Volume 5, April 2015
Lino José Nunes's 1838 Methodo : Historical, Analytical and Editorial aspects of an Afro-Brazilian Double Bass Jewel

by Fausto Borém, Alfredo Ribeiro, Gustavo Neves, João Paulo Campos, and Rodrigo Olivarez

Abstract: This paper presents a historical, analytical and editorial study on Brazilian bassist, composer and pedagogue Lino José Nunes (?- 1847) and the recently discovered manuscript of his 1838 double bass method called Methodo Prático ou Estudos Complettos para o Contrabaxo. The emergence of a thriving music scene in early 19th century Rio de Janeiro as an outcome of a war of Kings allowed the development of Nunes's career. The manuscript reveals several performance and compositional practices of the time, such as the kinds of instrument used in Brazil and their tuning, sight reading in all clefs, real time transposition, and the fistcuff fingering. It also reveals a mature composer who uses the circle of fifths, thematic development, chromaticism and procedures from Italian and German opera at local and larger levels in his double bass lessons. The performance editions of the six complete Lessons for unaccompanied double bass are discussed with the hope that they become part of the historical double bass repertory [Editor Note: The performance editions are available for download at the ISB site, for fund raising to help bass projects]. Also, the whole historical manuscript of the method (presented in Appendix II and Appendix III) is provided as an urtext reference source.

1. Introduction — "New" double bass music found in "old" Brazil!

2. Part I of the Methodo: Double bass performance practices in Imperial Brazil

3. Part II of the Methodo: Lino José Nunes's six double bass Lessons

4. Bringing Lino José Nunes's Lessons back to life: decisions in the performance editions

5. Conclusion




Appendix I

Appendix II and Appendix III