Intertextuality and Stylization in Villa-Lobos's Bachianas Brasileiras No 1


  • Norton Dudeque Universidade Federal do Panará



In this text, intertextuality and stylization are discussed in the context of Villa-Lobos’s Bachianas Brasileiras No 1. The cycle of Bachianas represents an homage to J. S. Bach, a stylization of Brazilian popular and folkloric music and Neoclassic elements. From a description of the work by the composer, three main matters are discussed: a. Tonality: classic harmonic atmosphere; b. Spiritualizing Bach’s processes – Topics and learned style: chorale; Fugue d’école; polyphonic melody; and c. Typical Brazilian mood, as shown in the subtitle of each movement, Embolada, Modinha, and Conversa. Issues related to Neoclassicism are discussed according to Hyde’s perspective of anachronistic imitations. In this sense, Villa-Lobos cycle of Bachianas represent a reverential-ecletic type of Neoclassic work. Finally, intertextuality in general is addressed in relation to stylization, to Villa-Lobos theoretical background, and to the autonomy of the work.


Agawu, Kofi. 2009. Music as Discourse Semiotic Adventures in Romantic Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Andrade, Mário de. 1928. Ensaio Sôbre a Música Brasileira. São Paulo: Livraria Martins Editora.

Andrade, Mario de. 1989. Dicionário Musical Brasileiro. Edited by Toni, Flavia Camargo and Alvarenga, Oneyda. São Paulo: Ministério da Cultura e Instituto de Estudos Brasileiros da Universidade de São Paulo.

Almeida, Renato. 1942. História da Música Brasileira. Rio de Janeiro: F. Briquiet.

Béhague, Gerard. 1994. Heitor Villa-Lobos: The Search for Brazil’s Musical Soul. Austin: Institute of Latin American Studies University of Texas at Austin.

Bach, Johann Sebastian, and Heitor Villa-Lobos. 1991. Préludes et Fugues d’aprés Jean-Sébastien Bach: Pour Orchestre de Violoncelles. Paris: Editions Max Eschig.

Bloom, Harold. 1997. The Anxiety of Infuence: A Theory of Poetry. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cadwallader, Allen and Gagné, David. 1998. Analysis of Tonal Music: A Schenkerian Approach. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Chapin, Keith. 2014. “Learned Style and Learned Styles.” In: The Oxford Handbook of Topic Theory, edited by Danuta Mirka, p. 301–329. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Corrêa do Lago, Manuel Aranha. 2010. O Círculo Veloso-Guerra e Darius Milhaud no Brasil. Rio de Janeiro: Reler.

Dickensheets, Janice. 2012. The Topical Vocabulary of the Nineteenth Century. Journal of Musicological Research 31 (2–3), p. 97–137.

D’Indy, Vincent. 1903. Cours de Composition Musicale. Paris: A. Durand et Fils.

Finscher, Ludwig. 1998. Bach’s Posthumous Role in Music History. Bach Perspectives 3, p. 1–21.

Forte, Allen and Gilbert, Steven. 1982. Introduction to Schenkerian Analysis. New York and London: Norton.

Gedalge, André. 1901. Traité de La Fugue. Paris: Enoch & Cie.

Hatten, Robert S. 2014. The Troping of Topics in Mozart’s Instrumental Works. In The Oxford Handbook of Topic Theory, edited by Danuta Mirka, p. 514–536. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Horton, Julian. 2014. Listening to Topics in the Nineteenth Century. In: The Oxford Handbook of Topic Theory, edited by Danuta Mirka, p. 642–664. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hyde, Martha M. 1996. Neoclassic and Anachronistic Impulses in Twentieth-Century Music. Music Theory Spectrum 18 (2), p. 200–235.

Korsyn, Kevin. 1991. Towards a New Poetics of Musical Influence. Music Analysis 10 (1), p. 3–72.

Klein, Michael. 2005. Intertextuality in Western Art Music. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Messing, Scott. 1988. Neoclassicism in Music from the Genesis of the Concept through the Schoenberg/Stravinsky Polemic. Rochester: University of Rochester Press.

Milhaud, Darius. 1920. Brésil. La Revue Musicale 1, p. 60–61.

Museu Villa-Lobos. 1972. Villa-Lobos, Sua Obra. Rio de Janeiro: MEC/Museu Villa-Lobos.

Nóbrega, Adhemar. 1969. Roteiros de Villa-Lobos. In: Presença de Villa-Lobos, p. 7–26. Rio de Janeiro: MEC/DAC/Museu Villa-Lobos.

Nogueira, Ilza. 2003. A Estética Intertextual na Música Contemporânea: Considerações Estilísticas. Brasiliana 13, p. 2–12.

Ratner, Leonard. 1980. Classic Music – Expression, Form, and Style. New York: Schirmer Books.

Sant’Anna, Afonso Romano de. 2003. Paródia, Paráfrase & Cia. São Paulo: Ática.

Squeff, Enio and Wisnik, José Miguel. 1982. O Nacional e o Popular na Música Brasileira. São Paulo: Brasiliense.

Straus, Joseph N. 1990. Remaking the Past: Musical Modernism and the Influence of Tonal Tradition. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Tarasti, Eero. 1995. Heitor Villa-Lobos: The Life and Works, 1887-1959. London : McFarland.

Toorn, Pieter C. van den. 1997. Neoclassicism and Its Definitions. In: Music Theory in Concept and Practice, edited by James M Baker, David W. Beach, and Jonathan W Bernard, p. 131–156. Rochester: University of Rochester Press.

Villa-Lobos, Heitor. 1946. Solfejos Originais e sôbre Têmas de Cantigas Populares, para Ensino de Canto Orfeônico. Rio de Janeiro: Irmãos Vitale.

Walker, Paul. 2001. Fugue, §8 20th Century. In: The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd ed., Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell (Editors), Vol. 9, p. 330–331. London: Macmillan.

Wright, Simon. 1992. Villa-Lobos. Oxford: Oxford University Press.