Playing the Lisbon Portuguese Guitarra by Ronald Louis Fernandez (continued)

Section 16b.  Another Fado do Marinheiro, an even older Portuguese Fado?

In his book, Ao Fado tudo se canta?, Daniel Gouveia spends a few pages (pp. 25-28) discussing the old Fado do Marinheiro which appears in Alberto Pimentel's A Triste Canção do Sul. Then, he tells us of phoning Pedro Caldeira Cabral, the famous guitarrista, and finds that Pedro has in his personal collection an older piece of music dating from 1836 with the same title.

Pedro gives Daniel permission to duplicate it in his book which he does. Daniel then gave me permission to put a version of that 1836 piece in my online lesson. Since many people cannot read the written music and "hear" it in their head, I have put together a video on YouTube which you can see and hear here:

Here is the piece written out so you can study it. I have added what I think may be an appropriate accompaniment. The top staff is for the Portuguese Guitarra and the accompaniment is for the Viola de Fado which is usually replaced nowadays with the Spanish Guitar.

This version is obviously different from the one in Pimentel's book which I discussed in section 16a.
Whether this fado from Pedro Cabral or the one from Pimental is older is not the most important matter. They are both examples of Fados from the first half of 19th century and they have a number of structural similarities, for example: the melody starts on an up beat, they are both 16 measures long, the musical phrases seems to be 4 measures long, each have rhythmic patterns which occur throughout the piece, they end on strong downbeat, they can be accompanied with a simple tonic, dominant, dominant, tonic pattern. We do not know the poetic content of these 2 fados but we know that they were considered to be fados and the title involves a typical fado theme.

There are other 19th century Fados with different titles which feature the theme of marinheiros (sailors). Daniel Gouveia notes that the Canção do Marítimo (no. 238), A Despedida do Marujo (no. 336) and O Marinheiro (no. 532) all of which appeared in César das Neves comprehensive 3 volume collection from 1873 to 1897) entitled Cancioneiro de Músicas Populares Portuguesas (see below for free access to this collection).

On YouTube there are a number of 20th century versions of Fado do Marinheiro. One is by Carlos Ramos (music  by Raúl Ferrão, lyrics by Luís Galhardo). There is another one entitled "O Fado do Marinheiro" sung by Berta Cardoso. There is a recent (2012) lovely video performance by Carminho of "Meu Amor Marinheiro"--in the last third she looks straight into the camera and really turns on the performance (it brought tears to my eyes):

These marinheiro fados are all completely different songs and distinct from the 2 old fados I have discussed.
What they all show is that marinheiros (sailors) have been a long time theme of fados.

Within the context of my lessons I think it is good for Portuguese Guitarists to know something about the history of Fados that is why I have taken the time to present these 2 old Fados. They are simple songs. Perhaps someone could work them into a variação or set them to new fado poetry.  They are instructive because they present the simple early structure of the fado song. If the reader wants to write a fado, these are 2 simple models to start with.

About 20 years ago, I was lucky to have Pedro Caldeira Cabral  show me his studio, play some of his original pieces,
buy me lunch, and then offer to copy the 3 volumes of Cesar das Neves' books for me. I met him the next day outside a copy shop (in the pouring rain) and he presented me with a large box with the complete 3 volumes. This was extremely kind of him. Over the years I studied this collection and I became somewhat aware of the the state of popular music in Portugal in the late 19th century. To be sure there are not a great number of true fados in this collection but there are some.

Well, lucky me to have met up with Pedro! Well, lucky for you too, because you live in a connected age where these 3 volumes are available world wide. Since they are very old they are out of copyright and therefore can be shown free to the public. There are over 500 songs with piano arrangements in this collection. You can see this collection in several digital collections. They are available on Google Books, the Internet Archive and elsewhere.

Here are the links on Google books for Volume 1 (1893), Volume 2 (1895) and Volume 3 (1898):

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