Pop and Folk Music in Portgual

By: Mason Embree

Folk Music


Fado is the most popular traditional music in Portugal. Fado translates to mean destiny or fate. While the sounds of Fado may vary from region to region through Portugal, it is know for its long, eccentric, melancholy vocals and the use of the saudade, or Portuguese guitar.

"Coimbra" (April in Portugal)

This song was performed by Amália Rodrigues, who was also know as Rainha do Fado ("Queen of Fado"). The music and lyrics were first written by a portuguese man named Raul Ferrão in 1947. Amália Rodrigues is know as the queen of Fado for a reason. She was one of the most popular traditional Portuguese fado vocalists to ever live. While Fado is still a type of music that draws its roots directly from Portugal, Amália Rodrigues managed to even spread it very successfully internationally via live performances all over the world in countries like France, Italy, Argentina, Spain, the USA, Mexico, Brazil, Romania, Japan and The Netherlands, among many others.

You can listen to the song here



The popular song diffused on a much broader scale. With a music video that got 600,000,000 views, it became world popular and even had an English version made. The folk song, while it is still a piece of folk culture unique to Portugal, it also diffused on an international scale. However, it did not diffuse nearly to the level of a pop song. Coimbra became popular among the Portuguese people, but not among the people of other countries and cultures.

Popular Music

Popular Music

Music is a big part of Portugal's culture. While Portugal may be known for its more traditional kinds of music, the citizens of Portugal enjoy popular tunes from all around South America and Europe (particularity Brazil.)

Ai Se Eu Te Pego (Oh If I catch you)

Ai Se Eu Te Pego is a 2008 Brazilian song by Sharon Acioly and Antônio Dyggs. It had a humble and local beginning as it was first recorded by Brazilian band Cangaia de Jegue and then covered by many other regional Brazilian bands like Garota Safada, Arreio de Ouro, Estakazero, Forró Sacode, and Saia Rodada. It was truly mad popular however by Michel Teló, who made it in to a huge hit in 2011.

Song link here


However, it was not really just the pop star, Michel Teló who made it happen. It really diffused through football (yes I mean soccer). It started out when Brazilian player, Neymar appeared on a video dancing to the song. Many other videos were made after the first and all of a sudden it was a enormous hit in Brazil. Next, the song made huge leaps in spain after two Real Madrid players, Marcelo Vieira, and Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated a goal by dancing to the choreography of the song. The song was then so popular that in 2012, Michel Telówas was invited by Real Madrid to travel to come pose with Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo for pictures. Many other athletes jumped on the bandwagon (many football players, and a few mma and ufc fighters) and that was all it took.