The morna was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List for Intangible Cultural Heritage at the end of 2019. This is very special. This international heritage list contains strictly selected intangible traditions that are so special that they must be protected.
The morna is the most important and traditional music movement in Cape Verde. The morna is a traditional style with song, music, poetry and dance. It is also called the national anthem of the soul and the African variant of the Portuguese fado or tango. The morna is the national music style of Cape Verde and deals with topics such as love, departure, separation, reunification, desire and the motherland. Every island on Cape Verde has its own morna and is often performed at important life events such as weddings, baptisms and family gatherings. The vocals of the morna are accompanied by one or more instruments such as a violin, guitar, saxophone, piano, clarinet and percussion. The lyrics consist of two vocal lines that are each repeated. After that a new verse starts with again two vocal rules twice. Various other music movements originated from the morna, such as the coladeira (faster rhythms) and cola-zouk (mixed with Caribbean music).
The morna was conceived by Eugenio Taveres, but became known worldwide by the Cape Verdean world star Cesária Évora (1941 – 2011). She was also called the queen of the morna and won various international music prizes.