Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Scott Wright


The purpose of this dissertation is to provide a survey of eight selected compositions for flute by the nineteenth-century Brazilian composer and flutist, Joaquim Antonio Callado (1848-1880). The aim of the survey is to identify early structural, melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic elements of the popular Brazilian instrumental genre, called choro, in Callado’s compositions. In addition, this study will investigate the hypothesis of Callado’s use of two different flute models to compose and perform: a nineteenth-century, simple-system, five-keyed wooden flute and the, then, newly invented silver, multi-keyed, Boehm flute. The study will also look for evidence of Callado’s use of both instruments in different stages of his short life.

Joaquim Antonio Callado is considered to be the father of choro. Born in 1848 in Rio de Janeiro, this flutist, teacher, and composer was part of the first generation of choro composers and performers. He was crucial to the formation of this authentic instrumental genre (choro). In fact, Callado is credited as the first person to use the term choro. In the 1870s, he formed the group “choro Carioca” or “choro do Callado.” The pieces performed by the group included European dances, such as polkas and waltzes, as well as Afro- Brazilian music, such as modinhas and lundus. The blending of music from different cultural backgrounds resulted in a well-structured, yet dynamic, unique, and improvisatory style that is the choro.

The period in which the choro emerged coincided with an important time in flute history. In 1847, after intense research, the German flute maker Theobald Boehm (1794-1881) unveiled his revolutionary flute. The instrument had a new mechanism and scale and it was made of different material: metal, which is more stable and durable than the standard wood. Its superior intonation, projection, and fingering mechanism provided a better playing experience. The flute acquired great popularity in Europe and beyond, eventually replacing the pre-Boehm, simple-system flutes in orchestras and conservatories.

Years later, the Boehm flute arrived in Brazil through the hands of Mathieu Andre Reichert (1830-1880), a Belgian flutist who traveled to the country in 1859 and adopted it as his own, becoming one of the pillars of the Brazilian flute school, along with Joaquim Callado. There is no proven evidence, however, that Callado actually played a Boehm flute. From a few historical accounts, it is known that he performed on a pre-Bohm wooden instrument. But through the analysis of his music, one can speculate that Callado did indeed compose some of his pieces with the Boehm flute in mind.

This study presents significant and relevant information for performers of Brazilian music, as well as flute teachers who seek to understand the history of the evolution of the style and the role of the flute in the choro. This document will include a brief history of the choro, a short biography of Joaquim Antonio Callado, a survey of eight selected compositions, and a conclusion. It will also include two appendices: Appendix I will briefly describe the history of the flute from ancient times until the Boehm flute. Appendix II will provide a complete list of Callado’s compositions in alphabetical order; the list will contain the titles and the style in which the pieces were composed.