Fado is the music genre that most evokes the Portuguese spirit. Encompasses various styles and themes but is essentially characterized by music and sorrowful and melancholic lyrics. In 2011, Fado was classified as Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
The word “Fado” means “fate”, yet the melancholy nature of the song leads us to describe it as a kind of “regret”. Fado is a musical treasure and one of the largest national pride, although the folk songs and dances are also highly prized forms of national expression.
Fado is beautiful and touching, but it can be interpreted without feeling pompous and obsequious. This is a lyrical and sentimental musical style that have arisen in Lisbon circa 1830 There are several theories that explain their origins: some argue that the Fado songs have roots in Arab or in african-Brazilian rhythms.
There are two types of Fado: one originating in Lisbon’s Alfama neighborhoods and the Moorish quarter, and another of Coimbra, in central Portugal. The Lisbon Fado is more familiar and full of feeling, while Coimbra Fado has a more academic content that reflects the academic traditions of the city. It is sung by men at night and the Serenades, can often be heard in the streets and squares of the city.
The main theme of Fado is love, even unrequited, but there are many fates devoted to other topics. The singers often wear a black costume and singing before the audience with the musicians behind. When singers sing, the room darkens and becomes silent.
The singers are the main protagonists. The most famous interpreter and still considered one of the divas of Fado, both in Portugal and abroad, was Amalia Rodrigues, who died in 1999 Other historical to highlight are Carlos do Carmo, Alfredo Joiner, Herminia Silva, Rodrigo, Maria names Alice and Tristan da Silva.
More recently, Fado was popularized and taken across borders by artists like Mariza, fado a young and dynamic company that has touched the hearts of thousands of people worldwide. Other young performers who belong to the new generation of Fado are, for example, Camané, Cristina Branco, Ana Moura and Carminho.
Portugal is proud of his music and all of its interpreters, who every night are heard in the Houses of Fado.