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Sound and Visual Studies of an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

With Choirs of Alentejano from

Serpa, Cuba, Pias, Vidigueira, ...

Cante Alentejano is a joint production of the depts. Sound Design and Film Directing at the department unit of Time Based Media / Zeitbasierte Medien (B.A./ M.A.) Hochschule Mainz – University of Applied Sciences


in collaboration with

Faculdade de Belas-Artes - Universidade de Lisboa*


supported by

Nachwuchsmedienförderung Rheinland-Pfalz

Institut für Mediengestaltung – img

DAAD – German Academic Exchange Service

The Production Group:

Maxime Pillip, Julia Pavic, Anastasyia Tronina, Susanne Wöll, Onur Bilmen, Paulo Ferreira-Lopes, Jan Glück, Tim Hartrick, Hartmut Jahn, Johann Oeding, Leif Plath, Jan Weidenfeller


N.N., Uwe Zentgraf

Assistant and Web-Design

Jan Glück 

Artistic Directors 

Prof. Dr. Paulo Ferreira-Lopes

Prof. Dr. Antonio Sousa Dias

Prof. Hartmut Jahn 

Anker 1


Time Based Media/Zeitbasierte Medien Hochschule Mainz,

Wallstraße 11

Anker 2


... is a special, regional singing-style that is handed down and performed in choral ensembles. The emergence of cante can be historically linked to the economic situation in southern Portugal in the Middle Ages. The agricultural economy of the region was characterized by large estates and migrant labour. Most of the rural population made their living from seasonal field work. They sang both during work, on their way to and from work - and after work in the tavern.

The songs usually consist of two parts, a kind of stanza, which is usually started by a soloist alone. A second voice usually leads this into the chorale with a short upbeat. They all sing together. The melody is monophonic, which means that there is no division into different pitches. However, all singers sing in the pitch that is most comfortable for them. This creates a micro- and polytonal fanning out of the singing melody: the individual voices are often dissonant with one another, but merge through the common harmonic movement.


In terms of content, the songs deal with personal as well as individual and social issues. Love and pain are common theme, as well as economic inequality and alienation. For example, "Grandola, Vila Morena" (Grandola, City of Fraternity), a piece in the style of Cante Alentejano, was the starting signal for the Carnation Revolution.

The song, that serenades the town of Grandola in modern Alentejo and was banned under the Salazar dictatorship, was agreed upon as a signal by the carnation revolutionaries. Its broadcast on the radio informed the whole country about the completed organization of the military and their readiness to overthrow the regime. There are songs with comparable content for almost every village and town in the Alentejo.


Choirs of    

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