Nina Graeff



Transcultural Musical Heritage – Afro-Brazilian Musical Traditions as Embodied Knowledge Across Geographic Boundaries

Address Grunewaldstr 34
12165 Berlin
Email nina.graeff[at]


Nina Graeff, born in 1983 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, received a Bachelor Degree in Communication Sciences (2005, PUCRS, Porto Alegre), a Bachelor Degree in Music (2009, UFRGS, Porto Alegre), a Diplome d’Études Musicales (2009, CNR Strasbourg), and a Master Degree with distinction in Transcultural Music Studies at the Institute of Musicology Weimar-Jena. The title of her Master thesis is 'Samba de Roda from Recôncavo Baiano – General and rhythmic concepts'.

From 2011-2012, Nina Graeff worked as research fellow with teaching activity at the research project 'Global Music Database', financed by EFRE – Europäischer Fonds für Regionale Entwicklung of the Institute of Musicoogy Weimar-Jena.

Since October 2013, she has been a Ph.D. student and fellow at the international Doctoral Program “Interart Studies” of Free University of Berlin.

With UNESCO’s “Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage” of 2003 international debate on heritage begun to look into music and dance traditions as well as to develop safeguarding measures for them. Consequences of such measures for the dynamics of performance practices have been hitherto hardly scrutinized and more appropriate safeguarding measures only sparsely debated. The research project aims to conceptualize musical practices as heritage by considering new paradigms of the Human Sciences: The understanding of music as performance, as embodied knowledge and as transcultural phenomenon. Using anthropological methods, the Afro-Brazilian musical traditions Samba, Capoeira and Candomblé shall be examined not only locally, but in two strong contrasting contexts: the region considered of its origin, the Recôncavo da Bahia (Brazil), and Berlin. The experiences of transmitting similar traditions in different cultural environments shall bring a broader understanding of the dynamics of music and dance heritage beyond geographical boundaries.

GRAEFF, Nina: Os ritmos da roda. Tradição e transformação no samba de roda. Salvador: EDUFBA 2013 (in press).


GRAEFF, Nina. „Afro-brasilianische Götter in Deutschland? Immaterielles Kulturerbe weitergeben“, Deutsche UNESCO Kommission, 2015.


GRAEFF, Nina. „Ich werde mein Orixá. Mimetische Prozesse in der Weitergabe des Candomblé in Berlin“, In: Paragrana 23/2 (November 2014). 216–228.

GRAEFF, Nina: “Experiencing Music and Intangible Cultural Heritage: Some Thoughts on Safe guarding Music’s Intangible Dimension”. El oído pensante 2 (2).

GRAEFF, Nina; KÜPPERS, Philip; PFEIFER, Felix; PINTO, Tiago de Oliveira: “Automatic Retrieval of Rhythmic Patterns for the Global Music Database, a Joint-Project Between Musicologists and Audio Engineers”, in: Musikwirtschaft 2.0. Perspektiven für die Musik (=Weimarer Schriften zu Kulturpolitik und Ökonomie 8), hrsg. von Steffen Höhne. Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag. 2014. S. 235–246.

GRAEFF, Nina: “Fundamentos rítmicos africanos para a pesquisa da música afro-brasileira: o exemplo do Samba de Roda”, in: Música e Cultura 9.


GRAEFF, Nina: „Samba de Roda: comemorando identidades afro-brasileiras”, in: Artelogie nr. 4, (January 2013).

GRAEFF, Nina: „Rhythmische Strukturen des Samba de Roda aus dem Recôncavo Baiano, Brasilien“, in: Dorit Klebe (Ed.): Berichte aus dem ICTM-Nationalkomitee Deutschland 2011 B. XX (in press).


GRAEFF, Nina; PINTO, Tiago de Oliveira: „Música entre materialidade e imaterialidade: os tons-de-machete do Recôncavo Baiano / Music between Tangibility and Intangibility: the tons-de-machete from Recôncavo Bahiano”, in: Revista MOUSEION, vol. 11 nr. 1, 72-97.

GRAEFF, Nina: „Reflexos da nomeação do samba de roda como Obra-Prima da Humanidade pela UNESCO sobre a cultura do Recôncavo Baiano”, in: Susana Moreno Fernández, Pedro Roxo e Iván Iglesias (Ed.): Musics and knowledge in Transit / Músicas e saberes em trânsito /  Músicas y saberes en tránsito, Lisboa: Colibri (DVD).


October 2013 – Poster-Präsentation beim Fachsymposium Immaterielles Kulturerbe der Deutschen UNESCO Kommission. Titel: „Das Immaterielle erhalten? Afro-brasilianische Musiktraditionen zwischen Materialität und Immaterialität“.

July 2013 – Vortrag im Plenarium der 42. Weltkonferenz des International Council for Traditional Music 2013 in Shanghai. Titel: “Intangible Heritage? Toward an Ethnomusicological Approach to Heritage”.

May 2013 – Vortrag mit Prof. Dr. Tiago de Oliveira Pinto beim 1. Regionalforum Immaterielles Kulturerbe der Deutschen UNESCO Kommission in Leipzig. Titel: „Der Patrimonialisierungsprozess des Samba de Roda aus Brasilien“.

October 2012 – Vortrag bei den zweiten „Journées doctorales d’ethnomusicologie“ an der Sorbonne-Universität, Paris. Titel: „Concepts musicaux comme patrimoine musical: l’homogéneisation de la pratique du samba de roda au Brésil ”.

July 2012 – Aufgenommen in die von der Deutschen UNESCO Kommission unterstützten internationalen Sommerakademie “Constructing Heritage in the Light of Sustainable Development”, in Cottbus. Poster-Präsentation: „Intangible Values of Tangible Heritage and the Performing Arts”. Vortrag: „Music between Tangibility and Intangibility and the Safeguarding of Musical Traditions”.

November 2011 – Vortrag beim internationalen Symposium „Musik als Kulturerbe – Shashmaqom, die klassische Musik Mittelasiens“, Weimar. Titel: „The impact of UNESCO nomination on musical practices: The case of Samba de Roda from Bahia”.

October 2010 – Vortrag auf dem XI internationalen Kongress der SIBE (Sociedad de Etnomusicología) in Lissabon. Deutscher Titel: „Einflüsse der Nominierung des Samba de Roda aus dem Recôncavo Baiano als Meisterwerk des mündlichen und immateriellen Kulturerbes der Menschheit der UNESCO auf die Kultur der Region“.