Portugal Language and Music


The Portuguese can be divided into three basic groups: a continental group, typical of the northern linguistic variations and other own area of south-central Portugal; an island group (Azores and Madeira); an overseas group, made up of all the varieties spoken in Brazil, Asia and Africa. The Galician language (spoken, as well as in Galicia, in a northern corner of the Portugal) and the dialects of Riodonor and of the Land of Miranda (Trás-os-Montes) are also partly included in Portuguese, all of which have mixed Spanish-Portuguese characters. Portuguese is also the basis of various Creole languages. ● In Europe, the Portuguese language spread mainly to Amsterdam and Hamburg, where in the 16th century. headed iJewish migratory movements pushed beyond the Pyrenees for political and religious reasons. ● Within the Romance languages, and especially with regard to the Spanish dialects, Fr. it is identified by the following peculiar characters: ou or oi from Latinau (ourooiro from aurum “gold”); the disappearance of intervocalic d and l ( da fidem “faith”); the disappearance of intervocalic n and the consequent nasalization, often lost later, of the preceding vowel (lũalua da moon); palatalization in ch-initial connections PLflcl- ( chorar from lat. plorarechama from flammachave from clavem). Also noteworthy is the penetration into the lexicon of colonial voices. ● The literary language is based on the Galician-Portuguese of Lusitania northern; formed towards the end of the 11th century, it was then extended in the 12th and 13th centuries, with the progressive liberation of the various regions from Arab domination, to the whole of Portugal. First of all Provençal, Catalan and even old French had a notable influence on it; then, in the Renaissance, Italian and Spanish; in the modern age, French and English.


According to itypeusa, the events of Portuguese musical art through the centuries do not appear to be characterized by constant and distinctive traits with respect to the panorama of European music. The Portugal welcomed stylistic trends of various peoples, from Arabic to Italian, with whom he came into contact. In particular the troubadour art also had a popular expression in Portugal in the serranilhas (ballads) and in the vilancicos. Direct documents of this period remain in the neumatic code of Lisbon Ceremoniale episcoporum antiquum, containing a good number of chants; indirect documents are found, however, in a manuscript of the 14th century, which reports a Canção do figueiral coming from the oral tradition. With kings Alfonso III, Dionigi, Alfonso IV, Pietro I, the musical life intensified and reached prosperity under John I.

● From the end of the 13th century. later a current of Anglo-French style sacred music also developed, of which we also have documents in the ceremonial of the kings, copied by King Alphonsus at the English court for the use of the Portuguese chapels; the organization of the court chapel itself, founded by John II and then, under Emmanuel I, rose to great importance, being called artists of great name: J. de Coimbra, D. de Belmonte, M.. de Fontes, D. Gonçalves, F. Rodrigues etc. This center gave a great increase to the musical activity of the town, which found in the early sixteenth century an exponent in the artistic personality of G. Vicente, author of autos sacramentales, both in Portuguese and Spanish, composed in music on popular melodies. During this period Spanish and Franco-Flemish composers work in Portugal

● From the late 16th century. local artists such as A. de Aguiar, A. Lobo, M. Rodrigues Coelho, F. de Magalhães and D. Lobo, famous author of Italianized religious music. The greatest Portuguese musical flowering, especially fortunate in the religious genre, of the Palestrinian school, coincided with the reign of John IV and was linked to the names of J. Soares Rebelo and the monarch himself. Later the Portuguese names of J. da Silva, A. Teixeira etc. emerged.

● Since the end of the 17th century. onwards, Portuguese musical life was dominated by the Italian school, especially in operatic music, but also in religious and instrumental music. The few national musicians, including FA de Almeida, also wrote in perfect Italian style. A national revival took place at the end of the 19th century with J. Viana da Mota, a great pianist and good composer, influenced by Liszt and Wagner. Other composers, influenced in different ways by German Romanticism, were Ó. da Silva (1870-1958) and F. de Lacerda (1869-1934), collaborator of V. d’Indy; to Russian Gruppo dei Cinque turned instead D. de Sousa, while L. de Freitas Branco to Impressionism and then to the Vienna school, later merged into neoclassicism.

● The panorama of contemporary productivity is very varied, moving on different stylistic fronts such as the nationalistic one (R. Coelho, 1891-1986), that of an original recovery of the folkloric tradition (F. Lopes-Graça, 1906-1994) and the structuralism (AJ Fernandes, 1906-1983). Among the composers of the following generations there were LF Pires, F. de Sousa, Á. Cassuto, AJ Santiago, E. Nunes. The pianist MJ Pires stands out among the Portuguese interpreters who have established themselves abroad.

● The most typical expression of Portuguese folk music is fado (➔ # 10132; ).

Portugal Music