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Fado’s Origin The designation of FADO, came from word “destiny”, and this is one of the biggest symbols of Portuguese culture and traditions. Fado is a traditional Portuguese style of music, that emerged at the beginning of 18th century. Its origin is a subject which isn’t still quite sure, however there are several theories advocated: some people say that Fado has the influence of Moorish songs that prevail in the typical neighbourhood of Mouraria, in Lisbon, after the Christian recapture; others support the theory that its origin is Arabic, in other hand, others think that its origin is from Brazil, others still think it was the type of music that Portuguese mariners sang on their long journeys and there are those who say that were the poor and humble people who initiated these songs who became a legend and a tradition of our days.


Fado was quickly adopted by poor neighbourhoods residents. They sang in taverns and in motels. The songs talked about violence and mostly, reflected the state of mind and worries of that people: display, sadness, jealous and fear. Fado became a central element of Lisbon culture.

Uncertain of its origin, Fado was initially known by Fado of sailor, “song of degraded�. Gradually, the popular verses started being replaced by harder and richer verses. Fado expresses harmonious prosperity, melancholy and rhythmic complexity. These were some of the characteristics that made Fado more literary and artistic.


The singers, wore black clothes because its connected with negative feelings like, suffering, the missing of someone or something (saudade), the tragedy, the disgrace, the fate of destiny, the pain, love and jealous, the night, the shadows, loves, the city, the misery of live, the social critic. All these feelings are passed to the poems and the way how singer interprets it… however, they sing with passion, soul and specially, with their heart.

The word “saudade” is the seventh difficult word to translate to another language, and this is what makes it special. This word is one of the most used words in the Portuguese poetry and popular music. They frequently talk about this feeling, which can make us feel every type of feelings and sensations. When you miss someone or something, sometimes you just can’t express yourself properly, and that’s the most amazing feeling of the humans.

“Saudade”, Almeida Júnior


• “And in the silence of the night, with the mystery which involves it, we must listen, like a soul who knows to listen, this song, talks about the deep feelings of the Portuguese soul. This is the Fado, which makes guitars cry…”

Fado, is the soul of Portuguese people. Listening to the words of every poem, make us feel the presence of the sea, the life of sailors and fishers, the streets and alleys of Lisbon, the farewells, misfortune and missing.


The most traditional houses of Fado are in the famous neighbourhoods of Alfama, Mouraria, Bairro Alto and Madragoa.

The characteristics of Fado still the same: sing with sadness and with hurt feelings, past and present. But sometimes, singers, telling a fun story with irony or provide a “fight� with two singers, with improvising verses.


Amália Rodrigues Amália Rodrigues was an icon of Fado. She was acclaimed the voice of Portugal and one of the most brilliant female singers of the XX century. She became universal famous as the queen of Fado, and by consequence, nowadays, she’s considerate the symbol of Portuguese music. She was considerate by many, one of the best Fado ambassadors in the world, acting on the most famous stages.


Fado de Coimbra Directly connected to the city and academic traditions, Coimbra’s Fado has its origins in the songs that students used to sing at the middle of the night, almost in the dark; they sang serenades with a Portuguese guitar and a viola.


With its universality and media attention, Fado has launched a new generation of young singers: Carminho, Marco Rodrigues, Ana Moura, Cuca Rosetta, Raquel Tavares, Helder Moutinho, Ana Maria Bobone,Mariza, Yolanda Smith, Joan Almond, MafaldaArnauth Miguel Capucho, Ana S ofia Varela, Marco Oliveira, Katia Luisa Rocha, Cama nĂŠ, Aldina Duarte, Gonzalo Salgueiro, Diamantina, Ricardo Ribeiro, Cristina Branco, among others. These singers are continuing the tradition, joining the most famous singers in the history of Fado.


Mariza, a young, modern, original, with the Fado in her soul, attracted specially the young audience. She appears like a creative and contemporary artist, with her own style, wearing different clothes leaving behind, the traditional black shawls. Her lyrics and music make hearts beating faster and the way that she interprets her songs, shake souls around the world. Every of her performances are memorable. Currently, she is one of the most popular Fado’s singer in the world.



Fado