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Carlos Paredes (1925 - 2004)

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Carlos Paredes
Born in Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugalmap
Ancestors ancestors
Son of and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in Portugalmap
Profile last modified | Created 29 Jun 2018
This page has been accessed 38 times.
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Carlos Paredes was born on the 16th of February 1925 in Coimbra, Portugal. He was a virtuoso guitarist and composer.[1][2][3][4][5]

His father, Artur Paredes, and his grandfather, Goncalo Pardes played the Portuguese guitar. Carlos began learning to play the violin and piano when he was 4, and he taught himself how to play the guitar. At 11, he composed music for the Portuguese guitar.[2]

In 1993, at the age of 69, he developed a chronic myelopathy that prevented him from playing the guitar. [3]

During the week of his 77th birthday, he published an Anthology of his work.[3]

He passed away on the 23rd of July 2004 in Lisbon, Portugal at the age of 79.[1][4][6][7]


Carlos Paredes a virtuoso of the Portuguese guitar, died Friday in Lisbon, Portugal, following a prolonged bone illness and diabetes, a retirement home said. He was 79.
Paredes started playing the 12-string Portuguese guitar when he was 4 years old. He recorded his first album in 1957, and released several works and soundtracks through 1987.
His music based on the roots of mournful, pensive Fado but with his own particular twist was considered a hallmark of Portuguese culture.
The Portuguese guitar, in the same instrument family as the mandolin and bandurria, emerged in the 18th century and is commonly used for playing Fado.
Paredes' work will be in the running for the UNESCO Master Work of the Oral and Imaterial Humanity Patrimony award.[7]

Research Notes

  • The Portuguese guitar is small, round and flat-backed, strung with six double courses (12 strings, paired in unisons); its ancestry can be traced back to the Renaissance cittern in Italy and even further, to the plucked instrument depicted in a Hittite stone carving. Carlos Paredes: Portuguese guitar player: born Coimbra, Portugal 16 February 1925; died Lisbon 23 July 2004.[1]
  • He was born 16 Feb 1925 in Coimbra, Portugal. Music ran in his genes. Both his father, Artur Paredes, and his grandfather, Goncalo Paredes, were musicians specializing in the Portuguese guitar. He began learning how to play musical instruments at the age of 4. His father gave him a broken Portuguese guitar but was not encouraged to learn it. Perhaps his father thought it too difficult for a child. He spent his time with violin and piano lessons, but taught himself the guitar. By the time he was 11, he was already a proficient musician. At that age, he shocked his elders by composing music on the instrument that wanted him to avoid—the Portuguese guitar. Even at that young age, it was clear that he would be a master. He eventually surpasses his father as a musician and composer. [2]
  • The Portuguese guitarist Carlos Paredes, affected eight years ago by a chronic myelopathy that took him away from his guitar, celebrates today 77 years in a week in which an "Anthology" of his work was published. Carlos Paredes, the Portuguese guitar master whom Amália Rodrigues once described as "a national monument, like the Jerónimos Monastery", was born on February 16, 1925 in Coimbra and was the last element of a long genealogy of great guitarists. His biography was intimately linked to the Portuguese guitar, following a family tradition started with his great-grandfather, António Paredes, and continued by his grandfather Gonçalo, his great-uncle Manuel and then his father, Artur Paredes. Carlos Paredes began playing the guitar with his father at the age of four and since then never stopped until in 1993 the disease took him away from his instrument.[3]
  • Video of Paredes work[8]
  • José Nunes developed a playing technique combining the styles of the two great masters, “Armandinho” and Artur Paredes. In the meantime, two other great masters of the GPCo, Carlos Paredes (1925-2004) and Pedro Caldeira Cabral (born 1950), projected the Coimbra instrument into an even higher level of appreciation. The municipal organization’s (GPCo) mandate is very much the same as before entering the ranks of the national museums’ network: to recognize the GP as a powerful catalyst of Portuguese identity well beyond fado, and to celebrate players/composers such as Artur Paredes,Carlos Paredes and Pedro Caldeira Cabral (GPCo personalities far removed from fado and at one point in time critical of the genre). One could argue that the Paredes, father and son, although affiliated with the Coimbra style of GP playing, actually lived and worked for many years in Lisbon, and were never members of the Coimbra University, so they could also be considered as belonging to the cultural tissue of Lisbon.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Paredes, Carlos. “Carlos Paredes, Portuguese guitar virtuoso.” The Independent, July 31, 2004.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Paredes, Carlos. “Carlos Paredes: Master of the Portuguese Guitar.” (accessed 18 October 2018).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Paredes, Carlos. "Carlos Paredes celebrates being 77 years old today." (accessed 18 October 2018)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 18 October 2018), memorial page for Carlos Paredes (16 Feb 1925–23 Jul 2004), Find A Grave: Memorial #182220823, citing Cemitério dos Prazeres, Lisbon, Lisboa Municipality, Lisboa, Portugal ; Maintained by letemrip (contributor 49084452) .
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Carlos Paredes," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed October 18, 2018).
  6. "United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch (GenealogyBank Obituaries : accessed 18 October 2018), Carlos Paredes, Oklahoma, United States, 24 Jul 2004; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, ( : 2014); citing Tulsa World, born-digital text.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Tulsa World () , obit for Carlos Paredes, ( : accessed 18 October 2018)
  8. Paredes, Carlos. "Coimbra and the Mondego." YouTube, Published by The30YearOldVirgin, 1-3, Carlos Paredes, Sep 16, 2008.
  9. Cristo, Nuno José dos Santos Anaia. "THE PORTUGUESE GUITAR: HISTORY AND TRANSFORMATION OF AN INSTRUMENTASSOCIATED WITH FADO," (Toronto: York University, 2014), 101, 104.

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