São Francisco

São Francisco

[soun frahn-sees-koo]
São Francisco, river, c.1,800 mi (2,900 km) long, rising in the Serra de Canastra, SW Minas Gerais state, Brazil, and flowing northeast, then southeast through the sertão region of E Brazil to the Atlantic Ocean. The river's flow varies with the season. The São Francisco, an ancient river that is embedded in the Brazilian Plateau, probably once entered the sea near Cape São Roque, northeast of its great bend. The near right-angle bend near Cabrobó is believed to be caused by stream piracy (see river). Paulo Afonso Falls (275 ft/84 m high), east of the great bend, blocks navigation into the interior; a railroad circumvents the falls. The river is navigable along c.900 mi (1,450 km) of its middle course. The São Francisco valley, linking Brazil's northeastern and southeastern regions, is the object of a large-scale river development and control scheme. The harnessing of Paulo Afonso Falls and the building of several dams have improved economic conditions in the potentially rich but drought-ridden and sparsely settled region.
The sáo (also called sáo trúc) is a small transverse flute used in the traditional music of Vietnam. The instrument has a slender cylindrical body that is typically made of bamboo, although it may also be made of hardwood (which is often inlaid with intricate mother-of-pearl designs). It usually has one blowing hole and six finger holes, although in the 20th century some players have added four extra holes to allow for the production of semitones.

The sáo is used in the folk music of the Viet majority as well as in the music of the former royal court music of Huế.

Etymology

The Sino-Vietnamese adjective trúc derives from the Chinese word zhú (), meaning "bamboo."

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