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What is a Bloco Lírico?

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What is a Bloco Lírico? Rodrigo Pires/Courtesy of Bloco da Saudade. View full-size.
Definition:

A bloco lírico is a kind of Pernambuco Carnival group (bloco) known for the gentle, nostalgic pace of the tunes played during its parades. This type of music, known as frevo-de-bloco, is a mix of traditional tunes and songs written for each new Carnival.

In the wealth of groups which make up Recife and Olinda Carnival, the bloco lírico stands out with its wind and string orchestra, colorful costumes which evoke characters of the past, such as shepherdesses and kings, and a flabelo - a stiff banner, carried by a man or a woman at the head of the parade.

The origin of blocos líricos dates back to the early 20th century. The first organization officially named as such was Bloco das Flores Brancas, founded by Portuguese immigrant Pedro Antonio Joaquim Salgado in 1920 and later named simply Bloco das Flores. The bloco was inactive from 1937, when Salgado died, until 2000, when it was reborn thanks to people with a passion for old-time Pernambuco Carnival.

Besides Bloco das Flores, some of the best known blocos líricos are Cordas e Retalhos, Bloco da Saudade, Madeira do Rosarinho (1926) and Batutas de São José (1932), in Recife, and Eu Quero Mais and Flor da Lira in Olinda. A bloco lírico meeting in Olinda post-Carnival 2010 honoring 90 years of Bloco das Flores also featured:

  • Amantes das Flores de Camaragibe
  • Após Fun
  • Banhistas do Pina
  • Cinta Azul de Paulista
  • Com Você no Coração
  • Confete e Serpentina
  • Esperança
  • Eu Quero Maiszinho de Olinda
  • Flor da Mata de Paudalho
  • Flor do Eucalipto de Moreno
  • Flor do Limoeiro de Limoeiro
  • Bloco das Ilusões
  • Lira da Noite
  • Lírio da Lira
  • Magnólia do Paulista
  • Menestréis do Paulista
  • Nem Sempre Lily Toca Flauta
  • O Bonde
  • Pierrot de São José
  • Pirilampos
  • Príncipe dos Príncipes
  • Rebeldes Imperial
  • Redenção em Folia de Olinda
  • Seresteiros de Salgadinho
  • Sonho e Fantasia de Olinda
  • Sonho e Fantasia Infantil de Recife
  • Um Bloco em Poesia
  • Utopia e Paixão
  • Valores do Passado
Also Known As: bloco-de-pau-e-corda

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