quarta-feira, 6 de janeiro de 2010


So, having the south of Portugal shortly covered and after showing you a bit of It´s most peculiar song style, It´s time to show  you a bit about the North. Let me just remind you that this is just  a sort of a taste of an immense musical culture that as been around for hundreads, even thousands of years. As a feedback we could say that the typical Alentejo singing is currently in good health and this is only because there is this "THING" called tourism. And Alentejo is still providing a lot of it´s culture trough the gift of song and some other appealing "GIFTS" such as It´s typical  cuisine and rural tourism, since Alentejo is a place that is still very appealing for Nature lovers and being a rural place some claim that it´s a perfect spot to relax . But  "IT´S NOT MY INTENTION" to hand you some sort of tourist guide Panflet. I´m doing this because I believe there is a real cultural need to do so, since so much as been lost over the years and unfortunately in the future all that will  remain will be this incomplete "TOURIST BROCHURE" of what is Portugal´s culture. And I´m just covering a centesimal part of It´s immense musical culture. That´s why names like ( Michel Giacometti ) will always remain dear to me.       
The North -Here we are entering in a much more complex  and detailed issue since the north of Portugal is geographically different. To speak about music in detail we must also reach inside a bit of Portugal´s history.(I will make this as short as possible, i promise !). Now as anyone that is fond of WAR GAMES  will tell you the soldier that occupies higher ground is always in advantage with the soldier that occupies lower ground.  That is a simple matter  of gravity. Picture that you are a soldier fighting in a medieval war and you are trying to occupie a fort that is on the top of a hill. Well let´s just say that a lot of big stones arrows and other pointy things would find It´s direction towards you much easier way than the other way around. I´ve never seen a rock running up a hill , have you ?.So what does Militar strategy as anything to do with Music genres ?, you may ask. Well, allow me to explain !Like I´ve told you earlier when we were covering the south of Portugal my country had over the centuries a lot of influences from other cultures such as the Moorish Culture and many centuries before that the Romans were also leaving their foot prints all over the Iberian Peninsula. That is Portugal and Spain, when they weren´t even countries "per se". Because the formation of a country usually takes many centuries to built. And with Portugal And Spain this was no exception.
But let me make it short before I give you an extensive history lesson. Let´s just say to summarize that over the centuries the People in the North of Portugal  had a real big advantage military speaking because of the numerous hills and  mountainous country side that characterize this part of the region. And that translates in Cultural matter because a group of people that isn´t overruned and conquered by a bunch of foreigners every two centuries or so, as the ability to perserve a lot of It´s original Culture . If you are fond of history , especially Portuguese history you may get a small taste of what I´m telling you by reading some of Viriato´s accomplishments. But this is the 21st century, and like all things times have evolved and we become more and more similar to one another and unless you are an historian or a person that wants to preserve a bit of your culture past, well let´s just say that all old things wither and die. Fortunately all over Europe a Fenomenon is occurring. And that is the appearance of Folk music festivals. Where you can listen to a lot of the best traditional musical performances that thank God doesn´t fit in the MTV genre. And if you think that bagpipes are an exclusive toy of the Scottish people, well think again. In Portugal  we had them too way up North. Today small groups of people are trying to preserve a bit of the past trough hard work and perseverance. Among these is a really hot band called "RONCOS DO DIABO",which roughly translated into English means something like The Devil´s growl. Above you can listen to a little bit of their performance. LET me know what you thought of it !.

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