Tropicalismo was a rupture movement that shook the atmosphere of popular music and Brazilian culture between 1967 and 1968. Its participants formed a large collective, whose highlights were the singer-songwriters Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, in addition to the participation of the singer Gal Costa and singer-songwriter Tom Zé, from the band Mutantes, and maestro Rogério Duprat. Singer Nara Leão and lyricists José Carlos Capinan and Torquato Neto completed the group, which also had graphic artist, composer and poet Rogério Duarte as one of its main intellectual mentors.
Tropicalists took a historic step forward in the Brazilian music scene. Post-Bossa Nova Brazilian music and the definition of “musical quality” in the country were increasingly dominated by traditional or nationalist positions of movements linked to the left. Against these trends, the Bahian group and its collaborators seek to universalize the language of MPB, incorporating elements of world youth culture, such as rock, psychedelia and the electric guitar.
At the same time, they tuned electricity to information from the erudite avant-garde through innovative arrangements by conductors such as Rogério Duprat, Júlio Medaglia and Damiano Cozzela. By bringing together the popular, pop and aesthetic experimentalism, tropicalist ideas ended up driving the modernization not only of music, but of the national culture itself.