There’s two words synonymous with Portugal: Soccer and Fado
The former requires no introduction but for those of you who are not that familiar with Fado, you have come to the right place.
So what is Fado? Well, it’s a form of Portuguese singing that originated in the 1820s. It is generally known for how expressive it is and also for it’s melancholy. It is often associated with pubs, restaurants, etc.
Since the very onset, Portugal has had a crossroad of cultures which is why the origins of Fado are largely left to best guesses. Some say that it came from the Moors, while others say that the came to this country in the form of Lundum, the music of the Brazilian slaves.
Generally in Fado music, the singer will sing about the harsh realities of daily life, putting forth a balancing act between lost cause and hopefulness — the latter being something that could still occur despite the torments. The word that can be used to best describe it is the Portuguese word “saudade”, which means “longing.”
There are different types of Fado: Menor is sad, slow and melancholic and is sung in a minor key; Mouraria is nostalgic but in a major key and faster; Corrido has cheerful and upbeat music but the words do not necessarily reflect that mood; bailado is danceable. Fado canção or fado musicado is more commercial and appeared in the 1930s with Amália Rodrigues, its greatest exponent. Fado castiço is the original type of fadoand considered the best by the aficionados. It is accompanied by the guitarra portuguesa and viola only. Fado à desgarrada and fado vadio are different from the professional Fado found in casas do fado. In these formats, amateurs take turns to sing their emotions.
Since Fado was tightly controlled by the Salazar regime, some Portuguese have an ambivalent attitude towards it and its most famous exponent Amália Rodrigues. It was announced by Salazar that he would give the Portuguese three Fs to be proud of - Fado, Fátima and Football. After the 1974 revolution, Fado became less popular and it was not until the late 1980s that younger artists have realized that Fado is greater than the history of the dictatorship.
Despite Fado being a symbol of the Portuguese nationality, it is not the national song. From region to region, Portugal possesses several rich and typical folklores of each geography, which has nothing to do with Fado. One can say that it is the form of folklore of Lisbon, Porto and Coimbra.
Regardless of how Fado originated, one thing we know for certain is that it definitely resonates with the culture of Portugal and if you happen to find yourself in this country, then please be sure to check out our Fado experience on MYrago: Fado Music Of #Lisbon: Cultural Walking Experience
If you want to check out some other Portuguese experiences then please see our collection here
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