Since when/Why is the girl from ipanema the go to elevator music?

The Girl from Ipanema: A Journey from Bossa Nova to Elevator Music

The Girl from Ipanema, a timeless Brazilian bossa nova tune, has captivated audiences around the world since its release in the 1960s. Not only did it achieve great success as a standalone song, but it also found a unique place as the go-to choice for elevator music. This article explores the origins of The Girl from Ipanema, its rise to popularity, and the reasons behind its association withelevators.

Origins and Initial Success

The Girl from Ipanema was popularized in the United States during the 1960s by saxophonist Stan Getz as part of his Bossa Nova influenced Jazz approach. The song, originally titled “Garota de Ipanema” in Portuguese, was written by composer Antônio Carlos Jobim and poet Vinícius de Moraes. It was first recorded as part of the 1963/64 collaboration album “Getz/Gilberto” with João Gilberto and Antônio Carlos Jobim, which showcased the fusion of Brazilian bossa nova and American jazz.

The album “Getz/Gilberto” was a groundbreaking success, winning several Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, and becoming a classic in the world of jazz. The record featured the iconic rendition of The Girl from Ipanema, with vocals by Astrud Gilberto, João Gilberto’s wife. Astrud’s soft and innocent voice, accompanied by Jobim’s piano and Getz’s tenor saxophone, created a captivating blend of Brazilian rhythm and melodic jazz.

Chart Success and International Recognition

Upon its release, The Girl from Ipanema made a significant impact on the music charts. The single reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent two weeks at number one on the Easy Listening chart in the United States. The song’s popularity extended beyond the U.S., reaching high chart positions in various countries worldwide. In the UK, it peaked at number 29 on the Singles Chart, further solidifying its global appeal.

The smooth, mellow sound of The Girl from Ipanema struck a chord with listeners of all backgrounds. Its captivating melody, combined with the evocative lyrics and the effortless vocal delivery by Astrud Gilberto, made it an instant classic. The song seamlessly blended the sensuality of bossa nova with the sophistication of jazz, creating a musical experience that transcended cultural boundaries.

The Girl from Ipanema and Elevator Music

The Girl from Ipanema’s popularity and its smooth, mellow sound made it a perfect fit for elevator music. Elevator music, also known as Muzak, refers to background music often played in elevators, hotels, and other public spaces to create a soothing and pleasant atmosphere. The genre is characterized by its instrumental arrangements, gentle melodies, and unobtrusive nature.

Due to its widespread recognition and association with relaxation and leisure, The Girl from Ipanema became a popular choice for elevator music. The song’s infectious rhythm and melodic charm provided a pleasant backdrop for various settings, including elevators, where it added a touch of elegance and tranquility to people’s daily routines.

Additionally, the song’s enduring popularity and cultural impact have led to its usage in films, where it has become something of an elevator music cliché. Its inclusion in movies and television shows further solidified its association with elevator scenes, perpetuating its status as a quintessential elevator music choice.


The Girl from Ipanema has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the music world. Its fusion of bossa nova and jazz, coupled with its memorable melody and enchanting lyrics, propelled it to international fame. The song’s smooth and mellow sound made it a natural fit for elevator music, where it has become a symbol of relaxation and tranquility. From its origins in the 1960s to its continued relevance today, The Girl from Ipanema continues to evoke the beauty of Brazilian music and the timeless allure of elevator melodies.



Why is “The Girl from Ipanema” often used as elevator music?

“The Girl from Ipanema” is frequently chosen as elevator music due to its smooth, mellow sound and its association with relaxation and leisure. The song’s captivating melody and soothing rhythm create a pleasant ambiance, making it an ideal choice for elevators and other public spaces.

When did “The Girl from Ipanema” become synonymous with elevator music?

The song’s association with elevator music can be traced back to its release in the 1960s. Its widespread recognition and popularity, coupled with its gentle and unobtrusive nature, made it a natural fit for the genre. Over the years, its use in films and television shows featuring elevator scenes further solidified its status as a go-to elevator music choice.

Is “The Girl from Ipanema” only used as elevator music?

No, “The Girl from Ipanema” is not exclusively used as elevator music. It is a beloved Brazilian bossa nova song that has achieved international success and recognition. It has been recorded and performed by numerous artists in various musical contexts, and its timeless appeal extends beyond elevator music.

What other characteristics make “The Girl from Ipanema” suitable for elevator music?

Aside from its melodic charm, “The Girl from Ipanema” features instrumental arrangements that lend themselves well to the background music genre. The absence of intense or jarring elements in the song allows it to create a soothing and unobtrusive atmosphere, making it an excellent choice for elevators and other public spaces.

Are there any other songs commonly associated with elevator music?

Yes, besides “The Girl from Ipanema,” there are several other songs frequently used as elevator music. Some popular examples include “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra, “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong, and “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley. These songs share similar characteristics of soothing melodies and gentle arrangements that make them suitable for creating a relaxed ambiance.

Has the use of “The Girl from Ipanema” as elevator music evolved over time?

While “The Girl from Ipanema” has retained its status as a classic elevator music choice, the genre itself has evolved. Modern elevators and public spaces now often feature a wide range of instrumental and ambient music styles, catering to different preferences and creating diverse atmospheres. However, “The Girl from Ipanema” remains a timeless selection that continues to evoke a sense of tranquility.