Samba is the most famous of the various forms of music arising from African roots in Brazil. The name samba most probably comes from the Angolan semba (mesemba) - a religious rhythm. Samba developed as a distinctive kind of music at the beginning of the 20th century in Rio de Janeiro (then the capital of Brazil) under the strong influence of immigrant black people from Bahia.
"Pelo Telefone" (1917), by Donga and Mauro Almeida, is generally considered the first samba recording. Its great success carried the new genre outside the black ghettos. Who created the music is uncertain, but it was probably the work of the group around Tia Ciata, among them Pixinguinha and João da Bahiana.
In the 1930s, a group of musicians led by Ismael Silva founded in the neighbourhood of Estácio de Sá the first Samba School, Deixa Falar. They transformed the musical genre to make it fit better the carnival parade. In this decade, the radio spread the genre's popularity all around the country, and with the support of the nationalist dictatorship of Getúlio Vargas, samba became Brazil's "official music".