Azores Folk Music – A Genre Worth Discovering

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Azores folk music is a genre that is often overlooked. However, it is a genre that is full of rich history and culture. If you are looking for something new to discover, then Azores folk music is definitely worth checking out!


The Azores are nine volcanic islands in the middle of the North Atlantic, about 1,500km from Lisbon. They are music-loving islands with a rich culture and a strong tradition of folklore. The music of the Azores is very distinctive and is worth discovering.

The folk music of the Azores is based on the traditional music of Portugal, but it has been influenced by other genres, such as fado, Brazilian samba and Caribbean calypso. The result is a unique musical style that is distinctly Azorean.

The instruments used in Azorean folk music include the accordion, fiddle, guitar and mandolin. The music is often lively and upbeat, with a strong rhythm that is perfect for dancing.

What is Azores Folk Music?

Azores Folk music is a style of music that is native to the Azores Islands. This type of music has a unique sound that is a mix of Portuguese, African, and Brazilian influences. The music is usually upbeat and lively, and it often features instruments such as the fado guitar, cavaquinho, and mandolin.

The History of Azores Folk Music

Azores folk music is a genre that has its roots in the island’s history and culture. The music is a mix of Portuguese, African, and Brazilian influences. It is characterized by its use of acoustic instruments, such as the guitar, mandolin, viola, and accordion. The melodies are often happy and upbeat, making Azores folk music perfect for dancing.

The history of Azores folk music can be traced back to the early days of the Portuguese settlement on the island of Terceira. In the 16th century, the Portuguese brought African slaves to work in the island’s sugarcane plantations. These slaves brought with them their own musical traditions, which blended with the existing Portuguese music to create a new genre. This new genre continued to evolve over the centuries, being influenced by other genres such as European classical music and Brazilian popular music.

Today, Azores folk music is enjoyed by both locals and tourists alike. If you’re visiting the Azores Islands, be sure to listen for this unique genre of music!

The Instruments Used in Azores Folk Music

Azores folk music is a genre that is not very well known outside of the Azores islands, but it is a genre worth discovering. The music is typically characterized by its use of traditional instruments, such as the fiddle, the accordion, and the guitar. Other instruments that may be used in Azores folk music include the cavaquinho (a small Portuguese guitar), the piano, and the mandolin.

The Different Styles of Azores Folk Music

The Azores are a group of nine volcanic islands in the middle of the North Atlantic, about 1,500 km (930 mi) west of continental Portugal. These islands have a subtropical climate and are known for their lush vegetation and dramatic landscapes. The people of the Azores are known for their warmth, hospitality, and traditional music.

Azores folk music is a genre that is not well-known outside of the islands, but it is a unique and beautiful style of music worth discovering. There are three different types of folk music on the Azores: bailes, cantares de colheita, and cantares de roda.

Bailes are social dances that were brought to the island by Portuguese immigrants. These dances are usually done in pairs or small groups, and they often have a fast tempo. The most popular type of bailes on the Azores is the quadrilha, which is similar to square dancing in North America.

Cantares de colheita are songs that were traditionally sung by farmers while they were working in the fields. These songs usually have slow tempos and simple melodies. Most cantares de colheita deal with themes such as love, nature, and religion.

Cantares de roda are songs that are sung in a circle of people holding hands. These songs often have more complex melodies than cantares de colheita, and they usually deal with topics such as history or heroes.

Where to Hear Azores Folk Music

There are a few places where you can hear Azores folk music if you’re interested in discovering this hidden gem of a genre. One is at the Azores Folk Music Festival, which is held every year in Ponta Delgada, the capital city of São Miguel Island. another place to hear Azores folk music is at one of the many local restaurants or bars that feature live music. Azorean folk music is also sometimes played on the radio, and there are a few CDs of this type of music available for purchase.


In conclusion, if you’re looking for something new and exciting in the world of music, we highly recommend checking out Azores folk music. This genre is truly unique, and its rich history and cultural influences make it a truly fascinating listening experience. Whether you’re looking for something to dance to or simply enjoy as background music, Azores folk music is sure to please.

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