Chants and "Cramol"

The polyphonic chorales of Arouca are about simple things and have a solemnity that exceeds any lyrical simplicity. They are very old chants that have been preserved, mainly, by women. They are sung by women, and a simple quatrain is a solemn declaration of a beauty difficult to explain. It is like time was condensed in the throats of this women; the past of generations follows them and turns something that seems ordinary and obvious into something sublime.

These polyphonic chorales are known as “Chants” when they are sung at two voices, and “Cramol” when sung at three voices, although they can assume other names as “crooning”.

The voices can also have different names, such as “rasoilo, medium and low” or “falsetto and bassoon”.  The act of singing in the superior voice is called “botar” and women are called “botadeiras”.