Cape Verde Music

By | August 12, 2020


The majority of the population of Cape Verde, which remained uninhabited until the second half of the 15th century, are Creole of mixed European (mainly Portuguese) and African origin. This is reflected in the music, which has elements from both Portuguese and Brazilian as well as African music and is usually sung in the Creole language Creole. The emergence of a domestic culture, including some kind of profane music, was countered before the independence of the Portuguese colonial power and the Catholic church.

  • Countryaah: Population and demographics of Cape Verde, including population pyramid, density map, projection, data, and distribution.

The most well-known genre is the mother, who has a relationship with Portuguese fado and Brazilian modinha. Melodies in minor ones carry texts that often have a longing and lack, as a theme for a beloved person or homeland. Traditionally, string ensembles of various sizes stand for the accompaniment, with one or more guitars, often violin and sometimes bass, piano and accordion. Another common instrument is the four-string guitar cavaquinho. Since the 1960’s there have also been wind instruments, electric guitars and drums. The most famous composer in the genre is Eugénio Tavares (1867-1930). Another important composer is B. Leza (really Francisco Xavier da Cruz, 1905–58). He was the uncle of the country’s most famous artistCesária Évora, who received an international breakthrough in the 1980’s. Other prominent maternal singers are Bana (actually Andriano Conçalves, born 1932), Ildo Lobo (1953-2004) and Nancy Viera (born 1975). Mention may also be made of the equilibristic multi-instrumentalist Travadinha (actually Antonio Vincente Lopes, dead 1987). Mom is also a dance.

The dance music coladeira is faster and more rhythmically oriented than the mothers. Well-known practitioners are Frank Cavaquim and Manuel de Novas (1938–2009) and the group Os Tubarões. Although African rhythms make themselves known in Cape Verde music overall, they are particularly prominent in the genre of funaná. The most important instrument in this early country dance music is accordion. Kodé di Dona (actually Gregório Vaz; 1940–2010) is the most well-known representative of this more original version. After independence, the genre was developed by bands such as Bulimundo and Finaçon, whose mix of funaná and coladeira is called funacola. Folk music style batuque is traditionally performed by women with improvised lyrics.

Among the most famous artists in the country are Bau (really Rufino Almeida; born 1962), the groups Cabo Verde Show and Simentera and singer Tété Alhinho (born 1956). A large number of musicians originating in Cape Verde are active in the US, for example. The Mendes Brothers and Sãozinha Fonseca, which include released a record of songs by Eugénio Tavares.

Cape Verde Arts and Literature