“Manha de Carnaval” by Stam Getz


Manha de Carnaval is, perhaps, one of the most easily recognizable specimens of bossa nova. Featured in a movie, it was destined to become the staple of the genre. Nevertheless, Manha de Carnaval managed to evolve into a separate musical piece incorporating slow, mellow elements and the ones that add a somewhat jolly tone to the composition.

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The velocity of the musical piece in question can be defined as rather moderate, with minor alterations in the overall volume of the composition. Consequently, the Manha de Carnaval velocity falls under the category of mp (mezzo-piano, i.e., the melody that falls under the category of moderately soft musical pieces). As a result, the musical piece under analysis retains its unique characteristics and original pace, at the same time gaining certain regularity and losing the unevenness that its pace and overall style contributes to.

The timings of the Manha de Carnaval are impeccable, each pause allowing the audience to get ready for another surge of inspirational and somewhat nonchalant melody. The pauses, therefore, allow the composition to breathe, therefore, creating a rather festive atmosphere, which also prompts a meditation.

For instance, the first section of the piece creates a rather subtle foreshadowing for the main melody by starting at a relatively slow pace and then growing into a whimsical yet somewhat wistful tune (Kripto3olcayto’s Channel, 2012). Therefore, the tempo and the velocity of the composition inform the mood of the song but do not define it.


The timbre of the composition under analysis, in its turn, can be defined as rather clear and mellow. The melody owes this quality of timbre to the fact that most of the instruments in it take a back seat to the one that leads and sets the tone and the mood for the rest of the song, i.e., the saxophone.

With the sound of the saxophone in the limelight, the rest of the instruments are shifted into the background, which sets a rather mellow atmosphere, thus, creating a very soothing impression and inviting the audience to join rather calm and slow-paced meditations. Though being in the middle between bright and dark, the timbre in question can be defined as rather light, the quality that should be attributed to the fact that the saxophone performs the leading part in the composition.

Rounded and breathy, the timbre that the author has chosen for the melody. It is quite peculiar, though, that the winds in the composition give their leading part up to the strings at the end of the first part of the composition. While the guitar allows for developing a faster pace, it still keeps the composition in the same timbre, therefore, allowing the audience to get accustomed to the slight change in the atmosphere.

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Finally, the pitch of the composition deserves to be mentioned. Also characterized as moderate, the pitch contributes to creating a calm and composed atmosphere with certain festive elements and wistful notes. It should be born in mind, though, that the composition in question cannot be considered homogenous in terms of its pitch.

While some of the parts of the composition can be deemed asset in a moderately low pitch, others, especially the introduction of saxophone and trumpet solos, set the pitch rather high. However, the next wave of smooth and soft notes takes the pitch a few notches down, thus, creating a unique and easily recognizable pattern.


While belonging to the genre that dictates rather rigid standards for musical pieces, Manha de Carnaval retains its unique flair. The unusual pacing and the specific tempo of the composition set it aside from similar musical pieces. One of the most memorable specimens of bossa nova, the song creates a unique atmosphere that makes it timeless classics.

Reference List

Kripto3olcayto’s Channel. (2012). Stan Getz & Manha de Carnaval! YouTube. Web.

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"“Manha de Carnaval” by Stam Getz." StudyCorgi, 26 Oct. 2020, studycorgi.com/manha-de-carnaval-by-stam-getz/.

1. StudyCorgi. "“Manha de Carnaval” by Stam Getz." October 26, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/manha-de-carnaval-by-stam-getz/.


StudyCorgi. "“Manha de Carnaval” by Stam Getz." October 26, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/manha-de-carnaval-by-stam-getz/.


StudyCorgi. 2020. "“Manha de Carnaval” by Stam Getz." October 26, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/manha-de-carnaval-by-stam-getz/.


StudyCorgi. (2020) '“Manha de Carnaval” by Stam Getz'. 26 October.

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