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Corte-Real Carvalho, Maria de Sao Jose (saojose@fcsh.unl.pt)

Retention of Musical Models: Fado Performance among Portuguese Migrants in New York

MA, Columbia University, New York, 1991

Subject to the academic advice of Dieter Christensen, this analysis of Fado performance among Portuguese migrants in New York from 1988 to 1991 points to insightful perspectives on the construction of group ethnic identity processes, on the discussion of nationalism and Fado, and on the quest for the understanding of Fado phenomenon as a complex performing Portuguese representation at home and abroad. The text includes a characterization of the migrant repertoire, by name and Fado category, with references to literary format and musical form. Musical transcriptions are provided for some interpretive details as well as for some old Fado formulae such as Fado Menor and Fado João Maria dos Anjos among others.

Fieldwork carried both in the United States and in Portugal provides information for the comparison of performing contexts. New trends within the current situation of Fado performance in Lisbon are considered respectively on the revival of the tradition and on the introduction of innovation. Some results from an extended interview with the great singer Amália Rodrigues, point to interpretive and stylistic features of Fado identity, and for political implications of Fado performance to be object of future research. It includes a list of migrant Fado performing places around New York, as well as a comprehensive bibliography on Fado, with references to it in the literature since the 19th century.