Influenced by jazz and considered a form of samba-jazz, the bossa nova is distinctive in its rhythm and fairly simple in its instrumentation. In its basic form, it is performed with a finger-picked guitar and vocalist. Piano is often added, and percussion is not a major part of the sound.
The Girl From Ipanema:
Probably the most famous bossa nova song outside of Brazil – typical in both its relaxed music as well as its lyrics – is “The Girl From Ipanema”. It first appeared in 1964 on the Joao Gilberto/Stan Getz album Getz/Gilberto (with the help of Antonio Carlos Jobim). Bossa Nova also received a tremendous boost with the release of the film Black Orpheus (Orfeu Negro), with music composed by Luiz Bonfa and Antonio Carlos Jobim.
While originally associated with bourgeois taste and social irresponsibility, Bossa Nova nevertheless gave rise in the mid 1960s to a new form of music of protest. Composers of Bossa Nova increasingly used the vehicle of music to reach the wider population with a message of nationalism and patriotism in the face of dictatorship, sometimes using musical instruments of native Brazilian origin, to form a new sense of social consciousness in the Brazilian public.