The music of Portugal – Guides, Interviews and Features | Songlines

Portugal Profile

  • Related Artists: Mariza, António Zambujo, Gisela João

The dramatic sound of fado has come to define Portugal’s national character and culture. Emerging from the working-class quarters of Lisbon during the 19th century, the death in 1999 of Amália Rodrigues, the greatest fadista of them all, was marked with three days national mourning.

Since then, her crown has been taken by Mariza, who sits at the head of a thrilling group of young singers who have rejuvenated fado and made it hip and fashionable once more after its stock fell due to its cultural co-option during the decades of Fascist dictatorship.

Other important traditional styles include the a cappella polyphonic singing associated with the southern region of Alejanto.

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