João Pernambuco was one of the first musicians to define the choro on the guitar. The state of Pernambuco in northeastern Brazil, from which he owes his nickname, is the cradle of many of Brazil’s cultural achievements. It is no coincidence that he bears the nickname of his state, Pernambuco: he represents the roots of his place and has composed more than a hundred beautiful themes characteristic of Brazil. He is still one of the most played Brazilian composers on the guitar. “Sons de Carrilhoes” is one of his most famous pieces.
Sons de Carrilhoes
A special feature of this arrangement is the tuning of the low guitar string: the usual E is tuned down a whole step to D. This is an often used means to create a fuller sound, especially in keys close to D major. Classical guitarist David Russell, actually a specialist in baroque repertoire, plays the piece here:
Learn The Song
As mentioned, the piece is in the key of D major and begins on a DMaj7 chord. The first 16 bars move again and again between the tonic, the Em chord of the second key degree. and A13, the dominant seventh chord with option tone.
In the last four bars of the first part, Pernambuco uses a beautiful stylistic device, an arpeggio of a diminished seventh chord. At this point, the diminished chord acts as a shortened secondary dominant, leading to the E minor chord, which again initiates the cadence back to the tonic. A successful conclusion!
With this soundslice you can practice the melody with various useful tools. In addition to slowing down the sheet music, you also have the option of repeating individual passages and practicing particularly difficult bars intensively.