“Playback”: The RTP Song Contest and the Music Production and Mediation in Portugal (1964-2014)

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Held by Portuguese Public Television Broadcast – RTP – since 1964, RTP Song Contest (RTPSC) has been a promoter for composition and an important platform for mediation of discourses on music, identity, and politics. Being the longest-running music and television show in Portugal, RTPSC has been annually organized to choose the Portuguese entry at Eurovision Song Contest, representing the country for millions of viewers. Considering the small dimension of Portuguese music industry, authors and singers recognize on RTP Song Contest a platform to improve their careers at national level, an opportunity to boost the national market rather than an international chance. Encompassing the most important moments of Portuguese history from dictatorship to democracy, passing through European integration, RTPSC witnessed, reflected and also influenced social and political changes and anxieties. Observing the social network created over this Contest, it is possible to map out different postures on social, artistic, and aesthetic issues and as well as stances about the role of music in television as identity and memory shaper and mediator. RTPSC is simultaneously time suspension, since it lays on national narratives and memories, and it is time change since it accompanied external influences. My research work analyzes the RTPSC’s role on music creation and mediation in Portugal during fifty years, observing its relation with music industry. To do this, I analyze the postures of several actors about music as a vehicle for diverse perspectives, tracing social networks lied on various ideologies that shaped music creation and the contest itself.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2017
EventHildesheim: Ninth International Doctoral Workshop in Ethnomusicology - University of Hildesheim & Hanover University of Music, Hildesheim
Duration: 27 Jun 201730 Jun 2017


ConferenceHildesheim: Ninth International Doctoral Workshop in Ethnomusicology


  • Portuguese Public Television (RTP)
  • RTP Song Contest (RTPSC)
  • Eurovision Song Contest
  • music show
  • television show
  • music creation
  • mediation


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