Bearing in mind its role in world History, music in Portugal, Brazil and the southern Atlantic (which functioned as a network) has not yet been researched in the depth that it deserves. This is equally true of Iberian culture and, in general, of Latin America, where musical practices are documented ever since the 16th century, but have fallen outside the radar of current Histories of Western Music – centred on French, Italian and German music. In this sense, many themes have scarcely been researched in spite of their historical importance. There is thus a clear need to present to the world a unified effort to study and promote southern and Atlantic musical practices as a significant, influential part of Western cultural History: this is the role of the project “Thematic History of Music in Portugal and Brazil”.

In short, the project aims to:

1) develop a large-scale, team-based musicological narrative from the earliest documented records to the present day, covering a geographical area that encompasses European Portugal, its Atlantic islands, its commercial or colonial outposts throughout Central and Western Africa (not restricted to post-colonial borders nor to Lusophone countries), and Brazil, in accordance with historical approaches informed by recent critical debates among the international community;

2) conceive the research do be undertaken from a new perspective, a thematically structured History of Music, placing in relief superimposed chronologies, the dialectics of space, means of transmission, circulation and cultural exchange over the current linear and spatially static paradigms;

3) write a History of Music from the perspective of Portugal and the Atlantic margins of Africa and South America, including, as far as possible, the contribution of non-Western cultures, taking into account post-colonial critique.


* BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCE: Manuel Pedro Ferreira, “Beyond Nations: a Thematic History”, Muzikologija / Musicology (Institute of Musicology of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts) nº 27 (2019), pp. 163-86. DOI: 10.2298/MUZ1927163F


Manuel Pedro Ferreira


Volume Coordinators:

1 – Paulo Ferreira de Castro e Diósnio Machado Neto

2 – João Pedro d’Alvarenga e Fernando Lacerda Duarte

3 – David Cranmer e Márcio Páscoa

4 – Luísa Cymbron e Alberto Pacheco

5 – Paula Gomes Ribeiro e Heloísa Duarte Valente

6 – Manuel Pedro Ferreira e Rogério Budasz


Executive Team:

Alberto Medina de Seiça

Caio Priori dos Santos

Cristiana Vicente

Juliana Wady Lopes

Luciano Botelho

Rui Araújo