An approach to music criticism in Portugal in the second half of the nineteenth century

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


In Portugal, the establishment of a public opinion was only possible after the definitive instauration of the liberal regime, which would happen at the second half of the nineteen century, at queen Maria’s ii reign (between 1834 and 1853). The establishment of a public opinion and the abolishment of censorship made way to the spread of the press. In consequence there were more people reading newspapers and more readers were interested in knowing about the artistic life. Some newspapers, such as A Revolução de Setembro (1840), began to include articles about music with pedagogical and informative purposes. We also assist to the birth of specialized press, dedicated to theatrical subjects but with some pages about musical activity, like A Sentinella do Palco: semanário theatral (1840), Revista Universal Lisbonense (1841) and O Trovador: jornal musical, litterario e de variedades (1855). This last one was one of the first periodicals where we can find articles that can be defined as music criticism (more than give information about the music, is made a review of the music interpretation or of the performance). Only years later do we find the launching of specialized music periodicals that last more than a few numbers: one of the first was Amphion (1884), followed by A arte musical (1899) a decade later. It’s also at the last years of the nineteen century that the figure of the composer-critic becomes more common. In this paper, I pretend to present some ideas about the first attempts of music criticism in Portugal by questioning who writes music criticism and how it was established. In particular I will focus at the contents and contributors of O Trovador: jornal musical, litterario e de variedades.

Period10 Nov 201512 Nov 2015
Event titleInternational Conference Nineteenth-Century Music Criticism
Event typeConference
LocationLucca, Italy
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Portugal
  • século XIX
  • Crítica musical