Pagode (Portuguese pronunciation: [pa'd?i]) is a Brazilian style of music that originated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as a subgenre of Samba. Pagode originally meant a celebration with food, music, dance, and party. In 1978, singer Beth Carvalho was introduced to this music, liked it from the beginning, and recorded tracks by Zeca Pagodinho and others. Over time, pagode has been used by many commercial groups, which have included a version of the music filled with clichés, and there is now a sentiment that the term is a pejorative for "very commercial pop music" (see Pagode Romântico).
Original pagode developed at the beginning of the 1980s, with the advent of the band Fundo de Quintal and the introduction of new instruments in the classical samba formation. Pagode lyricism also represented a kind of evolution toward the tradition of malicious and ironic samba lyrics, with a much heavier use of slang and underground terms.
The 4-string banjo, whose introduction is mostly credited to Almir Guineto, has a different and louder sound than the cavaco; that loudness was an advantage in acoustic environments (samba circle), where there are many percussion instruments and people singing along. The 4-string banjo is one of the most characteristic instruments of the pagode sound.