What is fado

Do you know what is Fado? Fado is a traditional musical expression of Portugal, identified immediately by the very first notes of the Portuguese guitar.

Luis Guerreiro (guitarra portuguesa), João Filipe (viola de fado) e Rodrigo Costa Félix (voz)
Luis Guerreiro (Portuguese guitar), João Filipe (traditional guitar) e Rodrigo Costa Félix (voice)


Fado is a word of Latin origin meaning destiny. Its origin is distant but it became better known from mid XIX century. Sailors used to sing it when they were away from home, leaving behind love affairs, passions, lack of affection … It was a way to alleviate the effect of saudade (loneliness).

Alfredo Marceneiro (1891-1982)
Alfredo Marceneiro (1891-1982)

In the thirties and early forties, the movies, the theatre and the radio brought the fado to a large audience and that’s when the so-called “Casa de Fado” comes up and the professional fado performers as well. Over time fado gained a greater melodic richness and the popular poems about saudade, jealousy, passion, nostalgia … gave place to pretty poems written by great poets like Luís de Camões (1524?-1579?) or Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935). 


Fado crossed borders a long time ago with our Great fado performer Amália Rodrigues (1920-1999) , who sang it all over the world.

Fado – Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity – UNESCO

Do you want to have a first approach to fado but don’t know where to start? So why not start by seeing and listening to my selection?

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