Trip to the Zoo, by Alda de Oliveira, is a song cycle conceived as a pedagogical tool for teaching music to children. Written in 1969 for the III Composers of Bahia Presentation, this work won the “Department of High Education and Culture” prize, in the didactic category. This publication, accomplished 34 years after the award, brings to the public one of the historical milestones of contemporary composition in Bahia. Through a motivating idea (the mysterious animal world), with interesting lyrics cleverly directed to the pedagogical aims, with strategic suggestions for the intensification of musical experience by means of body expression and spatial interpretation, the Zoo brings forth an entertaining learning of the elements of music and of structural processes. The animals, with their distinctive “voices”, their distinctive “temperaments”, their peculiar structure and body mass, rhythm and style of locomotion, are musically imitated in the songs, facilitating, through objectification, the understanding of the abstract concepts of pitch, rhythm, texture, intensity, tempo, agogic. Oppositions and gradations between sound and silence, low and high, slow and fast, forte and piano, solo and tutti, in combination with diverse structural possibilities with the repetition and variation procedures, are highly and interestingly exercised through the songs. The orchestrations and arrangements, by Jamary Oliveira, Ricardo Bordini, and Fernando Burgos, offer a special attractive to the songs.

Ilza Nogueira
Member of the Brazilian Academy of Music
Editor of the series "Historical Milestones of Music Composition in Bahia "