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On-line version ISSN 1678-4944
BASTOS, Rafael José de Menezes. Música nas sociedades indígenas das terras baixas da América do Sul: estado da arte. Mana [online]. 2007, vol.13, n.2, pp. 293-316. ISSN 1678-4944. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-93132007000200001.
The last thirty years have seen a remarkable growth in the ethnomusicology of the South American lowlands. The region has emerged from relative obscurity - a state in which it languished for decades, despite possessing some of the world's oldest descriptions of 'primitive' music - through the publication of a wide variety of texts on the musical production of its indigenous peoples, along with various attempts at regional and sub-regional comparison. This ethnomusicological output - much of it originating in Brazil from the early 1990s onwards - has been complimented by monographs and regional comparative studies from anthropologists specialized in other areas, whose work has frequently highlighted the importance of music (typically in connection with other art forms, cosmology, shamanism and philosophy) for a clearer understanding of the region. The resulting panorama is promising. However it also requires analysis, a fundamental element in determining paths for future research. Divided into two parts, the article approaches this endeavour by focusing on written production, making secondary use of phonographic, videographic and other documental forms. The first part of the text surveys the literature produced on the region's music over the period. In the second part, I reflect on the main features of indigenous music to emerge from the literature and propose a number of working hypotheses for future investigations.
Keywords : South American lowlands; Music and ritual; Cosmology and philosophy; Indigenous ethnomusicology.