Five facts about FADO

16 11 portugal 2

Fado is traditional folk music popular in the Lisbon area of Portugal. Melancholic by nature, the music includes instruments like the Portuguese guitar, the mandolin and sometimes the piano with one “Fadista” singing alone. There lyrics talk about the darker and profound elements of love, death, sadness and above all, longing. Not all Fados are sad though…  Some are humorous in nature and go about curious and funny episodes of life. Fado is enjoyed at night, in small restaurants spread around the old neighborhoods of Lisbon and Coimbra. Here are five facts about Portugal’s original music:

  • The word Fado comes from the Latin word fatum, from which the English word fate also comes from;
  • A Fado singer is a Fadista;
  • There are two types of Fado, one found in Lisbon, one in Coimbra. The style heard in Lisbon is the most popular, while in Coimbra, it is a more classic style;
  • Today’s Fado’s roots can be traced back to the early 1800’s and originated in Portugal, but only appeared in Lisbon after 1830. However, it has been sung in the old quarters of Lisbon for many generations and its origins are lost in time;
  • Fado was added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2011.

The Fado Museum, where you can research the origins of this music genre in the museum’s documentation centre;




Link to Museu do fado:

  • Share