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The music

The word 'forró' is nowadays used to describe a number of different rhythms that originated in the north east of Brazil during the 19th century where they were typically played with an accordion, violin and tambourine. Virtually unknown throughout the rest of Brazil, it was not until a man largely considered to be the founder of modern forró called Luiz Gonzaga started playing these rhythms in Rio de janeiro in the 1950s, that a new wave of forró tradition began to explode.

With his songwriter they adapted the music to feature a drum and triangle and largely reduced the influence of the violin and tambourine so as to enhance the deep driving rhythms of the music. These rhythms mostly fall into the catagories of either Baião, Forró or Xote (pronounced shotch like scotch with a sh) as well as the less known rhythms, rastapé, coco and xaxado with their own dance variations. 

Apart from Luiz Gonzaga, there are a number of musicians and bands that are generally thought to be extremely influential in the growth of forró including Jackson do Pandeiro, Dominguinhos, Os 3 do Nordeste, Trio do Nordeste, Trio Lampião and many more. Recently, Falamansa have been accredited with making forró popular with the next generation. Today, there are a number of new and exciting bands making a name for themselves in Brazil and due to the relatively recent growth of forró in Europe, they are now able to travel on tour for the first time.


Whenever possible it is such a pleasure to be able to invite bands to play at Forró Family and we are really fortunate to have hosted some amazing live shows in the past from Bastião, Trio Xamego, Dona Zefa, Dona Zaira and many many more. See our past events.


To help newcomers to forró, we have put together a Forró Family MP3 collection with some our favourite musicians and bands to highlight the different styles, rhythms and tempos which will help get you up to speed in no time! 

Another great resource for discovering the musical world of forró is at


Happy listening!

The dance

Different styles of Forró dancing are evolving every day!

From the more traditional side stepping to todays "Forró Contemporanio" and "Roots" styles, the dance has incorporated movements from salsa, lambada, zouk and even breakdance, with new moves and techniques being created and adapted all over the world.
However, as most forrozeiros will tell you, there is no greater feeling than dancing cheek to cheek to the sound of the accordian, triangle and drum with lyrics that take you on a journey to the north east of Brazil where it all began.

The Music and lyrics
The words of forró songs are often associated with life in the north of east of Brazil, especially the traditional older compositions. Equally, songs are often written about passion, love and all of the things associated with modern day living. 

To help us improve our Portuguese and further our understanding of the songs, we have created an ever expanding database of songs with translations. Admittedly, we have used Google translate and so we welcome native speakers to leave any comments that others may find helpful. 


The history of the dance and the music

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