The Portuguese Cuitar

The current version of the Portuguese guitar, improved since 20th century, is an evolution of the old one that comes from the medieval cittern.

It is an instrument that has diverse singular aspects to identify it: Its singular form (this is a pyriform instrument), its timbre and its decorative elements pertaining to the Portuguese craft. A special technique is required to be able to produce its sound and its unmistakable lament.

Its actual characteristics are the result of a long collaboration between artisans and artists, it allowed its improvement until the present moment, differentiating two models: the Lisbon guitar and the Coimbra ones.

In Fado, and in another kinds of music in general, the Portuguese guitar is accompanied by the viola (an old name that survives in Portugal and Brazil still today, (in Brazil is called violao), of the universally called guitar.)

It is a very emotional instrument. The symbiosis between the player and the item played is almost perfect, for this reason, great artists like Carlos Gonçalves makes us to discover the transformation in which the item played goes beyond our sensitivity and also to the own player ones, being reversed in this way the normal configuration.

Is this indescribable and supreme attitude of devotion that we can see in Carlos Gonçalves.


Carlos Gonçalves and the Portuguese Guitar

Carlos Gonçalves is one of the best living Portuguese guitar players. He has an own musicality confirmed in his great work like author, and also a very specific technique for the exploration of the Portuguese guitar musical universe sound, without concessions to modernisms of doubtful quality.

His authenticity is proved by his permanent defence of traditional techniques, with a continuous pedagogical activity with the Portuguese guitar and also, for the great number of qualified players to whom he has formed.

Carlos Gonçalves is a follower of the great Portuguese guitar players who were called “The gold generation” at the beginning of the XX century. The reference of that generation without doubt was Armando Freire (1889-1946) more known like Armandinho. From the coexistence with Armandinho born the great names of “The gold generation”: Jaime Santos, Jose Nunes, Francisco Carvalhinho, Raul Nery, Fontes Rocha...