The most popular and traditional style of all can be found in
traditional fado houses throughout the city.
Exclusively sung by men, it's closely linked with the Coimbra
University traditions. Talk about student love, their courses and
teachers, the city and the bohemia. The Vadio Style
Unlike the other two styles above that are usually sung by fadistas who
know how to sing it, this style can be sung by everyone who dares (even
if he is a little, how do you say, out of tone...) The Desgarrada This is the funniest style of them all. Two
(or more) singers challenge each other to a kind of conversation in
form of a song.
They make remarks and jokes about each other to entertain the public
and win the desgarrada.
How is it
It is usually singed by a single man or woman, called fadista.
is traditionally accompanied by a Portuguese
guitar player and a viola
(classic guitar) player.
This is actually changing, as some fadistas
are beginning to be accompanied by a string quartet and even an
they sing about?
Many times, the lyrics talk about betrayal,
and the difficulties of
life (like poverty,
The most accurate word to describe this style is saudade.
simple word, with no direct correspondence in any other language, means
something like the feeling of loss and missing someone you deeply love.
How did it
There is no consensus about the
origin of this music style.
Some defend that it was brought from Brazil
in the first half of the 19th
The first reference found (1883), even talked about a sensual
dance performed along with the music. Some related it with
the Brazilian Samba.
Others defend that it was started in Lisbon by the Moors, due to some
similarities with North Africa singing styles.
Most of them agree that it was influenced by the Troubadour tradition
For centuries, this music was associated with the working-class
where it was performed in the local taverns (tabernas or tascas).
were the legendary fadista
Severa Onofriana - "A Severa" was born.
Although she died at the age of 26, she became an authentic myth. Her
life was portrayed in the movies and, of course, in fados.
Later, in the 20th century, some famous poets started to
write lyrics especifically to this kind of music and the
intellectuals also started to
appreciate it more.
With the help of the
gramophone, the radio and later the
television, this became a truly national song.
Also, the Salazar
regime treated it has a fundamental national identity
To the regime there were three
essential Fs to Portuguese people:
(football or soccer).
The themes were largely influenced by the regime that censured any
attempt of political criticism.