THE PORTUGUESE "FADO" In the Voice and Dance of Spanish Composer CARLOS CANO
By: Iride Aparicio
SILICON VALLEY -- As a musical genre, 'El Fado' (the 'A' pronounced like the pure English 'A' in 'Laredo' and the 'O' like the 'O' is pronounced in Oregon) is a song, usually played in guitars, which is sang and danced. It is described by many as "The Portuguese heart" because in Portugal, its beats are heard in the cafés, in the streets, and often, in the Portuguese' lips.
In Portuguese, FADO means 'Fate.' because the FADO was inspired by pain: a broken heart, a longing, rejection, unrequited love, melancholy, loneliness. One could say that the popularity of the FADO is that its lyrics express, musically, the sadness of the human spirit. Its mournful sound comes from the MODES.
In music, the term MODES, refers to the 'musical scales' that were used in the 19th Century to write the church music. 'A MODE ' is not a "Key signature.' so the music written on a MODE, because the scale is different, sounds differently than the music written on the same key. For instance, an octave played in the Dorian Mode, (D or RE) which is the MODE used often by FADO's composers, start in the note D (RE) and ends in the note D (RE), but unlike the key of 'D major,' which is notated with an F# and a C# (F and C sharp), in the 'Dorian Mode' the octave is played without the two sharp notes, (The Dorian Mode Starts in D and get to its octave using ONLY the white keys, if played on the piano) because the F and C were not F# and C# the sound of the Dorian Mode, is slightly different than the D major scale sound.
The Origin of the FADO has been traced to l820, but according to many FADO scholars, the history of the origin of EL FADO may go as far back as 7ll AD when and African Army under TARIQ IBN-ZIYAD, crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and invaded the Iberian Peninsula Andalusia, as Spain was called when it was under the Visigoths, A the Germanic people who settled of the Black Sea in the 3rd Century CE, because all we know about the FADO was passed orally by the people. In modern times, along with famous FADO singers like AMALIA RODRIGUES, is Singer and Composer CARLOS CANO (1-l946 - 12-2000)
CANO was born in Granada, Spain. During his youth, CARLOS was described by friends as one of the students who in l964 was part of a group of 16 and l8 year old students who were interested in poetry, music and art, and reunited often to read their poems in the Alhambra gardens and in Albaycin, a town nearby. This information help us trace CARLOS beginning to perform in public, because, it was at this time, when with other students, CARLOS was invited by JUAN de LOXA the Director of RADIO GRANADA, to read his best poems in the radio.
By the time he died at age 54, CARLOS CANO was a well known, composer and singer known around the world, and the most popular representative of the true Andalusianmusic. And like an Andalusian, he wrote "Coplas" (Songs that relate what happened to a person) Maria la Portuguesa a FADO and his most popular song in his music career is one of them. His fame increased later, however, when he began protesting, in his songs, about and sociopolitical Problems. Some of his most popular songs include: Luna de Abril (l988) Ritmo de Vida(l989) En Directo(l990) and Mestizo(l992). As a composer, he also wrote the music for this ballet that may be described as an stylized FADO.