I am a musicologist researching the popular entertainment and music in the Portuguese Empire. I am especially interested in the ways a mass leisure culture was created and linked to the ideas of nation and cosmopolitanism. The way technologies such as recorded sound and film interacted with the urban auditory landscape under the sway of modernity is also an important part of my work, which studies how boundaries between the stage, the city’s streets and the home were crossed by an ever-changing musical repertoire. Theatrical songs, urban popular music, traditional music, film music and dance music were commodified in several media and became part of Lisbon’s everyday life, revealing a constant negotiation between local, regional, and transnational styles. Moreover, I study the role intermediality played in making popular entertainment ubiquitous.


Newcastle University — Ph.D in Music, 2008-2012

Universidade Nova de Lisboa — BA (Honours) and Masters in Music, 1999-2006

Other Publications

“Portugal, Mechanised Entertainment, and the Second Industrial Revolution,” in Massimiliano Sala (ed.), Music and the Second Industrial Revolution (Turnhout: Brepols, 2019), 57-80.

“Coming to grips with modernity: Lisbon’s Soundscape from 1864 to 1908”, in Ian Biddle and Kirsten Gibson (eds), Cultural Histories of Noise, Sound and Listening in Europe, 1300–1918 (Oxford/NY: Routledge, 2017), 235-252.

Entertaining Lisbon: Music, Theater, and Modern Life in the Late 19th Century (Oxford/NY: Oxford University Press, 2016).

“The Portuguese cançoneta and early phonography,” in Pekka Gronow, Christiane Hofer, Frank Wonnenberg (eds.), Contributions to the History of the Record Industry (Viena: Gesellschaft für Historische Tonträger, 2016), 36-45.

“Mechanical instruments and phonography: The Recording Angel of historiography”, Radical Musicology, 6 (2012-13). http://www.radical-musicology.org.uk/2012/DaSilva.htm

Blog Posts

    Joao Silva

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