Happy Carnival 2019!
Marking the beginning of Lent, Carnival is a week-long celebration full of lively parades, vibrant attire, and elaborate music and dance routines. Although observed all over the world, Carnival is especially popular in Brazil. In fact, Rio de Janeiro is home to the largest such celebration in the world, with up to 2 million participants!
It’s also been 69 years since Adolfo Antônio Nascimento aka “Dodô” and Osmar Álvares de Macêdo wired an old Ford four-door with cone-shaped speakers powered by a car battery and rode through the streets of Bahia, Brazil blasting frevo music. The two friends called themselves Dupla Elétrica (Portuguese for “Electric Duo”) and literally electrified the crowds during Bahia’s Carnival celebration with sounds from their electric cavaquinhos (traditional Portuguese four-stringed guitars that they modified into electric instruments).
The following year, they added another cavaquinho player, becoming Trio Elétrico, a trailblazing band whose name would become synonymous with the massive sound trucks that now rumble through the streets of Brazil (and elsewhere) every Carnival season.
Today’s Doodle pays tribute to these musical pioneers, whose innovations set off a cultural revolution. Over the past 69 years, sound trucks have evolved dramatically in terms of design, musical style, and sheer power. In 1975 the popular Brazilian singer Moraes Moreira became the first to perform atop one of the booming vehicles. Modern sound trucks are now fitted with luxurious components, including swimming pools. But the fundamental concept remains the same: taking the music to the streets.