w (...)
  • 88a gente fica na mão deles”. Mestre Chuvisco, Mestre de bateria in Estácio de Sá since 2008, inter (...)
  • 89o fracasso é sempre do mestre de bateria”. CARNAVALESCO, Entrevista com mestre Nilo Sérgio, Porte (...)
  • 90acaba com uma pessoa, o trabalho de uma pessoa”. Ibid.
  • 91o presidente não quer saber”. Ibid.
  • 92Estamos aqui para ser julgados”. Mestre Nilo, Mestre de bateria depuis 2006 à Portela, interview (...)
  • 93 However, some parts of the parade are compulsory (to maintain “authenticity”) but not marked.
  • 94 While the developments described above mean that the importance of the bateria has diminished in f (...)

18The social configuration of the judging is exacerbated in the case of the baterias, which are essentially made up of Afro-Brazilians from the working classes and lower strata of the media classes, while bateria jurors are almost exclusively made up of white men from the intellectual strata of the classes médias e altas.85 On the other hand, other judging criteria focus on the carnivalesco itself – whether in terms of the design of the theme, the costumes or the floats in a way that often diminishes the symbolic violence of these judging criteria. For the mestres de bateria, the judgement represents a “tyranny,”86 an “injustice,”87 an inevitable feature with direct consequences for their careers but over which they have no control. “We’re in their hands,”88 lamented Mestre Chuvisco, while Mestre Nilo pointed out that while success is collective, “failure is always that of the mestre de bateria.89 With their marks, “they slaughter a person, a person’s work,”90 because “the president doesn’t want to know”91 whether the mark is unjustified, the error minimal or due to something unforeseen. However, many mestres de bateria say that they “accept” the rankings, just as the raison d’être of the competition is never called into question: “We’re here to be judged,”92 said Mestre Nilo.93 In fact, the grading is also a way of recognising the work done by the ritmistas and the management team, as well as the importance of the bateria in the overall scheme of things.94 Bateria jurors embody these tensions in spite of themselves, not least because of the institutional structures they do not master.

Marco the bateria juror: legitimacy in spite of himself

Marco is a classical percussionist with the symphony orchestra of Rio de Janeiro’s Municipal Theatre. His career path shows that he is a representative of legitimate culture in spite of himself. Born into a family from the upper fringes of the intellectual middle class in the southern zone of Rio de Janeiro, Marco did not benefit from a highly developed musical socialisation. He discovered the Villa-Lobos public music school “by chance”, when looking for a music school in the phone book, and began learning classical music. His teachers encouraged him to join the Municipal Theatre’s youth orchestra, and then encouraged him to take the competition for the official orchestra. He took the exam and passed, becoming a professional musician by surrendering himself to the opinion of his teachers and the institution in which he was studying music, to the point where he claims that he did not decide to become a professional musician. As a result, he became a civil servant in the State of Rio de Janeiro, a position he has held since 1987. Although he has received institutional recognition, he describes himself as a decent musician but not particularly “talented”, with technical difficulties (his hands shake) preventing him from significantly improving his musical level. It was through study that Marco compensated for his lack of “facility”: he embarked on higher music studies at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro – which meant passing a competitive examination. At first he tried his luck with technical courses, but abandoned them in favour of more intellectual ones that required musicological reflection. It was by enriching his knowledge of musicology, which he described as “rational”, that he made up for the lack (or perceived lack) of practical, embodied skills.

  • 95 The carnavalesca Maria Augusta had cursed him, outraged that the singer Beth Carvalho had only per (...)
  • 96Esse prestígio que eles querem, mas são eles que se desvalorizam, não é o Teatro Municipal que de (...)
  • 97Isso é coisa deles”. Marco, Bateria juror since 2010, interview conducted at his home (Laranjeira (...)

19Marco discovered the phenomena of legitimate violence created by the prestigious nature of the institution he represented in practice. At the time of the interview, this was a source of great incomprehension for him. Indeed, he did not recognise, on the part of his colleagues, himself, or even his institution, any desire to declare that they were superior or better than popular music. When he told me an anecdote that revealed the tensions that samba school members felt around cultural legitimacy,95 he commented, a little annoyed: “They want this prestige, but they’re the ones devaluing themselves in relation to the Municipal Theatre, it’s not the Municipal Theatre that’s devaluing them”96! He quickly internalised, however, that when it came to judgement, the subject was a sensitive one. Not least because of his background in musicology, he realised from the outset of his role as a juror that it was never a question of judging the characteristics of the baterias (which would then be considered a blunder), which he said “are things that belong to them,”97 but rather the technical execution. This implies mastering a certain amount of musical knowledge about baterias, which not all jurors necessarily have when they start out in this role. In fact, while he had already given good marks to some baterias whose ritmistas felt they performed poorly, he had never been at the centre of a violent debate because of his justifications.

20The bateria juror Guilherme found himself at the heart of the torment following the bad marks he gave to the samba school in the district where he lived.

Guilherme the bateria juror: “a white guy, originated with classe media, média-alta, from southern zone”

Guilherme is a renowned drummer who moves between several styles of Brazilian popular music, accompanying some of the biggest names, jazz and experimental music. The fact that he has played for samba greats such as Dona Ivone Lara, Elton Medeiros, Paulinho da Viola, Wilson Moreira, etc., composers and performers from the samba schools, that he has a broad knowledge of samba, and that he masters the various drumming techniques, gives him, in his own eyes and in those of LIESA, the legitimacy to judge the samba schools. Yet he is labelled by members of the samba schools as someone who does not belong to the “world of samba”, placing himself in an ambiguous position. In a way, he has circled around the samba schools, frequenting musicians and ritmistas as part of other projects. He marched for two years in a row (1995 and 1996) as a ritmista in a “small” school, although he wasn’t particularly involved, and gave drum lessons to ritmistas – the very people who encouraged him to march. So he has one foot in the samba schools, without mastering all the social and musical codes, and he knows it. Guilherme describes himself as “a white guy, originated with classe média, média-alta, from the southern zone”. He spent his childhood in the upmarket neighbourhoods of Gávea and Leblon and says he never felt at home there. He moved to Vila Isabel in 1988, when he was twenty, and still lives there today, in a privileged housing estate (made up of top-of-the-range, gated and secure detached houses) within a socially mixed neighbourhood, made up of different sections of the médias and working classes. This culturally rich neighbourhood is considered to be one of the “cradles of samba” in the Carioca metropolitan area, with two quadras of prestigious schools – Vila Isabel and Salgueiro – nearby. Guilherme lives next to the main street in the neighbourhood, 28-septembre Street, where Vila Isabel’s street rehearsals take place, and to which he likes to go.

  • 98execração pública”. Guilherme, Bateria juror since 2011, interview conducted at his home (Vila Is (...)
  • 99essa imagem pública do julgador que ou é ladrão (), ou é aquele cara frio calculista, que quer m (...)
  • 100 The “final observations” section following the justifications is used unevenly by the jurors. Some (...)
  • 101Vocês me dão orgulho de ser um músico brasileiro”. “Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2013. Mapa de (...)
  • 102O reconhecimento de um músico com 30 anos de profissão ao verdadeiro milagre musical que vocês fa (...)
  • 103Não têm ideia do nível de comprometimento que a gente tem com uma função dessa”. Guilherme, Bater (...)
  • 104 An expression used in the world of samba schools to mean that someone does not belong, even if tha (...)
  • 105no nível musical completo, () é outro papo né, a gente tem outro nível de formação”. Guilherme, (...)
  • 106Vamos dizer assim um mestre de bateria, eles ficariam bastante confusos. Não pra fazer a distinçã (...)

21Guilherme, one of the harshest jurors, found himself at the centre of a number of controversies during the few years when he was a juror (2011-2015). Some affected him because of where he lived – on several occasions he punished the bateria of his local samba school. Others were due to contradictory interpretations of the rules. He was deeply affected by the criticism of his work by members of the baterias and in the specialist media, which he described as “public execration.”98 He was aware of the tension surrounding the judging process, and wished to combat “this public image of the juror as either a thief (…), or a cold, calculating guy who just wants to screw up other people’s work,”99 so that he systematically wrote glowing praises in his “final remarks.”100 “You make me proud to be a Brazilian musician,”101 he wrote in 2013, while in 2015 he described his comments as “the recognition by a musician with more than thirty years of career of the true musical miracle that you are bringing to the Sapucaí.”102 He never failed to point out his own qualifications, because “they [the mestres and ritmistas] have no idea of the level of commitment required for this position.”103 He did not understand how experienced musicians could be delegitimised because they “aren’t from samba,”104 and reaffirmed the legitimist expectations of the position, because “at the complete musical level (…), it’s a different story, isn’t it, we have a different level of training.”105 In fact, Guilherme raised “the question of whether they [the mestres de bateria] would meet the conditions” to fulfil jury requirements: in his opinion, “they would be rather confused,” particularly when it came to justifying scores. They did not have many conceptual “tools” and “terminology,” he said, “because their training is very empirical.”106

Jury members’ musical socialisation and relationship with tempo: behind the technicalities of judging

  • 107 Jury manual.

22As a result of the recruitment policy, jurors find themselves catapulted into parades with the task of judging, penalising technical faults and defining good aesthetic taste. Despite the introduction of a one-day “course” to present and discuss the criteria set out in the Manual do Julgador,107 judging skills are aquired on the job. Given the lack of definition of the criteria and the difficulty of putting them into practice, Guilherme suggested an informal learning process based on socialisation between bateria jurors and the practices developed by the mestres.

  • 108Então isso é um critério, na verdade esse critério ninguém ensinou esse critério. A gente, clar (...)

Of course, that's one criterion, in reality that criterion… nobody taught me that criterion. And of course, you talk to people, with friends from different schools (…). This was my third year, wasn’t it. I had become closer friends with the other jurors.108

  • 109 Depending on the year, each school performs once or twice a year during technical rehearsals (or n (...)
  • 110 Marco, Bateria juror since 2010.

23Going to rehearsals is part of this learning process. However, jurors’ attendance at rehearsals is a sensitive issue. While many ritmistas and mestres regret that jurors do not attend more rehearsals, LIESA discourages them from doing so, on the pretext that they need to be neutral. They are, however, allowed to attend rehearsals held in the sambódromo.109 The bateria jurors’ attempts to adapt to their role, which could be likened to secondary professional socialisation, have thus been prevented by institutional constraints. Faced with this, they have developed strategies and shared them, resulting in a partial socialisation to the baterias. The first year Marco was called up to be a bateria juror, he did not feel legitimate enough so that he felt “hopeless”110 about the exercise.

  • 111Certamente os caras, os mestres, é que teriam mais conhecimento né, pra julgar né, mas eles não p (...)

Of course, it’s the guys, the mestres, who would have the most knowledge to judge, isn’t it, but they [LIESA] can’t call them because they’re linked [to their samba school(s)], and so they call us, who don’t know much about it, eh… I don’t know much about it… I want to know about it. (…) I’m desperate, I don’t know how to… judge. And also, you ask these people, and also, they don’t know how to explain… It’s complicated.111

  • 112 Marco told me the “trick” he’d been given by another juror: to get round the ban by attending the (...)
  • 113 LIESA has made available on its website the different versions, since 2006, of the regulations, Ma (...)
  • 114 Justifications were made compulsory from 1987.
  • 115 Batuque Digital TV, SambaPod! - EP #06 - Sergio Naidin e Odilon Costa, Rio de Janeiro, Batuque Dig (...)

24Marco was constantly developing his understanding of baterias. At the time of the interview, although he had only been a juror twice, he had already taken part in several debates organised by the mestres on their perceptions of each of the judging criteria. Over the years, he attended more and more rehearsals,112 where he always tried to find out more about the techniques, by asking questions of seasoned ritmitas and respected mestres. By developing his listening skills and accumulating knowledge, his voice became increasingly legitimate in the world of samba schools. He wrote short articles on specialist blogs, answered questions from ritmistas and directors, and so on. Since 2014, he had also been a guest member of Bloco das Cuícas, a carnival group that brings together the top brass of the baterias: mestres and jurors. More than ten years after the interview, he was continuing his research to gain a better understanding of bateria judging practices, by studying LIESA’s online archives;113 collecting earlier versions of the Manual do julgador, which were not available online, to study the evolution of the definition of the criteria; going to LIESA’s headquarters to obtain a copy of the justifications prior to 2006;114 and compiling information on the identity and background, particularly musical, of former jurors. With his almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the subject, he was able to quote a precise justification off the top of his head, associating it with a juror, the bateria concerned and the year of the show.115

  • 116 Comment by Guilherme. “Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2013. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”

25The jurors must therefore construct their own judging techniques as best they can given their limited leeway, in order to fulfil their “noble and arduous mission.”116 As they go along, they gradually choose what they will use as a tie-breaking criterion, based on the marks and justifications given before, and their attendance at rehearsals. Adapting their criteria to the specific conceptions of the baterias, they consider the ways and consequences of applying them, and determine what should not be penalised.

  • 117 The following analyses are based on the marks and justifications of the Special Group’s bateria ju (...)

26Against this backdrop of various tensions, the technical nature of the assessment criteria appears to the various players to be the best solution for a judgement that avoids subjectivity, favouritism or blunders. It is the sine qua non for the acceptability of the judgements. A technical judgement is also considered to be the easiest to understand and reappropriate, with the aim of improving practices – and grades. In this context, the attention paid to tempo takes pride of place among the various criteria used by jurors. Tempo is an official criterion in the Manual do Julgador, but it is also one of the key elements used by mestres de bateria to obtain a “good” bateria. It is easily quantifiable and measurable, and is used repeatedly by jurors and the specialist online media, prompting bateria mestres to pay close attention to it. Depending on jurors’ seniority and social and musical background, tempo is not taken into account in the assessment, and the practical arrangements for its application are not uniform – all the more so as this criterion is poorly defined in the Manual do Julgador. Jurors’ criteria and justifications117 are one of the forces behind the principle of changing the tempo of the baterias: acting against media pressure, they have led to a gradual deceleration applied by the mestres.

27In the Manual do Julgador, more than the regularity of the tempo, or the definition of a BPM level to respect, it is a question of evaluating whether the same tempo is kept in the bateria and the harmonic section. As one journalist who attended the course put it:

  • 118A orientação passada aos jurados () trata de observar a regularidade do andamento. Não importa q (...)

The direction given to the jurors (…) is to observe the regularity of the tempo. It doesn’t matter whether it’s fast or slow (…). It’s clear that there will always be variations, but it’s important to keep them as small as possible.118

28However, this understanding is not shared by all jurors. For example, in the justifications, some jurors noted the beats per minute measured on the metronome and penalised an increase or decrease in this number that was too great.

  • 119A aceleração do andamento, provocado pela empolgação, prejudicou as respirações das frases melódi (...)

The arrangements presented by the sections were good, but the acceleration of the tempo, caused by the craze, interfered with the breathing of the melodic phrases of the samba and the finishing of some of these arrangements. At 9:32 P.M., the BPM reached 155, and after the bateria had passed in front of Module I (at 9:54 P.M.), it dropped to 150, and everything improved.119

  • 120 Today, such a tempo would be considered very fast. “Bom ficou o andamento do Samba na Avenida, man (...)

29It is the objectification of tempo that allowed the penalty. This juror assessed two aspects of tempo: variations and tempi that were too fast – which he defined as above 150 BPM. It can be observed that a variation would not have been penalised if the tempo had been at a level he determined as “good”, whereas it would have been if the tempo had been at a higher level. He explained his “good” tempo standard in a justification to a school that lost points for another reason (creativity criterion): “What was good was the tempo of the samba in the Avenida, kept between 146 and 148 BPM.”120

  • 121 He also records the official fashion shows, which allows him to comparent his impressions “in the (...)
  • 122Queda expressiva do andamento”. “Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2011. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bat (...)

30Initially, Guilherme was more technical in his judgement, before revising his criteria. Although he found that the act of judging the show was not in itself very relevant, he played his role to the full. The use of technical criteria was necessary to alleviate this dilemma. On the face of it, the more technical the argument, the less contestable it was: he focused on measuring tempo. He used the metronome in several ways: firstly, in advance, on the official recordings of the sambas broadcast several months before carnival. Then, he used it during the technical rehearsals in the Sambodrome, when he recorded the parade and listened to it again at home. Finally, during the carnival, the metronome served to measure variations in tempo at the time and to compare tempi observed in other contexts.121 However, he did not specify the BPM values in his explanations, using formulations such as “expressive fall in tempo.”122 By listening carefully, he realised that he could not take everything into account: even if the rules were followed to the letter, too much technicality would be seen as disrespectful towards the mestres and ritmistas.

  • 123Realmente as notas iam ser muito baixas se eu fosse pontuar tudo, que aparecia nos áudios. () me (...)

Well, really, the notes would have been very low if I’d written down everything I’d heard on the recordings (…) Even if I’d technically based myself on the recording, in their eyes I would have had an attitude, a disrespectful posture. In relation to the musicians, the ritmistas… I think so too [it would have been disrespectful]!123

31The technique was undermined by the symbolic importance of the mark, which posed another problem for Guilherme: that of measuring the penalty. By refusing to mark certain baterias too severely, those that lost just one tenth of a point were penalised proportionally more. He was also aware that the social significance of baterias went beyond the technical.

  • 124Mas no âmbito do que a gente tá falando, do samba, carnaval, paixão, é uma questão que eu me colo (...)

But in the context of what we’re talking about, the samba, the carnival, the passion, it’s a question I really ask myself (…). Where are we going to end up if all this boils down to a technical criterion? Is this the right way to go?124

  • 125 As does Marco, with whom he discusses the subject. For Marco, the indefiniteness of the criteria a (...)

32Guilherme125 was also concerned about the practical repercussions of his judgement: too much standardisation would cause the samba school parades to lose their original substance, and each bateria to lose its characteristic features – In short it was a question of “authenticity.” By understanding the material constraints of the parade and through a process of reflection shared with the other jurors, he gradually came to understand the musical concepts and practices in force within the baterias. From 2014 onwards, he considered tempo to be a less relevant criterion in his assessment process: he focused rather on that of unison.

33Marco spoke out against the mechanical application of quantified and measurable principles, which he (like many musicians) considered to have been imported from the European-style rationalisation of music and were unsuitable for the parade. After all, how can a parade of over 300 musicians maintain an exact tempo for a performance lasting over an hour and twenty minutes without interruption?

  • 126Cair o andamento, o que que tem né? Se tá todo mundo, se tá a música junta, vai cair no andamento (...)

If the tempo drops [decelerates], what does that matter, eh? If everyone’s there, if the music’s together, the tempo drops, it’s all the same, there’s no problem. The problem is when there’s music at one tempo and the bateria at another. That’s what I think is wrong.126

  • 127O andamento lento (± 138) facilitou a audição de quase todos os naipes”. “Caderno de Julgamento, (...)

34In his justifications, Marco made little reference to tempo as such, devoting himself more to an assessment of the balance of timbres between the different sections of instruments, their tuning, the inventiveness and boldness of the breaks, the precision of the execution and the unison between the different sections. Nevertheless, he also took on a prescriptive role in terms of the ideal tempo to be achieved, stating in the “final observations” of 2019 that the “slow tempo” of a bateria with the highest score, around 138 BPM, “facilitated hearing almost all the instrument sections.”127

35The position of the mestres crystallises the contradictory institutional dynamics and the differentiated application of a vague criterion, depending on jurors’ previous and current socialisation. It is by taking an interest in their musical socialisation that the ways in which they position themselves can be understood: their ability to appropriate or reject the standards collectively constructed by jurors, chairpersons and journalists; to prescribe their preferences; and to produce trends in practice. In so doing, they participate in the construction of the “right” tempo standard, the development of “good” taste in the matter and dominant practices.

Legitimisation and de-legitimisation of mestres according to their position in relation to the “right” tempo

  • 128 Darmon Muriel, Dulong Delphine and Favier Elsa, “Temps et pouvoir”, Actes de la recherche en scien (...)
  • 129 Ibid., p. 15.

36The positioning of mestres de bateria in relation to tempo is one of the logics involved in their (de)legitimisation, particularly in the eyes of their peers and the ritmistas. In this context, the statement that “a relationship to time therefore includes a moral relationship to the world, the celebration or condemnation of other relationships to time”128 takes on its full meaning. The demand for a slower tempo is accompanied by a focus on musical technique to the detriment of other visual and spectacular aspects that may include the “show” of the bateria, greater discipline and rationalisation of techniques, and the demonstration to others that one is “in the right.” The demand for a fast tempo values energy, emotion, daring, creativity, humanity and a position of resistance to jurors who are not representative of the baterias. In both cases, it is the “authenticity” of the “tradition” that is claimed. “Certain uses of time therefore take on symbolic capital, legitimacy or illegitimacy, in the confrontations that take place in the social space of relationships to time.”129 This is what will appear through the trajectories of two emblematic Carioca carnival mestres, their confrontation, their influence in the training of the new generation of mestres and in the balance of power around the definition of the “right” tempo.

A mestre prescribing a slower tempo: Mestre Odilon Costa

  • 130 Master of masters.
  • 131Na época ninguém pegava a mão, dava aula”. SAMBA de ALEM-MAR, Entrevista ao Grande Mestre Odilon (...)
  • 132Em câmera lenta”. Ibid.
  • 133 Public higher education establishment, Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro.
  • 134 The only one of its kind, this book compiles the phrases of each instrument making up a bateria, d (...)
  • 135 In 2011, he will spend six months as a member of Mocidade’s “Superdireção de Bateria”, and in 2013 (...)
  • 136eu briguei muito com andamento”. Batuque Digital TV, SambaPod!…

37Mestre Odilon was nicknamed “Mestre dos mestres.130 He has been both a key player in the process of rationalising and harmonising the musical practices of the baterias, and an ardent defender of their respective “identities,” wishing to combat the standardisation of practices. The son of a fisherman born in 1957, he attended the samba school in the northern suburb of Ilha do Governador, becoming a ritmista at the age of 11. His involvement with samba schools lasted for almost fifty years, ending in 2015. He experienced some of the structural changes in the parades first hand. None of his family were involved in percussion or samba schools, but he developed an interest in them from watching the parades on television. Trained “on the job” (“at the time no one took you by the hand or gave you lessons”131), he found it very difficult to learn the instruments without breaking down the movements or slowing down the tempo. It was by repeating the movements at home, “in slow motion,”132 that he gradually came to understand percussive techniques. This became his teaching method. He became mestre in 1991, and instigated fundamental changes that were taken up by the other mestres to the point of becoming the norm: rhythmic training for children; the harmonisation of phrases and techniques; a ban on improvisation and on techniques other than those he taught, in order to maintain a “clean” sound; the “invention” of the corridor in the middle of the bateria to facilitate communicating directors’ orders to ritmistas; iron discipline; and a return to a slower tempo. Although he was already a mestre, he trained in “erudite” music, in particular reading and writing scores, and then became a percussion teacher at UNIRIO.133 Together with drummer Guilherme Gonçalves, he co-authored a manual of scores,134 which was an international success, while at the same time urging jurors not to transpose rhythms into written form in their justifications. He reminded them that most musicians cannot read music, and that writing down samba rhythms is imperfect and cannot convey their essence. After stepping down as mestre de Grande Rio after Carnival 2009, he returned to bateria management from time to time as part of management committees, marked by disagreements with the other mestres on the committees.135 In 2015, he definitively distanced himself from the management of samba school baterias, as he was tired, he said, of always having to “fight”136 to maintain a “good” tempo, particularly in the face of pressure from the president or the harmonia director.

  • 137Eu gosto de andamento mais pra trás. O único problema que tive com escola de samba foi por causa (...)

I like the tempo a bit pulled back [a bit slower]. The only problem I’ve had with samba schools is the tempo.137

  • 138 Evaristo Geissa, “Cabine de jurados do lado esquerdo do Sambódromo prejudica quesito Bateria”, Sit (...)
  • 139 This is particularly true of Mestre Ciça, whose career, practices and positions are described belo (...)
  • 140 Gente da Ilha - Mestre Odilon Costa, Ilha Notícias, 18 May 2012.
  • 141 Menasce Márcio, Mestre de bateria formado na União da Ilha lança livro de partituras, Extra Online(...)
  • 142 Guerreiro Antônio, Guerreiro Entrevista…, Antônio Guerreiro Ilha Entrevista, 22 November 2010.
  • 143 Ibid. Only one justification could be found, penalising the sound imbalance between the different (...)
  • 144O lema ‘É proibido correr’ já estampou até blusa, deixando clara a preferência pelo andamento cad (...)
  • 145 Although he began directing bateria under Mestre Ciça (who directed the Grande Rio bateria from 20 (...)
  • 146Resgatar”. The theme of “resgate”, or rescuing rhythms and practices considered “traditional”, is (...)
  • 147 That’s fourteen “10s”. In 2023, his bateria scored three 10s and one 9.9. One juror awarded it the (...)
  • 148Eu gosto muito do andamento do garoto que tá lá na Grande Rio e esse ano tirou 10 e foi campeão p (...)

38Mestre Odilon considered the ideal tempo to be 138 BPM, while he saw the introduction of the metronome as an intrusion of Western culture into popular culture of African origin.138 With a strong presence on social networks, his views on his aesthetic practices and values have long been relayed, and his positions can be seen as an important normative element among ritmistas. In particular, he is a recurring guest on specialist online media, in debates moderated by ritmistas (often bateria directors) working for these sites, who always agree with him (even, significantly, when these ritmistas play or have played for a mestre who does not share his positions139). Although he could never (under the current rules) be appointed as a bateria juror in the LIESA competition, he has already been asked to train them, and has given lectures across the country.140 He also has sanctioning powers as a bateria juror for the Estandarte de Ouro, a prize organised by TV Globo, and the Troféu Bateria, a prize organised by a specialised online media. He was made aware of the importance of tempo in his first year as a mestre, and his “attention, which was already high, was redoubled”141 following a justification of a change in tempo in his bateria. His first year at the helm of a bateria already established him as the “best mestre de bateria,” winning a prize from TV Manchete,142 and laying the foundations for his normative positioning. At the Grande Rio Samba School, where he ran the bateria from 1998 to 2009 – a period during which he lost just two tenths of a point143 – Mestre Odilon left his way of doing things as a legacy. “The motto ‘It’s forbidden to run [to play too fast]’” has already been emblasoned on the T-shirts distributed to the ritmistas, establishing as much a trademark as a sense of belonging and “making the preference for a slower tempo clear.”144 The current mestre, Mestre Fafá, a ritmista trained by Mestre Odilon, is also the son of Odilon’s right-hand man.145 Wishing to “restore” or “save”146 the “old” ways of playing, he has stood out for his affirmation of a slower tempo than that of his fellow musicians. At the head of the Grande Rio bateria since 2019, he has been awarded top marks for three years in a row.147 Marco positively raised the tempo of the Grande Rio bateria to 138 BPM – exactly what Mestre Odilon recommended. Mestre Odilon was full of praise for Mestre Fafá, saying that if he got top marks in 2022, it was “thanks to the tempo.”148

A fast tempo characteristic of the Turma do Estácio: in the tradition of Mestre Ciça

  • 149 Farias, Bateria…, p. 49.
  • 150 Litterally, Estácio’s “classe” or “promotion”.
  • 151 Although it was founded in 1955, twenty years after Deixa Falar ceased trading.
  • 152 Officially recognised in 2011 by IPHAN, the National Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage (...)

39Already considered in the 1930s to be responsible for speeding up the tempo of the samba to adapt it to the constraints of the carnival parade,149 the Turma do Estácio150 was the name of the founders in 1928 of Deixa Falar, which is considered as the first samba school in Brazil. The Estácio de Sá Samba School,151 located in the same district, lays claim to this “tradition.”152 I refer to the Turma do Estácio to signify the identity inherited by this school, and to designate the mestres affiliated to it, particularly around the claim of a “push forward” tempo as an identity characteristic, i.e. Mestre Ciça, Mestre Chuvisco and Mestre Pablo.

  • 153 He was mestre of Estácio de Sá from 1988 to 1997, of Tijuca in 1988, of Viradouro (1999-2009), Gra (...)
  • 154A minha família toda é de sambista”. Batuque Digital TV, CONVERSA KOMKÁ – MESTRE CIÇA (NA ÍNTEGRA (...)
  • 155 Participant observation of rehearsals for the 2005-2006 and 2008-2009 carnival seasons at Unidos d (...)
  • 156Não tive essa oportunidade de estudar”. Batuque Digital TV, Mestre Ciça.
  • 157 Alves Luisa, Fala, Ciça! Ritmista não quer dinheiro para desfilar, ele quer ser bem tratado", diz (...)
  • 158 Redação SRZD, Ciça: "Vivo na União da Ilha o que vivi na Viradouro”, Site Sidney Rezende, 8 Decemb (...)
  • 159Não estou fazendo ensaio isolado, pois acredito que isso desgasta os ritmistas e não é necessário (...)
  • 160 This allows him to adjust the allocation and level of individual responsibility according to the r (...)

40In a way, Mestre Ciça represents the opposite idealtype of Mestre Odilon. Of the same generation as Mestre Odilon, he was born in 1956 and, as a ritmista, also experienced the parades before the introduction of timekeeping and the construction of the Sambódromo. A car mechanic living in the Estácio de Sá neighbourhood, Mestre Ciça started out as a passista (solo dancer) in the early 1970s, and soon became a ritmista in the bateria. He suddenly became mestre in 1988 after the previous bateria manager had health problems. Since then, his commitment has been total, and he has been mestre of five different schools without interruption.153 Born into a family “where everyone was a sambista,”154 he learned percussion “on the job”, by imitation and without any kind of rationalisation. He never mentioned any difficulty in learning the instrumental techniques, and as a mestre, has never slowed down the tempo or broken down the rhythmic phrases when passing on new breaks.155 He counterbalanced the fact that he had “not had the opportunity to study”156 music, particularly in the face of the new generation of mestres, with his longevity, his “ear” and his experience.157 He does not like the idea of “isolated rehearsals”158 for each instrument section, to “avoid exhausting the ritmistas with so many rehearsals.”159 He believes in the “chemistry” of collective work, and while he has a “certain sensitivity” to knowing “who’s who,”160 he almost never puts his ritmistas in a situation where they can objectify the individual level.

  • 161 A ritmista who played for both mestres told me when Mestre Ciça’s transfer was announced that he w (...)
  • 162sarapo”. For the sake of social harmony, most other mestres tolerate the presence of ritmistas wh (...)
  • 163 This ritmista became involved in disseminating Mestre Odilon’s positions and practices, producing (...)
  • 164 Two 10s and two 9.9s. The two tenths lost were for the same reason. “Caderno de Julgamento, Carnav (...)
  • 165 The two excerpts were written by two different jurors, both of whom awarded a score of 9.9. Ibid.
  • 166Confesso que não fui muito feliz lá”. Alves, “Fala Ciça!…”
  • 167legado”. Batuque Digital TV, Mestre Ciça.

41His time at the head of the Grande Rio bateria is worthy of attention: taking over from Mestre Odilon, it was a configuration of intense confrontation between practices. Mestre Ciça took charge of the Grande Rio bateria after Carnival 2009, after ten years at Viradouro. Much appreciated by his ritmistas, they followed him en masse, particularly in his first year. This massive influx of outside recruits into the bateria led for eleven years by Mestre Odilon did not go down well with the local ritmistas, a significant number of whom refused to play for Ciça and left the bateria.161 Trained in a rationalised style of teaching, with harmonised phrases and based on the sum of individual performances – Mestre Odilon does not tolerate any “no-hopers”162 in his bateria and does not hesitate to exclude players for technical shortcomings – local ritmistas are suspicious of the techniques and tempo of the newcomers. Mestre Ciça decided to put an end to the criticism by organising a general test: it was one of the rare moments when everyone could show their level by playing one after the other. At Mestre Ciça’s tempo, it became very difficult to play according to the techniques taught by Odilon. One of Mestre Ciça’s ritmistas distinguished herself by brilliantly employing the two techniques advocated by each of the mestres in the fast tempo.163 In doing so, Ciça has been making his mark and asking all the ritmistas not to claim technical superiority. The presentation of his bateria at Carnival 2010 will live long in memories (including that of Mestre Odilon – see below). If he did not get the four top marks,164 it was because of a particularly long break – “the most daring of this carnival”, as one of the jurors wrote, penalising him for taking risks that caused “a certain imbalance.”165 Although he admitted that he “wasn’t very happy”166 at Grande Rio, Mestre Ciça was proud of his “legacy”167 there. Through his musical training work with the children of the samba school, he has helped form a local pool of ritmistas, around 70 of whom make up the current bateria.

  • 168 He obtained all 10 marks in 2008, 2009 and 2020, in all three cases with Viradouro.
  • 169andamento acelerado. “Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2011. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”; “C (...)
  • 170Andamento excessivamente rápido, prejudicando o brilho do ritmo e a inteligibilidade das paradinh (...)
  • 171Grande entusiasmo, porém uma leve precipitação no meio da bossa longa, me passou um certo desequi (...)

42Throughout his career, although he also achieved excellent results, he rarely won all the top marks.168 He has regularly been criticised, both in the justifications and by the ritmistas, for his “accelerated tempo,”169 even “excessively fast,” which “detracts from the brilliance of the rhythm and the intelligibility of the breaks.”170 However, an analysis of the scores and justifications from 2006 to 2022 puts the weight of tempo in these results into perspective. There were 22 scores below the maximum, between 9.7 and 9.9/10, out of a total of 62 scores (i.e. 40 maximum scores in 16 years of shows). There were 7 justifications for a tempo that was too fast, while 7 other justifications did not deal directly with tempo but could be linked to it (through terms such as “haste,”171 for example). However, it can be noted that in 2010 Mestre Ciça’s bateria lost tenths of a point on other criteria, while several others were penalised because their tempo was too fast. What is more, some justifications were positive despite a fast tempo (2011), and in 2012 Marco noted the slower tempo of Mestre Ciça’s bateria compared to the others, although it is unclear whether this was the reason why he penalised it. Ciça refers to this episode:

  • 172Foi na Grande Rio, botei um carnaval bem atrás. Não tem nada ver contigo, os caras me arrebenta (...)

It was in Grande Rio, I put a carnival very far back [the bateria played at a slower tempo]. “It’s got nothing to do with you,” the guys destroyed me, “you need to get back to what you were doing, to what you love.”172

  • 173 With the exception of União da Ilha, where he did a “resgate” job, saving the old caixa phrase, fo (...)
  • 174 “Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2010. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”
  • 175 These essentialised “characteristics” include the phrasing of the caixas, the tuning of the surdos(...)

43He is known for his caixa de guerra (a way of playing the snare drum “up,” without a strap on the shoulder, with a specific phrase), characteristic of Estácio, and which calls for a pegada, a more “frank” and energetic “grip” on the tempo. It is a technique he has used in his various baterias.173 He is also known for his “new” moves, choreography (splitting the bateria in two, for example), spectacular staging (having the bateria ride on an allegorical float while playing) and particularly long breaks. While the jurors, ritmistas and other commentators have appreciated all this “risk-taking”, it may also have cost him tenths of a point.174 Mestre Ciça claimed his preference for a fast tempo was a characteristic of his training at Estácio de Sá – while it is noticeable in both the debates and the justifications that tempo is never considered a “characteristic” of a samba school or of a “tradition,” which should therefore be respected as such and not changed or modified.175

  • 176Eu gosto do andamento com uma pegada, coisa minha. Sou estaciano, vim da Estácio, moro na Estácio (...)

I like a tempo with a “grip,” it’s something that is my own. I’m an estaciano, I come from Estácio, I have lived in Estácio to this day, and Estácio has that characteristic.176

  • 177 Essential for maintaining social order in samba schools as in other social spaces in Brazil. Vidal(...)
  • 178 “When he paraded with Grande Rio [in 2010] (…), it was so beautiful, I wouldn’t give him a 10, I’d (...)
  • 179 “Ciça likes to run” [on the beat]. SAMBA de ALEM-MAR, Entrevista Mestre Odilon.

44In interviews and debates about tempo, he has systematically been presented as a counterpoint to Mestre Odilon, who referred to him by name as a counter-model to good practice. Mestre Odilon always wrapped his comments in the rhetoric of “respect,”177 claimed friendship, acknowledged Mestre Ciça’s prestige and qualities,178 and asserted that a juror could not assess the bateria’s performance on the value of the tempo but only on its stability. However, he repeated: “Ciça gosta de correr.179 The term “correr” is particularly pejorative in the language of ritmistas, and therefore stigmatises Mestre Ciça, the ritmistas he trained and the mestres who claim to be his heirs.

  • 180O Ciça sempre gostou de bateria um pouquinho mais na frente. Se fosse julgar ele, não posso julga (...)

Ciça has always liked a bateria that pushes a bit more forward. If I had to judge him, I can’t judge him by his running, because he likes to run. I’m going to judge him by what I listen to in terms of rhythm, even while running, for me it’s indifferent, I can’t judge with my tastes, I have to judge if he made a good presentation in front of me.180

45The term “correr” refers to a way of playing too far forward on the beat, regardless of the BPM level, detracting from the syncopated “swing” (suingue) that is characteristic of samba as a musical genre. This practice is the bête noire of all mestres de bateria, and Mestre Ciça makes no secret of his annoyance at being associated with it:

Luisa Alves: There’s a lot of talk about racing in the bateria, and people quote you. Does that bother you? What’s your answer on tempo?

  • 181Luisa Alves: Falam muito de correria na bateria e citam você. Isso te incomoda? O que você respon (...)

Mestre Ciça: That’s an incredible question. In a serious school (…), no mestre de bateria dictates the tempo in the Avenida. Here, we sit down with the school president, the carnival director, the performer… with everyone, and decide what’s best for the parade (…) I’ve had a carnival director come up to me and say, “It’s got to be 150 BPM” (…) and I went to 150 BPM in the Avenida. When that caused problems, (…) I was blamed of it.181

  • 182Tocar pra frente é uma coisa, correr é outra”. Batuque Digital TV, Mestre Ciça.

46He pointed out that “playing [in tempo] forward is one thing, running is another.”182

  • 183É que as pessoas falam que é correria, mas 147 BPM é um andamento com pegada boa. E com swing, po (...)

It’s not that I like racing, because you can play at 147 BPM with swing. (…) It’s because people say it’s racing, but 147 BPM is a tempo with a good grip. And with swing, because that’s what’s important. Anyone who plays while running can’t play, you know? I can play even at 149 BPM, it’ll be swingy. It’s controversial, but now… what if I like a faster tempo? I admit I like it.183

47However, despite the stability of Mestre Ciça’s position over the years, as well as his identity-based attachment to a fast tempo, the normative force of the slow tempo has been growing. In particular, it has been spreading among ritmistas and directors, but also among performers – who have a clear tendency to speed up their baterias. Through discussion and demonstration, they succeeded in convincing Mestre Ciça to adopt a slower tempo for Carnival 2023. He was aware that the trend was different, driven in particular by a new generation of mestres:

  • 184Só que preciso me adaptar. Estou com 66 anos, tem garotos novos como mestres de bateria e eles sã (...)

I just need to adapt. I’m 66 years old, there are some young boys as mestres de bateria and they’re very good. They’re stars, they’re studying music. I have to accompany [the evolution of practices], and learn too. I even tell them, “Look, the old man isn’t dead, and things are going to get hot in the Avenida!” That’s part of it. It’s also a learning process for me, because you never know everything.184

48Listening to his ritmistas and other sectors of the samba school, and seeking compromise – which has also earned him longevity in the business – Mestre Ciça admitted that he had “overdone it” and was “adapting to a more comfortable tempo.”

  • 185Até exagerei, confesso.

I like having conversations with my ritmistas, exchanging ideas in a way that’s comfortable for everyone. I’ve really been labeled, but as I said, in a serious school you talk to everyone (…) It’s logical that we have to think about what fits best into the school’s offering. (…) For Carnival 2023, people will be surprised by Viradouro’s tempo, but it’s something that’s been discussed. If they hadn’t come to talk to me, my rhythm/my “take” would have prevailed.185

  • 186 For Carnival 2023, Viradouro’s bateria scored two 9.9s and two 10s. At this level of competition, (...)

49These aesthetic reversals by the mestre (be it the caixa phrase at União da Ilha or the tempo at Viradouro) have been very well received by ritmistas and other specialists, who value his ability to adapt. In other words, he is a mestre who knows how to question his practices, over the course of a long musical career. During the live transmission of the parade in 2023, the commentator specialising in baterias mentioned this change in the mestre’s position on tempo. Despite the introduction of the slower tempo, also associated with a lack of emotion or seriousness, the commentator insisted on the immediate recognition to the ear of Mestre Ciça’s energetic pegada, which gave a light, joyful color to the parade’s soundtrack. Finally, still live, the official performer Zé Paulo Sierra made a dedication to Mestre Ciça, who “knew how to reinvent himself” by proposing a slower tempo. While the marks186 did not do justice to the effort made by the mestre, the tempo was not questioned – unlike several other baterias penalised on this criterion.

50Mestre Pablo and Mestre Chuvisco have explicitly followed in Mestre Ciça’s footsteps. Trained through collective apprenticeship and imitation, they learned to play most of the instruments without formal lessons. They were involved in percussion practice and took advantage of their indigenous capital so that they climbed the hierarchical ladder step by step, culminating in the position of mestre in the school where they were trained. This posture thus went against the grain, going hand in hand with the demand for authentic, original practice and a fight against outside influences.

  • 187 Mestre Pablo, Mestre de bateria à Viradouro de 2010 à 2014, à Porto da Pedra depuis 2016, intervie (...)

I don’t want to be different. I don’t want to. I have my own style for commanding a bateria, my style of bateria, it’s a bateria that pushes a bit more forward. I learned from my mestre, Mestre Ciça, and I learned a lot from him. One of my characteristics is this rhythm up front.187

  • 188 Mestre Chuvisco, Mestre de bateria à Estácio de Sá depuis 2008.

As I was brought up here [in Estácio de Sá], I prefer a tempo that pushed a little bit more forward, more accelerated, as long as you have quality on the caixa phrase, on the surdos de terceira that you have, you understand, if you have an accelerated tempo and you have this type of quality, the bateria takes on a wonderful swing.188

  • 189 It was the only rehearsal in the carnival cycle where the bateria could be practised in sector 11 (...)
  • 190 One 10, three 9.9s and one 9.8.

51Mestre Chuvisco put the importance of tempo in perspecitve when it came to the musical quality of a bateria. In an informal conversation in February 2019, he told me that it was the way musicians played the tempo that mattered, rather than the tempo itself. On the same tempo, just a few days apart, Estácio’s bateria played indefinitely, too far ahead on the beat, causing haste and, consequently, imprecision;189 then with precision, unison and suingue. In the parade, his bateria got top marks overall, and the school won the Gold Series carnival. In 2020, Mestre Chuvisco was judged by the Special Group jurors, and received only one maximum mark.190 While mention was made of “haste,” “indefiniteness” and “imprecision,” the tempo was not questioned by any of the jurors. The jurors focused rather on the lack of sonic expression of Estácio’s signature touch, the caixa de guerra, and they pointed to the lack of unison and the overly low tuning of the instruments. Estácio de Sá “fell back” to the Gold Series following the 2020 carnival; for the 2022 and 2023 carnivals, Mestre Chuvisco achieved all the maximum marks again from the Gold Series jurors. This was also the case for Mestre Pablo, who also won the 2023 Gold Series carnival with Porto da Pedra, where he has been officiating since 2016. In 2024, he will be judged for the first time by Special Group jurors: the comparison will be interesting. Mestre Chuvisco and Mestre Pablo are widely recognised and appreciated by ritmistas, specialists and jurors in the second division. The way they fit in and position themselves in the balance of power at the heart of the musical standards of the Special Group’s baterias may well prove decisive for the sustainability of their results. It is questionable whether they will be able to maintain the characteristic tempo of the Turma do Estácio.

Conclusion

52At the end of this article, it is clear how the various levels of socialisation play a part in shaping taste and determining “good” practices. Socialising frameworks with contradictory logics at the institutional level, and the trajectories of socialising and socialised agents at the individual level, all contribute to the construction of aesthetic norms. The balance of power is structured around the “push forward” tempo, which is decried, and the “pull back,” which is valued. This is despite the values in beats per minute attributed to each type of tempo, which have evolved over the last fifteen years: a 150 BPM tempo was considered “comfortable” in 2010, but this is no longer the case today. More than the BPM value, it is therefore the categorisation as “fast” or “slow,” “accelerated” or “comfortable” that makes sense in the structuring of social relationships, in the logics of legitimisation and de-legitimisation. The way in which the “slow” tempo came to be dominant owes its success to the jurors’ power to penalise, as well as to the prescriptions of a mestre who was able to position himself effectively to ensure the dissemination of his norms and practices, while stigmatising those that competed with him. This correspondence reinforces the tendency to value the “slow” tempo, which is part of the “resistance” to non-musical constraints (media and parade practices), in a logic of “resistance.” In the medium and long term, it is the sum total of these small injunctions, which are not necessarily coherent (for example, through the strength of the “creativity” criterion, which counterbalances that of tempo), that shapes a trend, a taste and dominant practices. Finally, the mestres and ritmistas who demand a faster tempo also refer to the register of “authenticity,” in the face of the spectre of “standardisation.” By accepting to rethink his practices, under the influence of his ritmista prescribers (notably on specialised websites), Mestre Ciça also has also found a strategy to reaffirm his legitimacy as a mestre, enabling him to perpetuate his positions.

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Darmon Muriel, Dulong Delphine and Favier Elsa, “Temps et pouvoir”, Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, vol. 226-227, no. 1-2, 2019, p. 6-15.

Elias Norbert, La civilisation des mœurs, Kamnitzer Pierre (trad.), Paris, Pocket, 2002.

Elias Norbert, Du temps, Paris, Fayard, 1996.

Enders Armelle, Histoire de Rio de Janeiro, Paris, Fayard, 2000.

Farias Júlio César, Bateria – O coração da escola de samba, Rio de Janeiro, Litteris, 2010.

Fayette Nicolas, “Les rapports de classe dans les approches ethnographiques de la sociologie brésilienne”, Brésil(s). Sciences humaines et sociales, no. 8, 2015, p. 17-36, [Online] https://0-journals-openedition-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/bresils/1743, accessed le 13 August 2023.

Fernandes Dmitri Cerboncini and Pulici Carolina, “Gosto musical e pertencimento social : O caso do samba e do choro no Rio de Janeiro e em São Paulo”, Tempo Social, vol. 28, 2016, p. 131-160.

Ferreira Felipe, L’invention du carnaval au xixe siècle : Paris, Nice, Rio de Janeiro, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2014.

Foucault Michel, Surveiller et punir : naissance de la prison, Paris, Gallimard, 1975.

Galvão Walnice Nogueira, Le carnaval de Rio : trois regards sur une fête brésilienne, Witkowski Ariane (trad.), Paris, Chandeigne, 2000.

Guimarães Antonio Sérgio Alfredo, “Classes sociales, races et nation au Brésil”, Brésil(s). Sciences humaines et sociales, no. 13, 2018, [Online] http://0-journals-openedition-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/bresils/2453, accessed 18 July 2023.

Kuijlaars Antoinette, “L’hexis corporelle des femmes des baterias : entre idéal de féminité et modèle de virilité”, Brésil(s). Sciences humaines et sociales, no. 11, 2017, [Online] https://0-journals-openedition-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/bresils/2202, accessed 18 July 2023.

Lizé Wenceslas and Roueff Olivier, “La fabrique des goûts”, Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, vol. 181-182, no. 1-2, 2010, p. 4-11.

Marcadet Christian, “Le samba : un genre populaire chanté emblématique ni afro-descendant ni occidentalisé, mais spécifiquement brésilien”, Volume ! La revue des musiques populaires, vol. 8, no. 1, 2011, p. 69-103.

McCann Bryan, Hello, hello Brazil: popular music in the making of modern Brazil, Durham London, Duke University Press, 2004.

Rivron Vassili, “Le goût de ces choses bien à nous”, Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, vol. 1, no. 181-182, 2010, p. 126-141.

Robert Alexandre, “La transformation d’une oreille. Déodat de Séverac à la Schola cantorum”, Revue de Musicologie, vol. 103, no. 1, 2017, p. 53-92.

Vianna Hermano, Samba : musique populaire et identité nationale au Brésil, Souty Jérôme (trad.), Paris, Riveneuve Éditions, 2014.

Vidal Dominique, “De l’écart entre la fiction et la réalité : La démocratie à l’épreuve de la race en Afrique du Sud et au Brésil”, Cahiers internationaux de sociologie, vol. 127, no. 2, 2009, p. 199-222.

Vidal Dominique, “Le respect : catégorie du social, catégorie du politique dans une favela de Recife”, Cultures & Conflits, no. 35, 1999, [Online] http://conflits.revues.org/185, accessed 18 July 2023.

Online trade press

Alves Luisa, Fala, Ciça! “Ritmista não quer dinheiro para desfilar, ele quer ser bem tratado”, diz o mestre de bateria da Viradouro, Site Carnavalesco, 3 février 2023, https://www.carnavalesco.com.br/fala-cica-ritmista-nao-quer-dinheiro-para-desfilar-ele-quer-ser-bem-tratado-diz-o-mestre-de-bateria-da-viradouro/, accessed 16 February 2023.

Amancio Victor, Volta aos anos 90! Imperatriz faz o melhor desfile da noite em busca do retorno ao Grupo Especial, Site Carnavalesco, 23 février 2020, https://www.carnavalesco.com.br/volta-aos-anos-90-imperatriz-faz-o-melhor-desfile-da-noite-em-busca-do-retorno-ao-grupo-especial/, accessed 24 February 2023.

Amancio Vitor, Gigante acordou! Focada no Especial, comunidade da Imperatriz canta forte no ensaio técnico de quadra, Site Carnavalesco, 20 janvier 2020, https://www.carnavalesco.com.br/gigante-acordou-focada-no-especial-comunidade-da-imperatriz-canta-forte-no-ensaio-tecnico-de-quadra/, accessed 1st July 2022.

Baltar Anderson, Síndrome de Estocolmo no samba, Site Rádio Arquibancada, 17 décembre 2015, http://www.radioarquibancada.com.br/site/sindrome-de-estocolmo-no-samba/, accessed 6 September 2016.

Carnavalesco Redação, Supremacia em verde e branco. Imperatriz coloca a mão na taça da Série A após noites de desfiles, Site Carnavalesco, 23 février 2020, https://www.carnavalesco.com.br/supremacia-em-verde-e-branco-imperatriz-coloca-a-mao-na-taca-da-serie-a-apos-noites-de-desfiles/, accessed 1st July 2022.

Dias Leo, Globo quer reduzir desfiles da Sapucaí em mais cinco minutos para 2021, UOL, 19 février 2020, https://www.uol.com.br/carnaval/2020/colunas/leo-dias/2020/02/19/globo-quer-reduzir-desfiles-da-sapucai-em-mais-cinco-minutos-para-2021.htm, accessed 1st February 2023.

Evaristo Geissa, “Cabine de jurados do lado esquerdo do Sambódromo prejudica quesito Bateria”, Site Sidney Rezende, 26 janvier 2010.

Ferreira Freddy, Por dentro dos ritmos: Saiba detalhes sobre a bateria da Grande Rio, Site Carnavalesco, 19 décembre 2022, https://www.carnavalesco.com.br/por-dentro-dos-ritmos-saiba-detalhes-sobre-a-bateria-da-grande-rio/, accessed 17 February 2023.

Gente da Ilha – Mestre Odilon Costa, Ilha Notícias, 18 mai 2012, https://www.ilhanoticias.com.br/noticia/gente-da-ilha-ed1572, accessed 17 February 2023.

Grinberg Felipe, Carnaval 2022: Justificativas dos jurados causam polêmicas nas redes sociais, O Globo Online, 28 avril 2022, https://oglobo.globo.com/rio/carnaval/2022/noticia/2022/04/carnaval-2022-justificativas-dos-jurados-causam-polemicas-nas-redes-sociais-25493987.ghtml, accessed13 August 2023.

Guerreiro Antônio, Guerreiro Entrevista…, http://antonioguerreiroilhaentrevistas.blogspot.com/2010/11/odilon-costa-comecou-sua-carreira-como.html, accessed 17 February 2023.

Juliotti Camila, Jovem de 30 anos vira mestra de bateria e faz história no Carnaval, R7, 19 janvier 2019, http://entretenimento.r7.com/carnaval-2019/rio-de-janeiro/jovem-de-30-anos-vira-mestra-de-bateria-e-faz-historia-no-carnaval-06102019, accessed 17 January 2023.

Leal Eugênio, Metrônomo 2… a missão, Site Sidney Rezende, 4 janvier 2009.

Menasce Márcio, Mestre de bateria formado na União da Ilha lança livro de partituras, Extra Online, 12 février 2012, https://extra.globo.com/noticias/rio/mestre-de-bateria-formado-na-uniao-da-ilha-lanca-livro-de-partituras-4000192.html, accessed 17 February 2023.

Nicolay Ricardo, Cultura popular rendida: desfiles de escolas tradicionais fora da TV, Site Sidney Rezende, 17 décembre 2015.

Pinto Marcus, Globo tem problemas com transmissão de Carnaval no Rio, Terra, 15 janvier 2013, https://diversao.terra.com.br/carnaval/rio-de-janeiro/globo-tem-problemas-com-transmissao-de-carnaval-no-rio,2218b03909b3c310VgnVCM4000009bcceb0aRCRD.html, accessed 7 September 2016.

Rainho Hélio Ricardo, Carnaval 2017: A TV e a Cronometragem, Site Sidney Rezende, 16 mai 2016.

Rainho Hélio Ricardo, Carnaval 2016: transmissão atravessada!, Site Sidney Rezende, 17 décembre 2015.

Redação Sambarazzo, Presidente da Tijuca questiona contrato com a TV Globo: ‘Tem que rever’, Site Sambarazzo, 18 juillet 2016.

Redação Sambarazzo, ‘Quem definiu foram as escolas’, diz Liesa sobre menos tempo de desfile, Site Sambarazzo, 18 mai 2016.

Redação Sambarazzo, Globeleza? Desfiles de quatro escolas não serão transmitidos ao vivo, Site Sambarazzo, 17 décembre 2015.

Redação SRZD, Desfiles do Grupo Especial terão menos tempo, alegorias e cabines de jurados, Site Sidney Rezende, 13 septembre 2015, https://www.srzd.com/carnaval/rio-de-janeiro/desfiles-do-grupo-especial-terao-menos-tempo-alegorias-e-cabines-de-jurados/, accessed 1st February 2023.

Redação SRZD, Escolas evitam falar sobre não transmissão de alguns desfiles em 2016, Site Sidney Rezende, 17 décembre 2015.

Redação SRZD, Ciça: “Vivo na União da Ilha o que vivi na Viradouro”, Site Sidney Rezende, 8 décembre 2014, https://www.srzd.com/carnaval/cica-vivo-na-uniao-da-ilha-o-que-vivi-na-viradouro/, accessed 21 February 2023.

Rocha Amanda, Imperatriz 2020: Aos gritos de campeã, escola confirma favoritismo em desfile impecável, Site Sidney Rezende, 23 février 2020, https://www.srzd.com/carnaval/rio-de-janeiro/imperatriz-2020-aos-gritos-de-campea-escola-confirma-favoritismo-em-desfile-impecavel/, accessed 1st July 2022.

Santos Lucas, Em casa, Preto Jóia elogia parceiro Arthur Franco e diz: “chão da Imperatriz vai emocionar”, Site Carnavalesco, 5 décembre 2019, https://www.carnavalesco.com.br/em-casa-preto-joia-elogia-parceiro-arthur-franco-e-diz-chao-da-imperatriz-vai-emocionar/, accessed 1st July 2022.

Santos Lucas, Arthur Franco: “Desafio inicial é colocar samba em andamento legal”, Site Carnavalesco, 10 septembre 2019, https://www.carnavalesco.com.br/arthur-franco-desafio-inicial-e-colocar-samba-em-andamento-legal/, accessed 1st July 2022.

Ventura Larissa, “Deixa Falar”: a primeira escola de samba do Brasil surgiu no Estácio, Diário do Rio, 18 février 2023, https://diariodorio.com/deixa-falar-a-primeira-escola-de-samba-do-brasil-surgiu-no-estacio-3/, accessed 20 February 2023.

Vieira Cláudio, Mila Schiavo, a primeira mulher a julgar o quesito Bateria, Site Brasil Festas e Folias : O sagrado e o profano da identidade nacional, 25 décembre 2021.

Sources cited

Justifications des notes disponibles sur www.liesa.globo.com (accessed 7 August 2023) :

“Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2006. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”

“Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2009. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”

“Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2010. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”

“Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2011. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”

“Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2013. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”

“Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2015. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”

“Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2019. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”

“Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2023. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”

Rio Percussão, http://www.riopercussao.com/quem-faz.php, accessed 19 February 2023.

Videography

Batuque Digital TV, SambaPod! - EP #06 - Sergio Naidin e Odilon Costa, Rio de Janeiro, Batuque Digital, 2022.

Batuque Digital TV, CONVERSA KOMKÁ - MESTRE CIÇA (NA ÍNTEGRA), Rio de Janeiro, Batuque Digital, 2016.

CARNAVALESCO, Entrevista com mestre Nilo Sérgio, Portela - Carnaval 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Site Carnavalesco, 2016.

Fabrício Gomes, Bateria da Imperatriz Leopoldinense 2020, Rio de Janeiro, 2020.

SAMBA de ALEM-MAR, Entrevista ao Grande Mestre Odilon Costa o Mestre dos Mestres, Estarreja, 2019.

Site Apoteose, Pensando Bateria - Andamento (6/7), Rio de Janeiro, Batuque Digital, 2016.

Interviews quoted

Eduardo, Joueur de caixa depuis 1989, directeur de cozinha à Estácio de Sá et Tijuca, professeur de renommée mondiale, interview conducted at my home (Lapa, central zone of Rio de Janeiro), 2011.

Guilherme, Juré de bateria depuis 2011, interview conducted at his home (Vila Isabel, north zone of Rio de Janeiro), 2013.

Marco, Juré de bateria depuis 2010, interview conducted at his home (Laranjeiras, south zone of Rio de Janeiro).

Mestre Chuvisco, Mestre de bateria à Estácio de Sá depuis 2008, interview conducted at quadra d’Estácio de Sá (central zone of Rio de Janeiro), 2011.

Mestre Nilo, Mestre de bateria depuis 2006 à Portela, interview conducted at a barraca table (street bar under a tarpaulin) near the Portela quadra. (Madureira, west zone of Rio de Janeiro), 2011.

Mestre Pablo, Mestre de bateria à Viradouro de 2010 à 2014, à Porto da Pedra depuis 2016, interview conducted in the mestre’s office at the quadra de Viradouro (Barreto, Niterói), 2011.

Sinval, Directeur de cozinha à Porto da Pedra depuis 2004 et membre du groupe de show de la Cidade do Samba depuis 2007, interview conducted at the Cidade do Samba (Gamboa, central zone of Rio de Janeiro), 2011.

Haut de page

Notes

1 The interviewees’ names have been changed, except for the mestres’ names, due to their public positions, also mobilised in the framework of this article, through online specialized press.

2 See Marcadet Christian, “Le samba : un genre populaire chanté emblématique ni afro-descendant ni occidentalisé, mais spécifiquement brésilien”, Volume ! La revue des musiques populaires, vol. 1, no. 8, 2011, p. 69-103.

3 Desafio maior”. Santos Lucas, Arthur Franco: Desafio inicial é colocar samba em andamento legal, Site Carnavalesco, 10 September 2019.

4Adequar ao andamento que hoje é empregado pelas baterias, diferente de décadas atrás”. Ibid.

5Ainda que seja preciso adequar o andamento, tem que haver o cuidado para não deixar a obra muito veloz”. Ibid.

6Voltando às suas raízes”. Carnavalesco Redação, Supremacia em verde e branco. Imperatriz coloca a mão na taça da Série A após noites de desfiles, accessed 1st July 2022.

7A gente caiu um pouco o andamento () para não perder muito as características do samba”. Santos Lucas, Em casa, Preto Jóia elogia parceiro Arthur Franco e diz: ‘chão da Imperatriz vai emocionar’, Site Carnavalesco, 5 December 2019.

8(…) umas bossas mais simples (…) porque o samba também não pede nada mirabolante”. Ibid.

9andamento confortável”. Rocha Amanda, Imperatriz 2020: Aos gritos de campeã, escola confirma favoritismo em desfile impecável, Site Sydney Rezende, 23 February 2020.

10 Amancio Vitor, Gigante acordou! Focada no Especial, comunidade da Imperatriz canta forte no ensaio técnico de quadra, Site Carnavalesco, 20 January 2020.

11 A Sapucaí is one of the nicknames of the Sambodrome (along with Passarela do Samba and Avenida, or Marquês), which is located on Avenida Marquês de Sapucaí. “O samba, já conhecido pela comunidade, foi o ponto alto da escola, favoreceu o canto e empolgou a Sapucaí”. Amancio Victor, Volta aos anos 90! Imperatriz faz o melhor desfile da noite em busca do retorno ao Grupo Especial, Site Carnavalesco, 23 February 2020.

12 Imperatriz Leopoldinense thus became first in her group, the Série Ouro, and can now join the carnival’s so-called “elite group”, the Grupo Especial. To see the performance (the extract oscillates between 141 and 139 BPM, personal measurement): Fabrício Gomes, Bateria da Imperatriz Leopoldinense 2020, Rio de Janeiro, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T83zX1x1Kk8 (accessed 4 July 2022).

13 Kuijlaars Antoinette, La civilisation du samba. Sociologie des ritmistas d’école de samba à Rio de Janeiro, Ph.D. thesis in sociology, Université Lumière Lyon 2, 2020, 650 p.

14 Site Apoteose, Pensando Bateria – Andamento (6/7), Rio de Janeiro, Batuque Digital, 2016. Terms used by Waguinho do Repique. He and Thalita Santos were interviewed by the researcher during her fieldwork.

15 Ibid. Terms used by Thalita Santos in Ibid.

16 Foucault Michel, Surveiller et punir : naissance de la prison, Paris, Gallimard, 1975, p. 173.

17 Samba has been constantly evolving since the first samba schools appeared in the 1920s, and it’s easy to spot changes every five years or so.

18mais pra frente”.

19pra trás”.

20gosto pessoal”.

21 Lizé Wenceslas and Roueff Olivier, “La fabrique des goûts”, Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, vol. 181-182, no. 1-2, 2010, p. 7.

22 Ibid.

23 Bourdieu Pierre, “The Forms of Capital”. In J. Richardson (Eds.), Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education, New York, Greenwood, p. 241-258. Translated by Richard Nice.

24 Ibid.

25 Robert Alexandre, “La transformation d’une oreille. Déodat de Séverac à la Schola cantorum”, Revue de Musicologie, vol. 103, no. 1, 2017, p. 89.

26 I would like to thank Mélanie Guillaume for this suggestion.

27 Bourdieu Pierre, La distinction : critique sociale du jugement, Paris, Les Éditions de Minuit, 1979.

28 Bourdieu Pierre, Le sens pratique, Paris, Les Éditions de Minuit, 1980, p. 136.

29 Ibid.

30 Elias Norbert, La civilisation des mœurs, Kamnitzer Pierre (trad.), Paris, Pocket, 2002, p. 300.

31 Ibid., p. 301.

32 Ibid., p. 365.

33perda de uma autenticidade original”. Cavalcanti Maria Laura Viveiros de Castro, O rito e o tempo: ensaios sobre o carnaval, Rio de Janeiro, Civilização Brasileira, 1999, p. 7.

34 Farias Júlio César, Bateria – O coração da escola de samba, Rio de Janeiro, Litteris, 2010, p. 49.

35 Ibid., p. 45.

36 Ibid., p. 107.

37 Ibid., p. 54.

38 Ironically, the samba-enredos composed during this period, decried because of the processes described above, are now considered masterpieces and classics of the genre.

39 Safra. An indigenous term used to describe the songs produced during a carnival season.

40 Cavalcanti Maria Laura Viveiros de Castro, “Le carnaval des écoles de samba au Brésil”, Brésil(s). Sciences humaines et sociales, Chaigne David Yann (trad.), no. 9, 2016, p. 6, https://bresils.revues.org/1789.

41 The following information on the development of the practical arrangements for timing the parade is taken from the researcher’s analysis of the parade regulations compiled in Brasil Pérsio Gomyde, Da Candelária à Apoteose. Guia comentado. Grupo Especial – RJ. 1970-2010, quatro décadas de paixão, Rio de Janeiro, Multifoco, 2011.

42 Galvão Walnice Nogueira, Le carnaval de Rio : trois regards sur une fête brésilienne, Witkowski Ariane (trad.), Paris, Chandeigne, 2000, p. 205.

43 Cavalcanti, “Le carnaval…”, p. 7.

44 Ibid.

45 Cavalcanti, “Le carnaval…”, p. 8.

46 We’re talking about 20 million viewers every night of the show. Redação Sambarazzo, Globeleza? Desfiles de quatro escolas não serão transmitidos ao vivo, Site Sambarazzo, 17 December 2015.

47 Pinto Marcus, Globo tem problemas com transmissão de Carnaval no Rio, Site Terra, 15 January 2013.

48rendida”. Nicolay Ricardo, Cultura popular rendida: desfiles de escolas tradicionais fora da TV, Site Sidney Rezende, 17 Decembre 2015.

49 Redação SRZD, Escolas evitam falar sobre não transmissão de alguns desfiles em 2016, Site Sidney Rezende, 17 December 2015. Rainho Hélio Ricardo, Carnaval 2016: transmissão atravessada!, Site Sidney Rezende, 17 December 2015.

50Síndrome de Estocolomo”. Baltar Anderson, Síndrome de Estocolmo no samba, Site Rádio Arquibancada, 17 December 2015.

51 Redação Sambarazzo, Presidente da Tijuca questiona contrato com a TV Globo : “Tem que rever”, Site Sambarazzo, 18 July 2016.

52 Redação Sambarazzo, “Quem definiu foram as escolas”, diz Liesa sobre menos tempo de desfile, Site Sambarazzo, 18 May 2016.

53 Independent League of Samba Schools of Rio de Janeiro.

54 Ibid.

55 Redação SRZD, Desfiles do Grupo Especial terão menos tempo, alegorias e cabines de jurados, Site Sidney Rezende, 13 September 2019.

56 Dias Leo, Globo quer reduzir desfiles da Sapucaí em mais cinco minutos para 2021, Site UOL, 19 February 2020.

57 Elias Norbert, Du temps, Paris, Fayard, 1996, p. 16-17.

58 A set of practices designed to make the parade flow more smoothly and to ensure that as many members as possible pass through in as little time as possible, avoiding gaps between the different sections of the parade, as well as “treading water”. Evolution is part of the parade’s evaluation criteria and is graded as such.

59 Site Apoteose, Pensando bateria.

60 “For this type of problem, which unfortunately occurs frequently, baterias have to work as a whole, united/cohesive and aligned, so that all the members can get along”, says a bateria juror. “Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2011. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”

61 Rainho Hélio Ricardo, Carnaval 2017: A TV e a Cronometragem, Site Sidney Rezende, 16 May 2016.

62 Foucault, Surveiller et punir…, p. 190.

63 Ibid.

64 Foucault, Surveiller et punir…, p. 192.

65 Ibid., p. 172.

66 Ibid., p. 179.

67 The term “middle and upper classes” is used here directly in Portuguese to reflect the different ways in which these social groups are understood in different national contexts. On this question, see Brochier Christophe et Pulici Carolina, “L’étude des classes sociales et des rapports de classe au Brésil”, Brésil(s). Sciences humaines et sociales, no. 8, 2015, p. 7-16; Fayette Nicolas, “Les rapports de classe dans les approches ethnographiques de la sociologie brésilienne”, Brésil(s). Sciences humaines et sociales, no. 8, 2015, p. 17-36; Guimarães Antonio Sérgio Alfredo, “Classes sociales, races et nation au Brésil”, Brésil(s). Sciences humaines et sociales, no. 13, 2018, http://0-journals-openedition-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/bresils/2453.

68 Ferreira Felipe, L’invention du carnaval au xixe siècle : Paris, Nice, Rio de Janeiro, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2014.

69 McCann Bryan, Hello, hello Brazil: popular music in the making of modern Brazil, Durham London, Duke University Press, 2004, p. 44.

70 Vianna Hermano, Samba : musique populaire et identité nationale au Brésil, Souty Jérôme (trad.), Paris, Riveneuve Éditions, 2014.

71 Vidal Dominique, “De l’écart entre la fiction et la réalité. La démocratie à l’épreuve de la race en Afrique du Sud et au Brésil”, Cahiers internationaux de sociologie, vol. 127, no. 2, 2009, p. 199-222; Guimarães, “Classes sociales, races et nation au Brésil”; Brochier Christophe, “Le concept de ‘démocratie raciale’ dans l’histoire intellectuelle brésilienne”, Revue de Synthèse, vol. 135, no. 1, 2014, p. 123-150.

72 Rivron Vassili, “Le goût de ces choses bien à nous”, Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, vol. 1, no. 181-182, 2010, p. 126-141.

73 Enders Armelle, Histoire de Rio de Janeiro, Paris, Fayard, 2000, p. 270.

74 Ibid.

75 Ibid., p. 262-270.

76 Ferreira, L’invention du carnaval…

77 Galvão, Le carnaval de Rio…, p. 34-37.

78 At the origin of the powerful media group to which the channel TV Globo belongs. Enders, Histoire de Rio de Janeiro, p. 269.

79 Cavalcanti, “Le carnaval…”, p. 6.

80 Bourdieu, La distinction, p. VIII.

81 Ibid., p. II.

82 Ibid. It is this feeling of being overwhelmed that the jurors interviewed describe when they talk about their first trial experience.

83 Terms used by the two jurors I interviewed.

84 Grinberg Felipe, Carnaval 2022: Justificativas dos jurados causam polêmicas nas redes sociais, O Globo Online, 28 April 2022.

85 Throughout the history of the carnival, there has only been one woman, a white woman, appointed as a bateria juror from Carnival 2022 onwards. Vieira Cláudio, Mila Schiavo, a primeira mulher a julgar o quesito Bateria, Site Brasil Festas e Folias, 25 December 2021.

86tirania”. Sinval, cozinha director in Porto da Pedra since 2004 and member of the Cidade do Samba show group since 2007, interview conducted at Cidade do Samba (Gamboa, central zone of Rio de Janeiro), 2011.

87injustiça”. Eduardo, Joueur de caixa depuis 1989, cozinha director in Estácio de Sá and Tijuca, world-renowned professor, interview conducted at my home (Lapa, central zone of Rio de Janeiro), 2011.

88a gente fica na mão deles”. Mestre Chuvisco, Mestre de bateria in Estácio de Sá since 2008, interview conducted at quadra d’Estácio de Sá (central zone of Rio de Janeiro), 2011.

89o fracasso é sempre do mestre de bateria”. CARNAVALESCO, Entrevista com mestre Nilo Sérgio, Portela - Carnaval 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Site Carnavalesco, 2016.

90acaba com uma pessoa, o trabalho de uma pessoa”. Ibid.

91o presidente não quer saber”. Ibid.

92Estamos aqui para ser julgados”. Mestre Nilo, Mestre de bateria depuis 2006 à Portela, interview conducted at the table of a barraca (street bar under a tarpaulin) close to the quadra de Portela (Madureira, western zone of Rio de Janeiro), 2011.

93 However, some parts of the parade are compulsory (to maintain “authenticity”) but not marked.

94 While the developments described above mean that the importance of the bateria has diminished in favour of the visual elements of the parade.

95 The carnavalesca Maria Augusta had cursed him, outraged that the singer Beth Carvalho had only performed once in her career at the Municipal Theatre.

96Esse prestígio que eles querem, mas são eles que se desvalorizam, não é o Teatro Municipal que desvaloriza eles!” Informal conversation with Marco, Praça São Salvador, Laranjeiras Neighborhood (southern zone, the intellectual bourgeoisie where Marco lives). Extract from the field diary, 12 October 2011.

97Isso é coisa deles”. Marco, Bateria juror since 2010, interview conducted at his home (Laranjeiras, southern zone of Rio de Janeiro).

98execração pública”. Guilherme, Bateria juror since 2011, interview conducted at his home (Vila Isabel, nothern zone of Rio de Janeiro), 2013.

99essa imagem pública do julgador que ou é ladrão (), ou é aquele cara frio calculista, que quer mais é foder o trabalho dos outros”. Ibid.

100 The “final observations” section following the justifications is used unevenly by the jurors. Some never fill it in, while others take advantage of it to make positive comments about the baterias that received top marks, play down the penalties (that’s what the competition is all about, and it doesn’t detract from the prowess of the exercise), explain the criteria used, and point out problems with the practical conditions of the judging (the quality of the amplification in particular). Guilherme’s use of the term stands out for the intensity and systematicity of its praise.

101Vocês me dão orgulho de ser um músico brasileiro”. “Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2013. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”

102O reconhecimento de um músico com 30 anos de profissão ao verdadeiro milagre musical que vocês fazem acontecer na Sapucaí”. “Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2015. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria” Mapa de notas 2015.

103Não têm ideia do nível de comprometimento que a gente tem com uma função dessa”. Guilherme, Bateria juror since 2011.

104 An expression used in the world of samba schools to mean that someone does not belong, even if that person plays samba in another context. The practice of samba is in fact divided into numerous sub-genres with more or less socially marked spaces. Fernandes Dmitri Cerboncini et Pulici Carolina, “Gosto musical e pertencimento social: O caso do samba e do choro no Rio de Janeiro e em São Paulo”, Tempo Social, vol. 28, 2016, p. 131-160.

105no nível musical completo, () é outro papo né, a gente tem outro nível de formação”. Guilherme, Bateria juror since 2011.

106Vamos dizer assim um mestre de bateria, eles ficariam bastante confusos. Não pra fazer a distinção entre as escolas, as baterias. Mas pra por exemplo justificar. Eles não têm muitas ferramentas. Porque a formação deles é muito empírica e vem daquele universo ali, sabe até em questões de terminologia, eu boto a questão se eles teriam as condições pra isso”. Ibid.

107 Jury manual.

108Então isso é um critério, na verdade esse critério ninguém ensinou esse critério. A gente, claro, conversa com as pessoas, com amigos de varias escolas () Isso foi meu terceiro ano, né. Fiquei mais amigo dos outros julgadores”. Guilherme, Bateria juror since 2011.

109 Depending on the year, each school performs once or twice a year during technical rehearsals (or none at all during the cuts in public subsidies made by Mayor Marcelo Crivella between 2018 and 2020).

110 Marco, Bateria juror since 2010.

111Certamente os caras, os mestres, é que teriam mais conhecimento né, pra julgar né, mas eles não podem chamar, né porque são ligados, e ai, eles ficam chamando a gente que não entende tanto né Eu não entendo tanto, néQuero entender. () Estou desesperado, eu não sei como julgar né. E também você pergunta pra esse pessoal e também não sabem explicar né. () É complicado”. Ibid.

112 Marco told me the “trick” he’d been given by another juror: to get round the ban by attending the rehearsals he wanted before being officially “called” by the LIESA – between December and January. He occasionally attends bateria rehearsals on his own (without a harmony section), away from the carnival, although he tells me that he finds it hard to cope with the late hours. He has become a regular at the technical rehearsals in the sambodrome, which take place just a few weeks before carnival.

113 LIESA has made available on its website the different versions, since 2006, of the regulations, Manuais do Julgador, transcripts, justifications, parade synopsis texts and Livros Abre-Alas (documents of around 500 pages per parade detailing the significance of each costume, float and section of the parade).

114 Justifications were made compulsory from 1987.

115 Batuque Digital TV, SambaPod! - EP #06 - Sergio Naidin e Odilon Costa, Rio de Janeiro, Batuque Digital, 2022.

116 Comment by Guilherme. “Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2013. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”

117 The following analyses are based on the marks and justifications of the Special Group’s bateria jurors since 2006.

118A orientação passada aos jurados () trata de observar a regularidade do andamento. Não importa que seja rápido ou lento (). É claro que sempre terá variações, mas é importante fazer com que sejam as menores possíveis”. Leal Eugênio, Metrônomo 2 a missão, Site Sidney Rezende, 4 January 2009.

119A aceleração do andamento, provocado pela empolgação, prejudicou as respirações das frases melódicas do samba e o acabamento de alguns destes desenhos. Às 21h32 o BPM chegou a 155, depois que a bateria passou pelo módulo I caiu para 150 (às 21h54), acomodou e tudo melhrou”. “Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2010. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”

120 Today, such a tempo would be considered very fast. “Bom ficou o andamento do Samba na Avenida, mantido entre 146 e 148 BPM”. Ibid.

121 He also records the official fashion shows, which allows him to comparent his impressions “in the moment”, subject to the emotions and other parameters of the show (particularly visual), with listening “more calmly” and concentrating on the purely aural aspect. “com mais tranquilidade”. Guilherme, Bateria juror since 2011.

122Queda expressiva do andamento”. “Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2011. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”

123Realmente as notas iam ser muito baixas se eu fosse pontuar tudo, que aparecia nos áudios. () mesmo que eu estivesse tecnicamente embasado pela gravação, na leitura deles eu estaria partindo para uma atitude, uma postura desrespeitosa. Em relação aos músicos, aos ritmistas Eu também acho que sim!”.

124Mas no âmbito do que a gente tá falando, do samba, carnaval, paixão, é uma questão que eu me coloco mesmo (). Aonde a gente vai chegar, se essa história toda se resumir a um critério técnico? Será que isso é um bom caminho?

125 As does Marco, with whom he discusses the subject. For Marco, the indefiniteness of the criteria and the breadth of possible interpretations at least have the advantage of avoiding excessive standardisation of practices.

126Cair o andamento, o que que tem né? Se tá todo mundo, se tá a música junta, vai cair no andamento, fica tudo igual, não tem problema nenhum. O problema fica quando tem a música num andamento e bateria no outro. Isso que eu acho ruim”. Marco, Bateria juror since 2010.

127O andamento lento (± 138) facilitou a audição de quase todos os naipes”. “Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2019. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”

128 Darmon Muriel, Dulong Delphine and Favier Elsa, “Temps et pouvoir”, Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, vol. 226-227, no. 1-2, 2019, p. 14.

129 Ibid., p. 15.

130 Master of masters.

131Na época ninguém pegava a mão, dava aula”. SAMBA de ALEM-MAR, Entrevista ao Grande Mestre Odilon Costa o Mestre dos Mestres, Estarreja, 2019.

132Em câmera lenta”. Ibid.

133 Public higher education establishment, Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro.

134 The only one of its kind, this book compiles the phrases of each instrument making up a bateria, dividing the exercise into fifteen styles associated with different schools of samba. The first edition, published in 2000, is now out of print and will be updated and republished in 2012 in a bilingual version (Portuguese/English). Co-author and renowned drummer of jazz, contemporary music and popular Brazilian music, Guilherme Gonçalves was ritmista at Mestre Odilon for eleven years. Trained at the Villa-Lobos public music school and the Berklee College of Music in Boston, he studied drums and symphonic percussion before becoming a recognised teacher at various institutions, including the Universidade Estadual do Rio de Janeiro. A samba-enredo composer, bateria juror at the Vitória carnival (Espírito Santo state), and harmonia juror for the second division parade in Rio, he also plays a prescriptive role as bateria columnist and analyst for one of the three most important specialist online media, Site Carnavalesco – which was also used extensively as a source for this research. Rio Percussão, http://www.riopercussao.com/quem-faz.php.

135 In 2011, he will spend six months as a member of Mocidade’s “Superdireção de Bateria”, and in 2013 he will be a consultant and coordinator of União da Ilha’s Bateria Commission – the bateria will achieve poor results.

136eu briguei muito com andamento”. Batuque Digital TV, SambaPod!…

137Eu gosto de andamento mais pra trás. O único problema que tive com escola de samba foi por causa de andamento”. SAMBA de ALEM-MAR, Entrevista Mestre Odilon.

138 Evaristo Geissa, “Cabine de jurados do lado esquerdo do Sambódromo prejudica quesito Bateria”, Site Sidney Rezende, 26 January 2010.

139 This is particularly true of Mestre Ciça, whose career, practices and positions are described below.

140 Gente da Ilha - Mestre Odilon Costa, Ilha Notícias, 18 May 2012.

141 Menasce Márcio, Mestre de bateria formado na União da Ilha lança livro de partituras, Extra Online, 19 February 2012.

142 Guerreiro Antônio, Guerreiro Entrevista…, Antônio Guerreiro Ilha Entrevista, 22 November 2010.

143 Ibid. Only one justification could be found, penalising the sound imbalance between the different instruments in the bateria. “Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2009. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”

144O lema ‘É proibido correr’ já estampou até blusa, deixando clara a preferência pelo andamento cadenciado”. Ferreira Freddy, Por dentro dos ritmos: Saiba detalhes sobre a bateria da Grande Rio, Site Carnavalesco, 19 December 2022.

145 Although he began directing bateria under Mestre Ciça (who directed the Grande Rio bateria from 2010 to 2014), and is proposing a tribute to Ciça, Mestre Fafá claims to be descended from Mestre Odilon.

146Resgatar”. The theme of “resgate”, or rescuing rhythms and practices considered “traditional”, is constant in the baterias.

147 That’s fourteen “10s”. In 2023, his bateria scored three 10s and one 9.9. One juror awarded it the highest mark for its “comfortable tempo”, while another penalised it for a slight time-lag in one of the instrumental sections. “Andamento confortável”. “Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2023. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”

148Eu gosto muito do andamento do garoto que tá lá na Grande Rio e esse ano tirou 10 e foi campeão por causa de andamento”. Batuque Digital TV, SambaPod!

149 Farias, Bateria…, p. 49.

150 Litterally, Estácio’s “classe” or “promotion”.

151 Although it was founded in 1955, twenty years after Deixa Falar ceased trading.

152 Officially recognised in 2011 by IPHAN, the National Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage, a federal institution under the Ministry of Culture. Estácio de Sá then changed its founding date in its articles of association, and can now claim to be the “first samba school in Brazil”. “Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional”. Ventura Larissa, Deixa Falar: a primeira escola de samba do Brasil surgiu no Estácio, Diário do Rio de Janeiro, 18 February 2023.

153 He was mestre of Estácio de Sá from 1988 to 1997, of Tijuca in 1988, of Viradouro (1999-2009), Grande Rio (2010-2014), União da Ilha (2015-2018), before taking over the bateria direction of Viradouro from 2019 to the present day.

154A minha família toda é de sambista”. Batuque Digital TV, CONVERSA KOMKÁ – MESTRE CIÇA (NA ÍNTEGRA), Rio de Janeiro, Batuque Digital, 2016.

155 Participant observation of rehearsals for the 2005-2006 and 2008-2009 carnival seasons at Unidos do Viradouro.

156Não tive essa oportunidade de estudar”. Batuque Digital TV, Mestre Ciça.

157 Alves Luisa, Fala, Ciça! Ritmista não quer dinheiro para desfilar, ele quer ser bem tratado", diz o mestre de bateria da Viradouro, Site Carnavalesco, 3 février 2023.

158 Redação SRZD, Ciça: "Vivo na União da Ilha o que vivi na Viradouro”, Site Sidney Rezende, 8 December 2014.

159Não estou fazendo ensaio isolado, pois acredito que isso desgasta os ritmistas e não é necessário. () É bom, também, evitar desgastar os ritmistas com tanto ensaio. Ibid.

160 This allows him to adjust the allocation and level of individual responsibility according to the ritmista and the position he occupies in the bateria. “Já tenho uma certa sensibilidade e sei quem é quem. () Há uma química perfeita e isso conta muito”. Ibid.

161 A ritmista who played for both mestres told me when Mestre Ciça’s transfer was announced that he was going to “spoil the Grande Rio bateria” (“estragar a bateria da Grande Rio”). Informal conversation in 2009.

162sarapo”. For the sake of social harmony, most other mestres tolerate the presence of ritmistas who cannot play, as long as they are committed to the school, attend rehearsals and do not alter the overall sound of the bateria.

163 This ritmista became involved in disseminating Mestre Odilon’s positions and practices, producing videos and interviews. She became a percussion teacher in various groups, then section director in another samba school, and gradually moved from a technical and musical “syncretism” (advocating the equivalence of techniques and practices as long as they were well executed) to a total embrace of Mestre Odilon’s position. And this to the point of withdrawing her own videos showing his previous position.

164 Two 10s and two 9.9s. The two tenths lost were for the same reason. “Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2010. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”

165 The two excerpts were written by two different jurors, both of whom awarded a score of 9.9. Ibid.

166Confesso que não fui muito feliz lá”. Alves, “Fala Ciça!…”

167legado”. Batuque Digital TV, Mestre Ciça.

168 He obtained all 10 marks in 2008, 2009 and 2020, in all three cases with Viradouro.

169andamento acelerado. “Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2011. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”; “Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2019. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”

170Andamento excessivamente rápido, prejudicando o brilho do ritmo e a inteligibilidade das paradinhas. “Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2006. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”

171Grande entusiasmo, porém uma leve precipitação no meio da bossa longa, me passou um certo desequilíbrio. “Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2010. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”

172Foi na Grande Rio, botei um carnaval bem atrás. Não tem nada ver contigo, os caras me arrebentaram, você tem que voltar ao que fazia, ao que gosta”. Batuque Digital TV, Mestre Ciça.

173 With the exception of União da Ilha, where he did a “resgate” job, saving the old caixa phrase, for which he was greatly appreciated. The caixa de guerra phrase can then be appropriated and reinterpreted in a slower tempo, as is the case with Grande Rio and Unidos da Tijuca.

174 “Caderno de Julgamento, Carnaval 2010. Mapa de notas, Quesito Bateria.”

175 These essentialised “characteristics” include the phrasing of the caixas, the tuning of the surdos, the presence or absence of particular instruments, and so on.

176Eu gosto do andamento com uma pegada, coisa minha. Sou estaciano, vim da Estácio, moro na Estácio até hoje, e a Estácio tem essa característica”. Alves, “Fala Ciça!…”

177 Essential for maintaining social order in samba schools as in other social spaces in Brazil. Vidal Dominique, “Le respect : catégorie du social, catégorie du politique dans une favela de Recife”, Cultures & Conflits, no. 35, 1999. [Online] https://0-journals-openedition-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/conflits/185, accessed 1st August 2023.

178 “When he paraded with Grande Rio [in 2010] (…), it was so beautiful, I wouldn’t give him a 10, I’d give him an 11!” “Quando veio na Grande Rio (), ele arrebentou a Avenida, foi bonito pa caramba, não daria 10, daria 11!. Batuque Digital TV, SambaPod!

179 “Ciça likes to run” [on the beat]. SAMBA de ALEM-MAR, Entrevista Mestre Odilon.

180O Ciça sempre gostou de bateria um pouquinho mais na frente. Se fosse julgar ele, não posso julgar ele pela correria dele, que ele gosta de correr. Vou julgar pelo que eu ouvir de ritmo, mesmo correndo, pra mim é indiferente, não posso julgar o que eu gosto, tenho que julgar se ele passou bem na minha frente”. Batuque Digital TV, SambaPod!

181Luisa Alves: Falam muito de correria na bateria e citam você. Isso te incomoda? O que você responde sobre o andamento?

Mestre Ciça: Essa pergunta é incrível. Numa escola séria, e eu sei que vou incomodar muita gente falando isso, mestre de bateria nenhum dita o andamento da Avenida. Aqui a gente se senta com o presidente da escola, o diretor do carnaval, o intérprete… com todo mundo, e decide o que vai ser melhor para o desfile. (…) Já aconteceu de um diretor de carnaval dizer ‘tem que ser 150 bpm’ (…) e fui 150 bpm na Avenida. Depois que deu errado, (…) caiu na minha conta”. Alves, “Fala Ciça!

182Tocar pra frente é uma coisa, correr é outra”. Batuque Digital TV, Mestre Ciça.

183É que as pessoas falam que é correria, mas 147 BPM é um andamento com pegada boa. E com swing, porque isso é importante. Quem toca correndo não sabe tocar, viu? Eu posso tocar até 149 BPM que vai ser swingado. É controverso, mas agora… se eu gosto de um andamento mais rápido? Confesso que gosto”. Alves, “Fala Ciça!

184Só que preciso me adaptar. Estou com 66 anos, tem garotos novos como mestres de bateria e eles são muito bons. São craques, estudam música. Eu tenho que acompanhar, aprender também. Eu até falo para eles olha, o velho não está morto e na Avenida o pau vai torar e isso faz parte. Isso é um aprendizado para mim, a gente nunca sabe tudo”. Ibid.

185Até exagerei, confesso.

Eu estou me adaptando a um andamento mais confortável.

Gosto de conversar com os meus ritmistas, trocar ideias de uma forma que seja confortável para todos. Fiquei rotulado mesmo, mas como eu falei, em escola séria tem conversa com todo mundo. () Mas é lógico que a gente precisa pensar no que se encaixa melhor na proposta da escola. () Nesse carnaval de 2023 as pessoas vão se surpreender com o andamento da Viradouro, mas é uma coisa que foi conversada. Se eles não conversassem comigo, a minha pegada iria prevalecer”. Ibid.

186 For Carnival 2023, Viradouro’s bateria scored two 9.9s and two 10s. At this level of competition, the loss of a tenth is catastrophic: that’s exactly the difference in points between the carnival champion and Viradouro, who came second.

187 Mestre Pablo, Mestre de bateria à Viradouro de 2010 à 2014, à Porto da Pedra depuis 2016, interview conducted at mestre’s office, in the quadra de Viradouro (Barreto, Niterói), 2011.

188 Mestre Chuvisco, Mestre de bateria à Estácio de Sá depuis 2008.

189 It was the only rehearsal in the carnival cycle where the bateria could be practised in sector 11 of the Sapucaí, making the ritmistas particularly excited to play there. Unsatisfied, Mestre Chuvisco rehearsed his flock, stressing the need for collective listening and the rejection of individual bluster that detracts from the quality of the ensemble.

190 One 10, three 9.9s and one 9.8.

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Référence électronique

Antoinette Kuijlaars, « In search of the ideal tempo. Musical socialisation and the cultural legitimacy of bateria mestres and jurors in the samba schools of Rio de Janeiro »Transposition [En ligne], 11 | 2023, mis en ligne le 12 décembre 2023, consulté le 19 juin 2024. URL : http://0-journals-openedition-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/transposition/8224 ; DOI : https://0-doi-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/10.4000/transposition.8224

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Antoinette Kuijlaars

Ph.D. in sociology and laureate of a postdoctoral grant at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), Antoinette Kuijlaars is an associate researcher at Centre de recherches sur les arts et le langage (CRAL) and associate researcher at the Max Weber Centre. She continues her research about samba schools by studying the production conditions of the parades’ symbolical contents.

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