Portuguese Guitarra Lesson (continued)

9. Fado Maior in D major. Fado Maior is also known as Fado Corrido.

The above Fado Maior has be transposed and arranged from the traditional fado variations presented by

Manoel Gomes, in A Guitarra Portuguesa Metodo Facil, 1929.

10. There are a few hundred traditional fado melodies which are well known to the community of fadistas and fado audiences. Most of these fado melodies are known by particular names such as Fado Vitoria or Fado Bailado. In 1999, about 120 of these melodies were collected by Antonio Parreira and written down by Maestro Jorge Machado (see the bibliography section below). In 2005 a collection of 16 CDs was issued by Movieplay under the title Todos os Fados. In volume 16 (page 34) of this collection fado historian Daniel Gouveia notes that 411 fados are now recognized to exist.

Unlike traditional "folk" songs where the author is anonymous, in the world of fado the composer of the fado melody and words are often known. For example, the melody called "Fado Bailado" is credited to Alfred Marceneiro and the verses, called "Estanha Forma de Vida", which are often sung to this famous melody, were written by Amalia Rodrigues.

In commercial popular music, words and melodies are legally linked and their authors protected by copyright laws. In traditional fado, the melody and the words are independent of one another. More simply, singers are free to draw from a body of traditional melodies and then sing whatever words they wish. This fact becomes evident as you listen to fado recordings and hear the same embellished melody used by different singers to accompany their own verses. In a sense, fadistas are continually reinventing the fado by drawing on the traditional music ideas and composing new words What this means is that the accompanying guitarist never knows what verse a fado singer will put to a particular melody. Clearly for an aspiring fado guitarist, the central task becomes one of learning the corpus of traditional melodies so he can easily accompany any fado singer. Incidently, learning such fado melodies pays off doubly because they form the raw material from which solo variations are commonly constructed by the masters of the guitarra

The existence of a body of traditional, well-known melodies gives a coherence to the realm fado music while the liberty to change words or embellish the melodies gives the fado its special freedom.


11. Basic chords


When I have time I will put a chart of basic chords for the guitarra in this section.


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