Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Lisbon: The Fado Museum

As an amateur music historian, I am fascinated with all types of music. So when I discovered they had a  Fado Museum in Lisbon, I had to go. The fado Museum is located in the Alfama District of Lisbon. One of the oldest districts in the city.  It was originally established by Portuguese Sailors. Fado is a form of Portuguese Folk Music. Fado is a haunting version of the blues. The first recorded development of Fado is from 1820, although it's believed to originate much earlier. 

Fado, meaning fate, is hauntingly similar to the American blues even though there seems to be no direct connection; expect that the subjects are the same. Old Fado is played on the Portuguese Guitar and accompanied by vocals. "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 sentiment of resignation, fate, and melancholy. This is loosely captured by the Portuguese word Saudade, or longing, symbolizing a feeling of loss (a permanent, irreparable loss and its consequent lifelong damage).

Being a big fan of American Blues, I found it extremely interesting. After a long walk through the Alfama District, we reach the Fado Museum covered in sweat from an over 90-degree day. After checking our day packs, we head to the cool theater to watch a documentary on Fado. With its distinctive sound, it lives up to its mantra. Fado Music is a poem that can be heard and seen. The rest of the Museum is filled with Fado guitars, art, and other artifacts.  

If you are going to Lisbon and are a fan of music, the Fado Museum is a must-see. After the Museum, we head back to our Airbnb while strolling through the Alfama District. It is a picturesque scene.