The Lisbon Fado Museum is particularly valuable for lovers of fado music, as well as for those interested in Portuguese culture and history.
Fado (derived from the Latin « fatum », which means « destiny ») is a particular style of traditional Portuguese music. It is a street romance, performed by a single performer accompanied by two guitars, a classical guitar and a Portuguese guitar (twelve-string guitar).
The fado is filled with sadness and slight melancholy. The genus was born in the 12th century and finally formed in the early 19th century. Today, there are two main centres in Fado: Lisbon and Coimbra.
The Lisbon Fado Museum was opened in 1998 and is located in a spacious and magnificent building. The museum’s exhibitions will tell you a lot about the history of this genre. The museum’s extensive collection includes many photographs of famous fado artists, instruments, including a twelve-string Portuguese guitar, multimedia sections with song recordings, through which you can listen to different types of fado. The walls of the museum are full of information about the evolution of Fado.
A very interesting museum room tells the story of the Portuguese guitar. This room presents a film on how the masters make the Portuguese guitar and different models of guitars are displayed along the walls. There is also a café where you can enjoy a live fado show.
It is forbidden to take pictures in the museum but there is a shop where you can buy books on Portuguese art and culture and music CDs. This museum is an excellent way to discover this musical genre unique to Portugal. If you want to know more then it is advisable to attend a Fado show in Lisbon.