Fado (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈfaðu], "destiny, fate") is a music genre which can be traced to the 1820s in Portugal, but probably with much earlier origins. Fado historian and scholar Rui Vieira Nery states that "the only reliable information on the history of Fado was orally transmitted and goes back to the 1820s and 1830s at best. But even that information was frequently modified within the generational transmission process that made it reach us today." In popular belief, fado is a form of music characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor, and infused with a characteristic sentiment of resignation, fatefulness and melancholia (loosely captured by the word saudade, or "longing"). However, although the origins are difficult to trace, today fado is regarded, by many, as simply a form of song which can be about anything, but must follow a certain structure. The music is usually linked to the Portuguese word saudade which symbolizes the feeling of loss (a permanent, irreparable loss and its consequent lifelong damage). Famous singers of fado include Amália Rodrigues, Carlos do Carmo, Mariza, Mafalda Arnauth, Ana Moura and Cristina Branco.
On 27 November 2011, Fado was inscribed in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.
The Portuguese guitar or Portuguese guitarra (Portuguese: guitarra portuguesa) is a plucked string instrument with twelve steel strings, strung in six courses comprising two strings each. It is one of the few musical instruments to still use the so-called Preston tuners. It is most notably associated with fado.