The sounds of Braga Part I

The instruments, popular art and rythms of the Portuguese city of medieval origin

Facade of the Chordophone Museum (21th Century) by Tatiane RodriguesVirtual Museum of Lusophony

Braga is a city that has a long tradition and the same time is home to a young population with multiple origins. Music is one of the artistic areas of greatest impact and representation, through teaching, the number of bands and musical groups, festivals, the origin of musical instruments.

In the first part of 'The Sounds of Braga', we show the Cordophones Museum, located in Tebosa, a small town in the municipality of Braga, a word reference in the handmade production of string instruments typical of region such 'violas braguesas', 'cavaquinhos', 'beiroas', guitars. Domingos Machado, responsible for the creation of the workshop and the museum, is considered the 'king of cavaquinho', due to the international prominence he gained in the manufacture of traditional strings.

Working table (21th Century) by Tatiane RodriguesVirtual Museum of Lusophony

It was at the workshop that Domingos Machado started to manufacture his first instruments with his father. With technical rigor, Machado worked hours a day to produce and then his father sold 'cavaquinhos' and 'violas braguesas' at fairs.

Forgotten Guitars (21th Century) by Tatiane RodriguesVirtual Museum of Lusophony

Over the years, Machado collected the numerous instruments the passed through the workshop. Each viola has its own history. In this room, the violin in the upper right corner was overlooked by army officer who was shot in the leg in Angola and served the troops of the April 25 Revolution. He left the instrument since the end of the Revolution and did not return to pick it up.

Machado is known as the 'king of the cavaquinho' (21th Century) by Tatiane RodriguesVirtual Museum of Lusophony

Machado started to gain international fame for the manufacture of instruments and became known as “king of cavaquinho”. He tells a little bit about the history of the Braga instrument that was taken to Madeira (‘Braguinha’), Brazil, Cape Verde and Hawaii (‘Ukulele’).

Machado and the 'cavaquinho' (21th Century) by Tatiane RodriguesVirtual Museum of Lusophony

In addition to the construction and repair of string instruments, Machado learned to play through sound and did know the notes. He performs the ‘cavaquinho’ from Braga, the same model he made to the ex-Beatle, George Harrison. Other great names in string music also visited there, Amália Rodrigues, Donovan, António Chainho, Paulinho da Viola, Roberto Corrêa, among others.

Pieces from the collection (21th Century) by Tatiane RodriguesVirtual Museum of Lusophony

The collection

In 1995, he created the museum with three exhibition rooms. Today, it has a collection of more 100 instruments. In this room it is possible to follow the construction phases of a ‘cavaquinho’.

'Cavaquinho' (21th Century) by Tatiane RodriguesVirtual Museum of Lusophony

The construction of instrument in stages.

Typical Portuguese 'Violas' (21th Century) by Tatiane RodriguesVirtual Museum of Lusophony

Domingos shows typical Portuguese ‘violas braguesas’ ‘Requintinha’, ‘Requinta’ and normal. There is also, in Minho, ‘Viola Amarantina’, with two hearts.

Classic guitars (21th Century) by Tatiane RodriguesVirtual Museum of Lusophony

In this room are classical guitars. Here there are fado guitars from Porto, Coimbra and Lisbon (the last four from left to the right).

Some classic 'violas' (21th Century) by Tatiane RodriguesVirtual Museum of Lusophony

It is possible to see in this space, Classical Violas, Bass Viola, Rythmical Viola, Fado Violas and Banjos.

Chordophones offered to the Museum (21th Century) by Tatiane RodriguesVirtual Museum of Lusophony

Domingos also has an area for cordophones that were offered to them. There are instruments like the Kora from Africa, Sitar and Dilruba from India and others.

Replicas of instruments (21th Century) by Tatiane RodriguesVirtual Museum of Lusophony

There are replicas of Baroque Viola, the first Portuguese guitar and the Dulcimer used in the Middle Ages in Portugal, built by Machado from projects that were taken to him.

Museum documents (21th Century) by Tatiane RodriguesVirtual Museum of Lusophony

The museum also has a series of papers and digital documents as master’s dissertations and doctoral theses, CDs, where the entire the history and legacy of Domingos Machado in the world of strings is present.

Domingos Machado (21th Century) by Tatiane RodriguesVirtual Museum of Lusophony

“It is always good to learn to play an instrument. If you are lucky to reach old age, it is one of things that helps to pass the time. We must maintain activity as long as we can. It is a message that I say to young people who pass by”, says “the king of cavaquinho” from Braga.

Violin in the atelier (21th Century) by Tatiane RodriguesVirtual Museum of Lusophony

Domingos Machado’s instrument workshop remains in full operation, receiving musicians, visitors daily and is led by his son, Alfredo Machado.

Credits: Story

Curatorship/b>: Tatiane Oliveira
Images/videos: Tatiane Oliveira

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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