Top 10 Bossa Nova Songs

Of course, hit lists are always a gross simplification and many loving details have to be neglected. But to get an overview, to be inspired or just to do something thoughtless during a practice break – certainly helpful!

So, without further ado, ten of the most famous bossa nova songs:


The Girl From Ipanema
Tom Jobim

Not least because of the Netflix series of the same name, this song is on everyone’s lips again. Without a doubt the most famous bossa nova song of all time. The famous Brazilian guitarist interprets the piece in his own unmistakable style between samba, choro and bossa nova.

Learn the chords in the arrangement by Joao Gilberto!


Manha de Carnaval
Luiz Bonfa

The guitarist Luiz Bonfa has set a monument with Manha de Carnaval. One of the most popular pieces for getting started in the world of bossa nova, but also for advanced improvisation, as three of the most virtuoso guitarists of the 20th century prove here.

Learn the melody to Manha de Carnaval!


Tom Jobim

“Quiets Night of Quiet Stars” besingt Astrud Gilberto 1963 und die Welt liegt ihr bis heute zu Füßen. Corcovado ist der Name des berühmten Berges in Rio de Janeiro, auf dem auch die Statue Cristo Redentor steht.  

Learn the chords in the arrangement by Joao Gilberto!


bruno Martino

A comparatively unknown Italian pianist writes a bossa nova song and the great Joao Gilberto includes it in his repertoire. A story almost as beautiful as the play.

Learn a solo arrangement of this beautiful ballad!


Tom Jobim

A piece by Jobim for a change. “Slightly out of Tune” is the musical response to criticism of bossa nova music. 

A succesful response!

Here you will find exercises for the melody of Desafinado!


Summer Samba
Marcos Valle

Although billed as samba, this track has become a bossa nova hit. The catchy chords contrast the special, chromatic melody.

Here you will find an introduction to Bossa Nova melody!


Aqualero do Brasil (Brazil)
Ary Barroso

Ary Barroso was one of the stars of samba music. So this song has a different flair, a different tempo, than many of the tracks on this list. With its catchy melody, it is one of the hits of Brazilian music.

Learn the typical samba rhythm “Partido Alto”!


Chega De Saudade
Tom Jobim

No More Blues! said Tom Jobim and is said to be the first bossa nova song recorded. What is interesting is the connection between the blues feeling and the classic Portuguese saudade, which could possibly be compared to the feeling of longing.



Baden Powell

Although not as well known as many of the pieces on this list, Canto de Ossanha still has a place. The special, mysterious atmosphere that Baden Powell creates in the first part is extraordinary and gives the song its special charisma.


How Insensitive
Tom Jobim

This list is rounded off by a Jobim song. At this point, the choice is not easy and wonderful songs like “Once I Loved”, “Wave” or many more could take this place.


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