Sounds of April in Portugal: Protest & Propaganda for Intercultural Education

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This article discusses ways of interpreting music sounds useful for the realm of Intercultural Education. The approach proposes a set of three core concepts basic to the human condition – mobility, complexity, versatility – and rather meaningful within the practice of Intercultural Education. As departing points it uses two metaphorical ideas associated with songs of Portuguese origin and multiple influences, which became strong symbols of identifiable political purposes: propaganda and protest. Armstrong’s release of April in Portugal (New York 1953) signaled a propaganda strategy of global scope in the aftermath of World War II. Many musicians and singers would perform the song, spread still today in the memories of many all over the world. The Portuguese revolution that ended the dictatorial regime in 1974 happened soundly, by coincidence, in April. The revolutionary forces involved used protest songs to awake the populations’ awareness, to signal the military actions for the coup d'etat and to educate the illiterate population in the new principles and practices afterwards. Both metaphors Sounds of April, as these revolutionary songs became known, and April in Portugal were associated with industrious and meaningful expressive behaviors that performed needed propaganda and protest roles of national and international scope. The deconstruction of these political roles, made slogans of different times, helps us to interpret inner processes of human relationships affected by governmental strategies, and to think about why and how to develop Intercultural Education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-278
Number of pages6
JournalMusic and Human Mobility. Redefining Community in Intercultural Context
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2015
Event4th RCIC Conference - Brasov, Brasov, Romania
Duration: 21 May 201523 May 2015


  • Louis Armstrong
  • Amália Rodrigues
  • José Afonso
  • Protest songs
  • Propaganda
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Intercultural Education
  • Music


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