There’s been a lot going on in my life lately! One thing I’ll highlight is that I went to Lisbon in October, which was my first ever trip to Portugal. While I was there I went to one of the big fado places, Clube de Fado, and got my first ever taste of fado singing.

I’m far from a fado expert, but what I gather is that traditionally it’s performed with a female singer and a male guitarist, and that the text of the song has to do with “saudade,” or the feeling of nostalgia and loss. At Clube de Fado I had the pleasure of hearing a singer known as Cuca Roseta.


(Videos from Cuca Roseta’s channel aren’t able to be viewed from the US, but here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/user/CucaRosetaVEVO)

With only a €10 cover charge, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the musicians at Clube de Fado, but Cuca Roseta blew me away. Her voice was extremely powerful, and her timing with the guitarists was highly precise, even while the tempo fluctuated quite a lot. I was also especially fascinated with the ornamentation style, which is extremely rapid and requires excellent vocal agility.

I hope to get back to music theory blogging soon—I’m currently balancing a lot. But in the meantime, enjoy some photos from Portugal!