The sound of the Cuban crisis

The musical structure

Timba evolves from a bipartite structure that is different from that of the ballad or verse and chorus adopted by many songs of Pop angloeuropeo. His general model is so much in the son "classic" as in the first part, where Orvieto from rumba to fiction (the son and singing in rumba) follows a long and eventful section called montuno or estribillo. In the general scheme of this structure the two sections do not have the same weight. Both the son and the rumba, the montuno in fact represents the emotional climax of the song, the part that listeners and dancers love most.

Because timba is highly eclectic style that incorporates everything from romantic themes in cori rap, from jazz to funky basslines solos, structurally it is gradually moving away from simple outline bipartite previous music to move towards a more fragmented. This transformation is mainly due to the expansion of the second part, in which are placed many choirs (one of the trademarks of timba), interruptions, pauses, capital sentences which break up the flow of speech. Here the interweaving of riffs off of horns, syncopated bass and piano design, stubborn percussion, rhythmic sound violent and dense, which raises tension and creates the typical sense of urgency and organized chaos of timba. Together with the ternpo fast, these factors make it virtually impossible to dance to the songs of timba in the traditional way of MB, i.e. as a couple.

Going into more detail, we see that the musicians identify various parts of the piece. These are instrumental introduction, theme (even cuerpo or Melody), bridge (puente, the instrumental bridge), chorus or estribillo, (instrumental solo horn section), and so on. The composite structure of a piece of timba can therefore be represented like this: c:Program c:Program bridge theme introduction the chorus 1 chorus 1 c:Program c:Program c:Program mambo mambo II II III chorus mambo III chorus I[etc]V.

The first section of the song usually has a theme in the style of a ballad, you may remember the salsa in terms of content and time. Often the narrative comes to topics such as love and relationships for men and women. The second section, I will call here for convenience montuno is one narrative detachment. The story stops, and gives way to an alternation of choirs and solo phrases (guias) who comment on the subject, and add contextual information that provides material for new interpretations. The many refrains (coros) contained in the montuno are imperative in textual and musical economy of the piece. Backing vocals — which can be three or four, and many more live performances — represent the true Center of the song, the "hook" that attracts the attention of listeners. Several pieces, indeed, start with a quotation from the first chorus, placed before the introduction, which functions as a signal and a promise of what is to come.

In the montuno, choirs alternate with mambos, instrumental sections that offer training more skilled a chance to show off their virtuosity. While the first mambo is generally longer and has the character of an instrumental interlude, the later tend to become shorter and to overlap with the choirs. The shortening of the time gap between chorus and instrumental riff has the effect of producing a sense of accumulation and collapse of the structure, something that vaguely resembles the final strait technique in the escape, in which the parties enter in quick succession without allowing the full exposure of the topic.

Sound and Instrumentation

Generally the Cuban popular music is categorized based on the instrumental format. The pattern of sound and size of timba, however, is not found in most Cuban MB groups of the sixties and seventies, dominated by charanga flute and violins based or with] oiled, built around sound the trumpet. Is in Cuban jazz band, born in the 1930s by insertion of the percussion AfroCuban ones on North American swing orchestra.

In the 1940s, the Cuban jazz band adopt a repertoire which combines the influence of jazz dance and commercial Uses with local folk music. And a format used with great effect and Dámaso theological University hit Pérez Prado, and also adopted by Benny Morè. After the revolution, for reasons partly ideological and partly economic, the big bands undergo a period of decline. With the end of tourism, in fact, these formations, which at the time of Batista played in the luxury hotel and Casino, lose their main source of work. Moreover, their sound and their repertoire, as more generally Uses music and jazz, are now seen as a legacy of the past regime and a symbol of American culture. While the big band as dance education essentially disappears, Cuba continues to boast a remarkable number of great jazz musicians. So, towards the beginning of the 1970s, this type of training (if not yet the term) begins to circulate. In particular, a big band named Irakere, playing an eclectic mix of jazz, rock, Afro-Cuban folklore and MB. As we have seen, it is the pattern of NG La Banda.

Compared to big band as we understand it, to a Cuban band as NG is a quite peculiar model, including (initially) two singers, electric bass, drums, piano, keyboard, two trumpets, alto saxophone, flute, congas, bongos (that little double drum that is played while sitting, held between the knees), plus other small percussion like Bell, claves and gùiro, for a total of twelve people. The format of NG, which became the model for subsequent formations of timba, imposes a sound dominated by brass and percussion. Other groups, then, would make changes, which may affect the number of singers, the composition of that Chamber of horns and the way of organising the percussion. The adoption of the trombones by some formations, for example, indicates the intention to move in turn of the sound of salsa that dominates the latino market internationally.

Generally, in Cuban popular music electronics plays a role far less important in the music of the rest of the world. Cuban music is not meant as a function of a sound system, and a traditional conjunto can very well do without it. Timba groups, instead, make use of electronic technology both in the form of instruments like bass, electric guitar and keyboards, that powerful sound systems, which allow the timba to obtain its characteristic sound grain. Without amplification, of course, the voices would not be audible even in the middle of the massive firepower of the group. The use of electronic technology to the aggressive modern connotations, and timba is also a symbol of economic power. Only the most important groups, in fact, they can afford it.

As in most of Latin American dance music, woodwind section occupies a leading role. It may consist of two trumpets, sax and flute, like in the first NG, or three trumpets and an alto saxophone (Charanga Habanera), two trumpets, two saxophones and two trombones (i. Delgado). The horn section, however, does not have the same weight in all the bands. In formations such as NG, the virtuosity of the section represents a digit sonora essential to build the modern and artistically authentic image of the group. In most cases, however, it contributes to the overall sound texture, emerging featured only in the introduction and in the mambo. The sound of a group like la Charanga Habanera, finally, although with a great horn section, appears much more centered upon singers, and biased towards a quality pop highlighted by extensive use of reverb, synthesizer sounds and sometimes drum machines.

As we have seen, the sound of timba has an affinity with the sauce, because the two styles have in common some similarities in instrumentation and structure, due to their common origins in the past, and the impact of Cuban MB salsa in Cuba in the 1980s. Both in terms of size as of style, though, there are some fundamental differences. The sauce is dominated by the sound of blunderbusses, doesn't employ neither battery nor bass guitar (double bass), nor a second keyboard, and let the rhythm section of the son more or less intact. Timba, on the other hand, is part of a process of modernization of the rhythm section of Cuban rhythms and the incorporation of MB instruments from both the Afro-Cuban tradition than from rock and jazz. The result is a kind of tonal and rhythmic texture much more complex than in the sauce, with vocal and instrumental style far less polished and more syncopated.

Both styles, that's right, reveal a marked influence jazz, but coming from different directions. The sauce comes primarily from swing, and manifests itself mainly in the horn section, with occasional modern influences evident, for example, the modal style of Eddie Palmieri. Timba, while retaining the concept of fìati section mixes the influence swing much more recent origin, such as funk and fusion of artists and groups use as Weather Report, Chick Korea, Earth, Wind and Fire and Blood, Sweat & Tears. The sauce now tends so much in style and content, to the sentimental ballad, and focuses primarily on lead vocals, while timba is dominated by collective singing and a more aggressive vocal Declamation and clearly influenced by rap. Finally, the two styles diverge widely in their geocultural references. Salsa is now a pan-Latin American music for an audience, often produced by pan-Latin band. Timba, in contrast, appears firmly rooted in Cuba in his musical landmarks, language, content and style of dance.

Vincenzo Perna
retrieved from: "TIMBA-the sound of the Cuban crisis"

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