Cleiane NUNES & Mara MENEZES


This article aims to discuss musical preference and children’s repertoire in early
childhood based on a research with 33 children, aged between 8 months and 4 years old,
from the program Music Education for Babies and Children of the Federal University of
Bahia, Brazil (2019). In this article we will, initially, present a literature review on the
development of musical preference in the early childhood, focusing on how children
process and interact with sounds and music. Data were collected through literature
review, field diary, questionnaires and video recording. The music classes were held once
a week with 50 minutes of duration. During this period, 138 performances were
cataloged. The discussion and analysis will focus on the musical and cultural
characteristics of the songs performed during the music class, trying to identify how it
connects with the children’s social and cultural context. The results indicated that the
children live in a rich musical environment at home and at school. Although the songs
experienced in both contexts come from different genres and styles, they chose
traditional children’s song for their performances. These songs have strong influences
from the main ethnic groups that formed Brazilian culture – Indigenous, Portuguese,
and African. From the Portuguese influence we inherited a repertoire formed by simple
melodic lines, short melodic intervals, predominance of the major key, anacrusis, and
themes about social interactions and daily activities. The indigenous songs bring themes
related to the forest, animals, flora, among others. African songs address themes about
life, nature and religion. It is common to find words in local dialects such Yoruba and
Swahili, and the rhythm is highlighted with a wide variety of percussion instruments. In
the conclusion, we discuss how music teachers can contribute to children’s musical
development, expansion of their repertoire and connecting with their culture.
Keywords: early childhood, music preference, repertoire