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Did you know? - Snippet about Portuguese Political Songs

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Zeca Afonso (Protest and Political singer)
Zeca Afonso (Protest and Political singer)

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Written by  Staff Writer
Thursday, 03 August 2017 12:00

Political songs (canções de intervenção) played an important part in the protests against the totalitarian regime that ruled Portugal from 1926 up to the 1974 revolution. Once it was created as an object to criticize what was wrong, mainly in a political point of view.

One of its main protagonists was José (Zeca) Afonso (1929-1987) but others also contributed to its development, for example Adriano Correia de Oliveira, José Mário Branco, Luís Cilia, Francisco Fanhais, José Jorge Letria, José Barata Moura and Sérgio Godinho.

They traced a new course for urban popular music and influenced a further generation of musicians, some of whom also participated in the protest movement and are still active, including Fausto, Vitorino, Janita Salomé and Júlio Pereira, among others. This musical style reflects a confluence of influences from traditional music, French urban popular songs of the 1960s, African music and Brazilian popular music.

By the late 1970s the revolutionary climate had subsided and the need to express political militancy through song was no longer felt by poets, composers and singers, who subsequently redefined both their role and their creative contribution.

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