The "Funaná" (pronunciation in IPA: /funɐ'na/) is a music and dance genre from Cape Verde. "Funaná" is an accordion-based music genre. It is perhaps the most upbeat form of Cape Verdean music and bears a great resemblance to American zydecoFact|date=January 2008. The rhythm is usually provided by the "ferrinho" (much like the rhythmic use of washboards in zydeco).


As a music genre, the "funaná" is characterized by having a variable tempo, from "vivace" to "andante", and a 2-beat rhythm. The "funaná" is intimately associated to the accordion, more precisely to the diatonic accordion, commonly known as "gaita" in Cape Verde. This influences a lot of musical aspects that characterize the "funaná", such as, the fact that, in its most traditional form, the funaná uses only diatonic scalesGonçalves, C. F., "Kab Verd Band" — 2006] , and not chromatic ones.

The structure of a "funaná" composition is not very different than the structure of other musical genres in Cape Verde, i.e., basically the music is structured through a set of main strophes that alternate with a refrain. The main difference is that between the different strophes and the refrain there is a solo played on the accordion. The music is generally monotonic.

The accompaniment is made with the left hand on the accordion, providing a bass and the chords. The rhythmic model is played on the "ferrinho".

The melodic line of the "funaná" varies a lot through the composition, with a lot of series of ascending and descending notes. The "funaná" singers occasionally use the "sforzando" technique in certain notes, specially if they are long (imitation of the accordion?).

The lyrics of the "funaná" generally talk about everyday situations, mentioning the sores and the happiness of quotidian life, but they also talk about social criticism, reflections about life and idyllic situations. Recent composers however have expanded the themes. Another characteristic of "funaná" is that the lyrics are not made in a direct way, but frequently use figures of speech, proverbs and popular sayings. Example:

That requires a good knowledge of popular culture and language, and that’s why recent compositions, compositions from younger authors or compositions from authors with little contact with popular culture do not always use this poetry technique.

Concerning instrumentation, in its most traditional form, the "funaná" only uses the accordion and the "ferrinho". With the stylization and electrification other instruments are used: the rhythm provided by the "ferrinho" is made on a drum set together with other percussion instruments (a shaker or a cabasa); the bass/accompaniment played on the accordion is replaced by a bass guitar and an electric guitar; the melody played on the accordion is replaced by a synthesizer. By the end of the 90’s, there is a certain revival where the unplugged (acoustic) performances are sought after, in which electronic instruments are relegated in favor to authentic accordions and "ferrinhos".

As a dance

As a dance, "funaná" is a couple dance, with the partners embracing each other with an arm while with the other arm they hold on the hands together. The dance is made through alternated quick and strong inflexions of each knee, marking the beats of the rhythm. In the more rural way of dancing, the bodies are slightly inclined to the front (having shoulder contact), and the feet lift off the ground. In the more urban way of dancing, more stylized, the bodies are more vertical (having chest contact), and the feet drag on the ground.


The "funaná" is a relatively recent musical genre. According to the oral traditionVeiga, A. G., "Badjo di Gaita na Ilha de Santiago", in "Voz di Povo" — edições de 14 e 23 de Agosto de 1982] , the "funaná" appeared when, in an attempt of acculturation, the accordion would have been introduced in Santiago island in the beginning of the XXth century, in order to the population to learn Portuguese musical genres. The result, however, would have been completely different: it would be the creation of a new and genuine music genre. There aren’t, nevertheless, musicological documents to prove that. Even so, it’s still curious the fact that, even being a totally different musical genre, the usage of the accordion and the ferrinho in the "funaná" is analogous to the usage of the accordion and the triangle in certain Portuguese folk music genres (malhão, corridinho, vira, etc.)

Other sources, also from oral tradition, trace back an other origin. They place the origins of the "funaná" in the increase of accordion importations as a cheap substitute for organs to play religious music. The "funaná" would have then appeared as an adaptation for the accordion of other musical genres that were in vogue then.

The name “"funaná"” itself is also recent, and dates back probably from the 60’s and 70’s. For some, the word derives from the Portuguese word “"fungagá"”. For others the name comes from the merging of the names of two great players, one of accordion and the other of "ferrinho", named Funa and Naná. The older words for designating the "funaná"Fernandes, A. N., "O dialecto crioulo — Léxico do dialecto crioulo do Arquipélago de Cabo Verde" — 1969] were “"fuc-fuc"” and “"badju l’ gaita"”.

Initially a genre exclusively from Santiago, for a long time the "funaná" was relegated to a rural context and/or for the less favourished social classes. It has even been forbidden its performance in the capital, where it was the "morna" that had a more prestigious and noble character.

But during the 70’s, and mostly after the independence, there had been essays of reviving certain musical genres, among them the "funaná". The post-independence socialist ideology, with its struggle against the social classes differences, was a fertile field for the (re)birth of the "funaná"Martins, C. A., "Funaná, a maior conquista" in Tribuna — Dezembro de 1986] . These essays weren’t successful mostly because “the "funaná" couldn’t step away from the "coladeira"”Fact|date=March 2008.

It was necessary to wait for the 80’s in order the band Bulimundo and specially its mentor Carlos Alberto Martins (a.k.a. Catchás) make a true revival of the "funaná". Going to “drink” directly to the source (inner Santiago island), Catchás profited his jazz and classical music knowledgeFact|date=March 2008 to make up a new style of playing the "funaná", leaning in electric and electronic instruments, that would influence nearly all artists from now on. Thanks to the success of Bulimundo, the "funaná" was exported to all the islands in Cape Verde. Today, the "funaná" is no longer seen as a genre exclusively from Santiago, being composed, performed and appreciated by people from all the islands"Funaná — O cartão de Visita de Cabo Verde" in Fragata, n.º 10 — Janeiro de 1996] .

If the 80’s were the years of the spreading of the "funaná" within Cape Verde, the 90’s were the years of the internationalization. The band Finaçon, born from a split of the band Bulimundo, was one of the responsible for the internationalization of this genre, thanks to a contract with a renowned foreign record label. Not only the "funaná" had become known internationally, but it is also performed by musical bands abroad, being cape verdean bands or not.

Concerning musical techniques there are no big innovations to the “Catchás’ style”, maybe perhaps only regarding the instrumentation (the possibilities of electronic instruments are explored). We can also notice, in this period, the excessive commercialization and banalization of the "funaná". For instance, during a certain year, there has been an attempt of disclosing the "funaná" in France. That attempt was not successful because "funaná" was sold as a kind of “summer in-vogue music” (right after the lambada), and not exploring the ethno-musical particularities of the "funaná".

By the end of the 90’s, we can assist to a return to the roots, where the bands prefer to perform with authentic accordions and "ferrinhos" (occasionally a bass, a drum set and/or a guitar is added). One of the leading bands of this new vague is the band Ferro Gaita.


The "funaná" has several variants, not all of them well known and not all of them known by its true name. Here is the description of some:

"Funaná kaminhu di férru"

This is the most known variant of the "funaná". Generally when the word “"funaná"” is used alone it refers to this variant which is the one that is more successful, specially in dancing. It is a variant that reminds a march but with a "vivace" tempo.

"Funaná maxixi"

The name of this variant probably comes from the musical genre "maxixe" that was once in vogue in Cape Verde. It is a variant that looks like the previous one, but with an allegro tempo.

"Funaná samba"

In spite of the name, this variant has no relationship with the present Brazilian genre samba. It seems to be an adaptation of the "lundum" to the accordion techniques. The tempo is slowerBrito, M., "Breves Apontamentos sobre as Formas Musicais existentes em Cabo Verde" — 1998] ("andante") and the rhythm is different than the other variants, it is quite similar to the "toada".

"Funaná morna"

Practically, it is not known by this name, it is more known as slow "funaná". It seems to be an adaptation of the "morna" to the accordion techniques, with an andante tempo. While during a long time it was the "morna" ("badju di viulinu") that enjoyed some prestige in urban contexts and noble dance rooms, in rural contexts a slower version of "funaná" ("badju di gaita") was developed in contraposition. Curiously, this variant has the same tempo as the Boa Vista "morna" and not the Brava "morna".

Examples of "funanás"

*"Funaná kaminhu di férru"
** “Djonsinho Cabral”, traditional
performed by Os Tubarões in the album “Djonsinho Cabral” (Ed. Os Tubarões, Ref. T-003 — 1978)
** “Sant’ Antoni la Belêm”, traditional
performed by Bulimundo in the album “Batuco” (Ed. Bulimundo, Ref. Lp 2233 — 1980)
** “Si manera” from Zeca di Nha Reinalda
performed by Finaçon in the album “Funaná” (Ed. Mélodie, Paris — 1990)
** “Matrialistas” from Kino Cabral
performed by Kino Cabral in the album “?” (Ed. ?, ? — 1992)
** “Moças di Mangui” from Eduíno, Chando Graciosa and Bitori Nha Bibinha
performed by Ferro Gaita in the album “Fundu Baxu” (Ed. ?, ? — 1997)
*"Funaná maxixi"
** “Canta cu alma sem ser magoado” from Pedro Rodrigues
performed by Bana in the album “Bana” (Ed. Discos Monte Cara, — 19??)
** “Pomba” from Codé di Dona
performed by Codé di Dona in the album “Codé di Dona” (Ed. Globe Music, ? — 1997)
** “Nôs cultura” from Eduíno
performed by Ferro Gaita in the album “Bandêra Liberdadi” (Ed. ?, ? — 2003)
** “Puxim Semedo” from Kaká di Lina and Eduíno
performed by Eduíno e Petcha in the album “Terra Terra Vol. 1” (Ed. ?, ? — 2007)
*"Funaná samba"
** “Fomi 47” from Codé di Dona
performed by Finaçon in the album “Rabecindadi” (Ed. ?, Lisbon — 1987)
** “Djentis d’ aságua” from Zezé di Nha Reinalda
performed by Zezé di Nha Reinalda in the album “Djentis d’ aságua” (Ed. ICL, Praia — 19??)
** “Codjeta” from Kaká Barbosa
performed by Simentera in the album “Raiz” (Ed. Mélodie, Paris — 1992)
*Slow "funaná"
** “Sema Lopi” from Sema Lopi
performed by Bulimundo in the album “Bulimundo” (Ed. Black Power Records, Rotterdam, Ref. L.P. 1943 — 1982; Reed. Sons d’África, Lisbon — 2005)
** “Pombinha Mansa” from ?
performed by Bulimundo in the album “Batuco” (Ed. Bulimundo, Ref. Lp 2233 — 1980)
** “Kortel di rabidanti” from Kaká Barbosa
performed by Zeca & Zezé di Nha Reinalda in the album “Konbersu’l tristi, korbu nha xintidu” (Ed. ?, Lisbon — 1983)
** “Li qu’ ê nha tchon” from Pedro Rodrigues
performed by Os Tubarões in the album “Bote, broce e linha” (Ed. ?, ? — 1990)


External links

* [ Breves Apontamentos sobre as Formas Musicais existentes em Cabo Verde]
* [ Música e Cabo-verdianos em Lisboa]

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