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Tocando em Frente

Almir Sater / Renato Teixeira

Veja também:

Pé de Cedro

Milonga tres nações


Batendo água

Each one of us writes their own story, carrying within themselves the gift of being capable and happy...

'Tocando em Frente', translated as 'Walking ahead', is one of the songs which revealed the 'viola caipira' player, singer, actor and composer Almir Sater to large-scale audiences in Brazil. 


Almir was born in the Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazilian bordering state with Paraguay. He composed t in partnership with Renato Teixeira as part of the soundtrack of the soap opera 'Pantanal',* from TV Manchete in 1990. It soon became popular and today it can be considered one of the classics of Brazilian music.

In addition to Almir himself and Renato Teixeira, 'Tocando em Frente' was recorded not only by singers from the 'sertaneja' music style (a sort f a country music from Brazil) such as the duo 'César Menotti & Fabiano', 'Victor & Léo', as well as Sérgio Reis and Daniel. It was also sung by renowned interpreters of the so-called MPB as Maria Bethânia and Ana Carolina.

Almir Sater was born in Campo Grande, capital of Mato Grosso do Sul, and was part of the so-called 'Geração Prata da casa','The house's silver generation', a musical movement which emerged in that city in the 1980s searching for a regional musical identity by seeking new connections with the 'sertaneja' music under an urban perspective, including music from the border countries and Latin American popular music. All of these, without renouncing on the references of MPB (Brazilian Popular music) and international rock music.

Based in São Paulo since the 1980s, Almir Sater became one of the most popular and important Brazilian artists, building a sophisticated work connected with an idyllic and idealised rurality.

In most of the available recordings, including Almir Sater's own albums, 'Tocando em Frente' reveals the bi-rhythmic characteristic of Paraguayan guarania, with the melodies in 6/8 accompanied by the 'rasgueio', that is to say the rhythm patter for harmonic instruments playing in quarter notes. Besides, and the featured syncope (especially in the chorus) refer to the so-called 'sincopado paraguayo', an specific type of syncope found in Paraguayan popular music.

This structure is commonly found in much of the musical productions from Mato Grosso do Sul, which borders neighbouring Paraguay have always been characterized as a fruitful space of intense cultural exchanges, presenting a unique identity profile within the wide field of Brazilian popular music.

*Located across Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia, 'Pantanal' is the largest tropical wetland in the world

Text by Dr. Evandro Higa, Brazilian ethnomusicologist. University of Mato Grosso do Sul - Campo Grande.

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