March 7, 2018
Ellen Gray, Associate Professor of Music, takes you inside the social and sonic worlds of Lisbon’s amateur fado scenes
Listening in Lisbon’s Fado Bars Ellen Gray (associate professor of music, Dickinson College) Fado, Portugal’s most celebrated genre of popular music, can be heard in Lisbon’s professional fado houses, concert halls, tourist sites, and amateur bars. A fado singer might sing a song of heartbreak until her “voice hurts”; the accompanying Portuguese guitar might vibrate a note, making it weep. In a pin drop silence, a listener might shout out with an exclamation of approval. In Lisbon’s small bars, where amateurs gather (often sharing a glass of wine), almost everyone is both a singer and a listener. Drawing on over a decade of ethnographic research on fado in Lisbon, Ellen Gray takes you inside the social and sonic worlds of Lisbon’s amateur fado scenes, exploring the implicit codes that govern fado singing and listening.