I'm looking to learn 10-15 Brazilian songs, to build a basic repertoire of music which people of Brazilian descent are likely to recognize. Which songs would you recommend I look at/learn?


I think Antonio Carlos Jobim tunes (or more generally Bossa Novas) are fairly good point to start. I would start with:

  • Girl From Ipanema
  • Chega de Saudade (No More Blues)
  • Aqua de Beber

Hope other answers will complete Your 10-15 song list :)

  • 3
    Add to the mix another tune: Aquarela do Brasil by Ary Barroso. – Raskolnikov Aug 26 '11 at 8:24
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    Also: Manhã De Carnival (Black Orpheus), and One Note Samba. Or, really, any bossa nova. – Alex Basson Aug 26 '11 at 11:11
  • Yes Black Orpheus :) i like it a lot, and it's well recognized – Hubert Czerski Aug 26 '11 at 21:46
  • Also, if I may, the proper spellings would be "Água de Beber" and "Manhã de Carnaval". And the Portuguese names for "Girl From Ipanema" and "One Note Samba" are "Garota de Ipanema" and "Samba de uma Nota Só", if that helps :). – Rafael Almeida Aug 27 '11 at 23:04

The ones you can't miss were already mentioned: Aquarela do Brasil (Watercolor of Brazil) and Garota de Ipanema (Girl From Ipanema). The first one is also known as just "Brazil" or "Brazil Theme" worldwide, so it's probably the song people most associate with Brazil.

Having said that, most of the songs people will recognize are from the genres bossa nova, choro and samba. You should look at the "hits" of composers like Tom Jobim (Antonio Carlos Jobim), João Gilberto, Baden Powell, Pixinguinha, Valdir Azevedo and interpreter Elis Regina. Some of my personal favorites include:

The list could go on forever, but do explore the work of these artists and you will end up with dozens of songs in no time.


@RafaelAlmeida, @HubertCzerski and @blueberryfields answers and its comments have already a nice list of musics.

But if you want some musics currently more popular, I recommend you to choose some music from following artists:

  • Roberto Carlos (e.g: Detalhes; Eu sei que vou te amar; Como é grande o meu amor por você)
  • Ivete Sangalo (e.g: Deixo; Não Precisa Mudar; Agora Eu Já Sei)

Some other popular music you can encounter in this Wikipedia list of "most sold music": http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anexo:Lista_de_recordistas_de_vendas_de_discos_no_Brasil

  • 1
    These are good options too. The previous suggestions were more in the erudite realm. If you ventrue into popular music, then Roberto and Ivete are very significant. It should be kept in mind, though, that they represent only a fraction of the MPB (Música Popular Brasileira - Brazilian Popular Music) genre. Also, they're hardly "currently trending". – Rafael Almeida Aug 31 '11 at 20:57
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    One may also keep an eye on the rankings of letras.terra.com.br and/or cifraclub.com.br for songs currently popular monthly/weekly-wise. – Rafael Almeida Aug 31 '11 at 20:58

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