Musical Cultures in Portugal - 1st semester


The present course aims at providing the students with an overview of the emergence of fado within the
processes of change in urban musical practices in Portugal at the turn to the 19th century, as well as of the
subsequent development of the genre up to the present. A model of periodization is proposed and each
successive period of the historical evolution of fado is characterized in terms of its sociocultural
context and its internal processes of aesthetical and technical change in regard to leading protagonists, repertoire, poetical and musical conventions and performing practice.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Rui Vieira Nery


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Brito, J. P. (Ed.) (1994). Fado: Vozes e Sombras. Lisboa: Lisboa 94-Electa.
Castelo-Branco, S. (Ed.) (2010). Enciclopédia da Música em Portugal no Século XX, 4 vols. Lisboa: Círculo de Leitores.
Nery, R. V. (2012). Para uma História do Fado. Lisboa: Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda, 3ª ed.
Nery, R. V. (2012). Fado: Um Património Vivo. Lisboa: CTT.

Teaching method

Topics are presented by the teacher and discussed in class. Theoretical approaches are complemented by analysis of early Fado scores and commented listening of recorded examples.

Evaluation method

Students submit a critical review comparing various interpretations of the same traditional Fado melodies (40% of the final grade) and take a final comprehensive test (60 %).

Subject matter

1. Cançoneta, Modinha and Lundum in the LusoBrazilian salon of the Ancien Régime.
2. AfroBrazilian danced Fado and its arrival to Lisbon.
3. Fado in the bohemian and marginal circuits of Lisbon. The founding myth of Severa.
4. Social expansion of Fado: Revista and musical Theater; editions for domestic use; emergence of workingclass and republican Fado.
5. The transition to the 20th century: musical and poetical renovation; the take off of the recording industry; new performance spaces for profession.
6. Fado in the \"Estado Novo\": censorship; professional ID; licensing of performance venues; \"Fado house\" network; ideological and political controversy over the genre.
7. The processes of internacionalization and the poetical and musical renovation in the 1960s and 70s. The impact of the 1974 revolution. The genre´s crisis in democratic Portugal.
8. The revival of the 1980s and 90s : “New Fado” and World Music. The nomination to Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (UNESCO).


Programs where the course is taught: