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Morna (Portuguese for mild) is a genre of Cape Verdean music, closely related to the Portuguese fado and Brazilian modinha . Lyrics are usually in Portuguese Creole, and instrumentation include cavaquinho, clarinet, accordion, violin and guitar. Though often compared to the blues, there is no historical connection between the genres, though there are coincidental similarities.
The best know morna singer is Cesária Évora from Săo Vicente Island, who sings in the Portuguese Creole of Săo Vicente. Her "Sodade" was her first hit, the first hit for a non-French song in France and the beginning of worldwide fame for morna. The term saudade is a complex and not-easily translateable term, roughly equivalent to homesickness but also connoting nostalgia, sadness and regret; the presence of sodade is considered vital for singers of both morna and fado.
Morna is believed to have been invented on Boa Vista and Mindelo Bay , before spreading to the rest of the country and producing the first major performers, like Manuel de Novas and B. Leza . In later years, Os Tubaroes brought Cape Verdean music to the rest of the world, setting the stage for the rise of performers like Évora and Maria Alice . Morna and other varieties of Verdean music are also played in immigrant communities abroad, especially Rhode Island and Connecticut.
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