Osvaldo da Costa Lacerda (March 23, 1927-July 18, 2011), one of the most significant Brazilian composers of the twentieth century, wrote more than 250 compositions. The purpose of this dissertation is to provide a history and analysis of the Brazilian genres characterized in Osvaldo Lacerda’s, Sonata for Flute and Piano. Written in 1959, the sonata represents traditional Brazilian rhythms within a classical structure and modern harmony. The work provides a basis for the exploration of the embolada, the serestas, and the baião, examples of Brazilian typical song forms and rhythms. Analysis of the historical roots of these nationalistic elements will provide appropriate performance practice considerations when playing Brazilian rhythms; and because this sonata only exists in manuscript form, the historical analysis and performance guide will be of service to disseminate this important Brazilian work. As a basis for a critical edition of the Sonata for Flute and Piano, this initial effort will provide performers with a context for Brazilian flute music. Chapters include the Lacerda’s biography, a background of the nationalistic movement in Brazil and the composers who have influenced Osvaldo Lacerda. Definitions of embolada, serestas, and baião is also provided.