Madredeus
Fados e Guitarradas
Miss Perfumado
Cristina Branco

International » Western European Traditions » Fado

The emotional folk music of the Portuguese, Fado's existence dates back at least as far as 1829. By this time, the Portuguese culture contained a substantial African and mixed race (primarily Brazilian) population, most of them lower-class laborers centered in the Alfama area of Lisbon. Their dances, called the fofa and the lundum -- a lewd song and dance exchange -- heavily influenced the development of the fado, as did the rich Portuguese history of poetry and literature, with the folk culture of quatrains (rhyming couplets) and the modhina (ballad tradition) recognized as the cathartic music's lyrical origins. While the first fado recordings date back to 1910, the music truly flowered during the 1920s and '30s, when a series of landmark records documenting the fado de Coimbra style -- a tightly rehearsed, highly stylized, and far less cathartic form -- was released. Despite their differences, both strains of the fado are defined by their feeling of "saudade," a Portuguese term best translating into English as a genuine and intense yearning. Amalia Rodrigues is undoubtedly the most important figure in fado.

Fado Artists Highlights

Madredeus
Madredeus
Cristina Branco
Cristina Branco
Paulo Bragança
Paulo Bragança

More Fado Artists

Fado Album Highlights

Fados e Guitarradas
Amália Rodrigues
Fados e Guitarradas
Miss Perfumado
Cesária Évora
Miss Perfumado
Coimbra
Amália Rodrigues
Coimbra
Café Atlantico
Cesária Évora
Café Atlantico
Mar Azul
Cesária Évora
Mar Azul
At the Olympia Theatre
Amália Rodrigues
At the Olympia Theatre

More Fado Albums

Fado Song Highlights

Title/Composer Performer Stream
Fado da Adiça Amália Rodrigues
Sodade Cesária Évora
Ess Pais Cesária Évora
Sabôr de Pecado
Cesária Évora
D'Nhirim Reforma Cesária Évora
Sodade Cesária Évora
Cinturão Tem Mele
Cesária Évora
Mar Nha Confidente (The Sea Is My Confidant)
Cesária Évora

More Fado Songs

Other Styles in Western European Traditions