With absolute certainty, the song “Abyss of Roses” by Américo Jacomino, better known as Canhoto, is the national anthem of the Brazilian guitar. Do you know the story behind this song?

It is important to point out that Waltz was the musical genre with the greatest acceptance, and the greatest permeability in all social strata in Brazil, in the first decades of the 20th century.

With the presence of Italian immigrants in São Paulo, and the Italian ancestry of Canhoto, it is not surprising that his greatest success “Abyss of Roses” would be born from a waltz.

Composed in 1905, when Canhoto was only 16 years old, the music was a vent to a loving disappointment; he had been abandoned by his girlfriend.

The muse of this beautiful work was the daughter of a slave, and her sister Sinhara, as well as her family, did not accept the love relationship of the two, preventing them from getting married for the simple reason that Canhoto was a guitarist.

What strikes me about this story is that I have often heard people saying that in times past, those who played the guitar were considered “vagabonds,” being in a way not accepted by society.

We can say that this fact was proved by the story of “Abyss of Roses”, because at that time a family of slaves did not accept that their daughter had a relationship with a guitarist.

And now it’s time to prepare a good cup of coffee and enjoy the sound of this indispensable waltz for every guitar student: “Abyss of Roses.


Esthephan, SERGIO. Abismo de Rosas: Vida e Obra de Canhoto. (2017)

Image Source:


Guilherme Santos

Author Guilherme Santos

More posts by Guilherme Santos

Leave a Reply