The friends gathering in the garden - a 'Cavaquinho', a 'Pandeiro', few fresh beers, a 'Cachachinha' against the heat - when Samba becomes Pagode....
Pagode is a bit like a typical dish, very close to Samba, which comes from the Senzala, where the slaves used to gather to make their parties. It represents the 'Negroes' union. Like Samba, it is something spontaneous, improvised, which started with the wooden spoon and percussive instruments like 'surd' and other types of tambour, to which we also count the Pandeiro, the guitar, the Cavaquinho and which are still evolving since we now start to use the Banjo. It was in fact born from a sort of caesurae inside the Samba schools, where some 'Sambistas' started to play outside of the 'Quadras' in a little bar or in a club.
The Pagode is in fact the articulation between the people through the music that everybody sings and dances. Reflecting the Sambistas and Capoeiristas world, who were considered as hooligans, it was for a long time referred to the little world of the blacks, who lived on the hills. It then touched the poor suburbs and all the working class.
It is an extraordinary movement since it is a class consciousness. It shows the problem of a certain part of the population, depicts people's identity and tells us about 'Malandragens', the plots, the edgy life of survival, love, things of life, humour, philosophy, the social system, all of this through its words and its music, but also throughout the body.
Pagode opened a space to a social class, which could not express itself. Before the development of 'Favelas', suburbs were something far and abstract from the city, although people meet everyday at the supermarket or on the beach.
People got closer with Pagode for it allowed to be more receptive than Samba. Pagode is not a commercial music, it is an emotional feeling. A faithfulness, a tradition from Samba, a pertaining that the Sambista possesses with pride and for a long time. It is a rhythm alive always in touch with reality.
Within it is not possible to use a disguised language, for it would turn into a disaster. One needs to feel the malicious 'Ginga', subtlety, which works the symbols. It is a popular expression that the negroes took to Rio as they left Capoeira in Bahia and the Galango in Minas, meanwhile everything grew out from the same root.
It is pure improvisation, in which hundreds of people can cook their own dish without prediction and always creating something new. The market begins to open in Europe. There are very few Pagodists and to make a Pagode, one needs to live something really special, otherwise you never go very far.