The beginning of "Cante Alentejano" is strongly linked to rural classes that were dissatisfied with work, or with the devaluation of professions, etc. We can consider it as a popular manifestation characteristic of the various counties in the district of Beja, more precisely the region of Baixo Alentejo.
It is sung in chorus and without musical instruments, by groups of men and / or women who alternate their voices, with two solo voices (point and high). The verses are repeated, as many times as necessary (according to each song) and are sung slowly and spaced out, which concerns a certain monotony, but so beautiful for the ears.
Cante is not only made of sad songs and discontent, as there are also happy lyrics with an ironic or humorous touch.
Because it is so unique and genuine, it was recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The initiative for the candidacy came from the Municipality of Serpa together with the Regional Tourism Authority of Alentejo.
Currently, it is the choral groups, some of them over 100 years old, that represent and maintain this tradition. However, in the past it was in informal contexts that these Alentejo fashions were sung, during work in the field, or in moments of conviviality and celebration. They are lyrics that talk about feelings and everyday moments.
Did you know that the first choral group appeared in 1926?
He was associated with workers in the Minas de São Domingos, which are now closed, an initiative followed by a second group in Serpa, in 1927.