Tico Tico no Fubá is an example, perhaps the best known example, of a choro. Choro (pronounced ‘shoro’) is both a tune type and a genre of music from Brazil, developed in the mid-nineteenth century. As the twentieth century progressed, choro fell somewhat out of favour, being largely displaced by samba and jazz, before making something of a comeback in the 1970s; choro remains popular today.
Tico Tico no Fubá (‘Sparrow in the Cornmeal’) was composed by Zequinha de Arbreu in 1917. Arbreu initially called it Tico Tico no Farelo (‘Sparrow in the Bran’), but as there was already a tune by that name, he changed it; small world, eh?
The tune has a heavily syncopated 2/4 rhythm, its three parts moving from the home key of A minor to the relative major (C major), then to the parallel major (A major).