Because Luiz Gonzaga used mainly these three instruments, the trio Pé de Serra was consolidated, but it is known that in the “pés-de-serra” and other parts of the Northeast, the parties and forrós took place with a great variety of instruments, such as pandeiro, ganzá, melê, reco-reco, rabeca, cavaquinho, viola, guitar, pifes, harmonicas and virtually any instrument which the people who danced there could play. It is worth pointing out that the 8-bass accordion, the famous Pé de Bode, had a prominent place in the festivals of the Northeastern sertão long before forró became known.
So much so that, during its “industrialisation” in the 50s, the King’s Baião didn’t make a fuss and embraced other instruments in its recordings, both by Gonzagão and by his successors, Jackson do Pandeiro, Ary Lobo, Marinês, Clemilda, Anastacia, Dominginhos, and so many others.
For the more attentive listeners it is not difficult to perceive that during the decades from the 50s to the 80s (at least), although the compositions and instruments used in Forró recordings and shows had somehow changed and become “modernized”, there was a cohesion in the way this music was played and sung, possibly due to the more or less cohesive cultural context of the artists involved, generally northeasterners, with a history of living in rural areas, either as rural workers or as recent arrivals in the metropolis, but still immersed in a culture with a very strong rural identity.
But Forró won over Brazil and without leaving the countryside, it also settled in the big cities, and from the 90’s onwards, mainly, Forró gained other accents, other touches, both in the Northeast, with the so-called “Forró Eletrônico”, and in the Southeast with “Forró Universitário”. Some people think that these accents somehow de-characterise “authentic” Forró.
It’s a very intriguing discussion and far from finished, but it’s interesting to think that Forró has its roots and its knowledge, it also has the people who did and still do it, with its significances very close to what was done in the past.
It is necessary to consider the powers involved in human relations, mainly between different social strata, so that there is no cultural obliteration of a large layer of the Brazilian population, in favour of a cultural industry that makes a profit, but is not concerned with giving anything back to the popular artists or to their communities.
Communities formed by the cowboys, the mourners, the farmers and popular artists who, with their novenas, farinhadas, multirões, adjuntórios, tapas de casa and other rural work and celebrations, founded the northeastern musicality that culminated in Forró. With Forró now spread throughout Brazil and the world, there are Forró compositions with influences from Rock, Reggae, Salsa and many others. Forró compositions already exist in French, German, Russian, English, Japanese and other languages. How these different accents connect with Forró is still too early to tell, but one thing is for sure:
Forró is being!