Introduction: A perfect musical storm
Portugal has very good music!
A number of highly unusual circumstances have combined to bring this about.
Portugal has had an eventful past. Portugal was the first European country to set up an overseas empire, and the last to leave its far-flung colonies. This took a revolution to achieve. So Portugal today is also a post-revolutionary society.
This is in the same way as the United States rather than Russia or Cuba, but the changes made in the period 1974 to 1975 have had deep effects on Portugal's institutions and culture - including especially music. And the effects continue to this day.
It should be said immediately that Portugal is a perfectly normal western society now. It's in the EU, NATO etc, it has an open economy, music festivals, surfers, a big tourist industry, a lot of personal freedom and a low crime rate. But it did have a very significant revolution in the period 1974 to 1975.
From a musical point of view this had a major impact, because of what went before as much as what came afterwards. Several active streams of popular folk music have been preserved right into the modern era. And their influence lives on, as they have been creatively combined with imported mainstream popular music.
Preserved in a fascist time warp
What came before the Revolution was a repressive dictatorship that went right back into the fascist era of the 1920s and 1930s.
Portugal's home-grown dictator Salazar helped Franco to power in Spain. Though staying formally neutral, he also assisted Germany with war materials (principally Tungsten) in