- Gerard Béhague
A term with various meanings in Brazilian popular music. Generically choro denotes urban instrumental ensemble music, often with one group member as a soloist. Specifically it refers to an ensemble of chorões (musician serenaders) that developed in Rio de Janeiro around 1870. One of the first known choros was organized by the popular composer and virtuoso flautist Joaquim Antonio da Silva Callado (1848–80). In the mid-19th century the instrumental ensemble generally included flute, clarinet, ophicleide, trombone, cavaquinho (a type of ukulele), guitar and a few percussion instruments (particularly the tambourine). The repertory of choro ensembles consisted mostly of dances of European origin performed at popular festivities. For the serenades the band accompanied sentimental songs, such as modinhas, performed by a solo singer. No special music was composed for the choros at that time, but such designations as polka-choro and valsa-choro indicate the nationalization of European dances in Brazil....