Background musicians and their (in)visibilities

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Reck Miranda, Suzana
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Film and Screen Media, University College Cork
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This article focuses on the career of Brazilian tambourine player Russo do Pandeiro, who participated as a background musician in musical numbers of Brazilian and Hollywood films from the 1930s to the 1950s, yet his work remains mostly uncredited. Although these background musicians consistently appear throughout the films in which they starred, they still constitute a largely unexplored object of research. I aim to revive this Brazilian tambourine player from a marginalised setting and invest in an understanding of his contribution to cinema through an intermedial perspective rather than privilege films as exclusive objects of reflection. My hypothesis for this intermedial approach will argue that the trajectory of Brazilian supporting musicians, if observed closely, reveals significant and previously unexplored aspects of the Brazilian cinematographic universe in the first decades of sound cinema.
Chanchada , Brazilian music , Hollywood musicals , Popular theatre
Reck Miranda, S. (2020) 'Background musicians and their (in)visibilities', Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media, 19, pp. 31-47. doi: 10.33178/alpha.19.04