Thursday, February 7, 2013

Carpe Diem #116, Fado (Portugal)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Well ... do you like our little musical world trip? I hope you do. I have read wonderful haiku during this little journey around the world. It's really a joy to prepare these episodes of Carpe Diem. Doing the research for them and learn a little bit more about those musical styles and dances.
Today we are leaving South America and fly towards Europe ... visiting the land of Fado, Portugal.

Fado (painting by Jose Malhoa 1920)

Fado is a music genre which can be traced to the 1820s in Portugal, but probably with much earlier origins. Fado historian and scholar Rui Vieira Nery states that "the only reliable information on the history of Fado was orally transmitted and goes back to the 1820s and 1830s at best. But even that information was frequently modified within the generational transmission process that made it reach us today." In popular belief, fado is a form of music characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor, and infused with a characteristic sentiment of resignation, fatefulness and melancholia (loosely captured by the word "saudade", or longing). However, although the origins are difficult to trace, today fado is regarded, by many, as simply a form of song which can be about anything, but must follow a certain structure. The music is usually linked to the Portuguese word saudade which symbolizes the feeling of loss (a permanent, irreparable loss and its consequent life lasting damage). Amália Rodrigues, Carlos do Carmo, Mariza, Mafalda Arnauth, and Cristina Branco are amongst the most famous individuals associated with the genre.
The word Fado comes from the Latin word fatum, from which the English word fate also originates. The word is linked to the music genre itself and, although both meanings are approximately the same in the two languages, Portuguese speakers seldom utilize the word fado referring to destiny or fate.

Fado only appeared after 1830 in Lisbon. It was introduced in the port districts like Alfama, Mouraria and Bairro Alto.
There are many theories about the origin of Fado. Some trace its origins or influences to "cantigas de amigo" (friends songs) from the Middle Ages or Moorish songs.
Fado performers in the middle of the 19th century were mainly from urban working class and sailors, who not only sang, but also danced and beat the fado. During the second half of the 19th century, the African rhythms would become less important, and the performers became merely singers.
Fado was thus generally sung by one person called a fadista, and normally accompanied by the portuguese guitar and the classical guitar.
The 19th century's most renowned fadista was Maria Severa.
More recently Amália Rodrigues, known as the "Rainha do Fado" ("Queen of Fado") was most influential in popularizing fado worldwide. Fado performances today may be accompanied by a string quartet or a full orchestra. 

It's a wonderful kind of music ... I love Fado songs, they are so full of joy, passion, sadness and so on. Was it fate? To share this with you? I don't know, but I loved writing this post.

fado singer
sings right from her heart
was it destiny?

fate re-done in fado
strong belief in music from the heart
fado singer

What a joy! I love the way these haiku came on paper, while listening to the sweet voice of Amalia Rodrigues, the Queen of Fado.

Have fun, be inspired, listen to Fado and become creative. Share your haiku on Fado with us all. Enjoy it ... and be prepared ... we are traveling further to the Far East to hear the Japanese folk music of Sakura and Taiko (Japanese Drum Music).
This prompt will stay on 'till February 9th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our next episode later on today around 10.00 PM (CET).


  1. Fado is interesting I love the sound of it. Now listening as I read your entry you have captured the sound of the fadosinger in your haiku. Love it.

  2. Hi - lovely description Kristjaan..really enjoyed it. You caught the mood of the fado think,especially the first haiku.
    PS- a new challenge..with your wonderful descriptions and of course haiku I think they would fit beautifully...its a weekly haibun challenge. http//

  3. I am really enjoying my * virtual * trip to warmer climates..all I can say about Canada is COLD.I liked your two haiku very much ( especially the first one )

  4. these wonderful world-circling prompts have encouraged me to learn and read about the countries and their music....thanx for the prod....

  5. I really like your haiku today. It was fun learning about this--I had never heard of it before.

  6. Thanks for posting the YouTube--loved the music. Will search our more. It reminds me of some of the very soulful music in Pedro Almodovar's films.

  7. Wonderful... I don't think I've heard the term even though I've heard the music... It's always great to learn something new. TY! :-)

  8. Another great post and lovely haiku ~ thanx ^_^

    Carol of (A Creative Harbor) ^_^