Cubaans taalgebruik


#437 door Harjan Bos*
29 apr 2004, 22:03
Timba Talk

Timba? Wat is dat nou weer. Zijn we net gewend aan de salsa, krijgen we weer wat nieuws. We weten nu inmiddels wel dat er veel meer gebeurt op Cuba dan die oude mannetjes van de Buena Vista Social Club, maar timba, dat kenden we nog niet. Kunt u daar misschien wat meer over vertellen meester?
Ja natuurlijk, jongens en meisjes: timba is de muziek waarmee Cuba echt de wereld gaat veroveren. Het werd uitgevonden door Los Van Van, een groep die al heel lang muziek maakt op Cuba. Op dit moment zijn er allemaal nieuwe groepen (Want - zoals jullie misschien wel weten - maken de Cubanen elke dag weer heel veel nieuwe Cubaantjes. Als jullie dat nog niet wisten, dan kun je daar meer informatie over vinden in de landenmap). Die groepen hebben namen als Pupy y los que son son, Bamboleo en Manolito y su trabuco. Dat zijn hele moeilijke namen, en dan ook nog eens in het Spaans, de taal die ze in Cuba spreken. Maar ik heb goed nieuws voor jullie: als jullie geen Spaans in je vakkenpakket hebben, dan mogen jullie de onderstaande woordenlijst gebruiken voor je scriptie.

There are many words and phrases that come up in Timba songs over and over again. Some of these expressions are not exclusive to Timba, but can be heard in many Cuban musical styles. The Spanish speaker will have no trouble catching these, but the English speaker or the person who's Spanish is not that great will get a little more enjoyment out of this very enjoyable music with this list of common Timba words and phrases:

apodo nickname - for example, the apodo of NG's horn section is "los metales de terror"

coro the "call" of the "call and response" section - the repeating part that the background singers sing in harmony, leaving spaces for the lead singer to improvise "guias".

guía this is a more modern term for "pregón". It refers to the parts the lead singer sings between the coros. It can be improvised (both words and music) or it can be worked out in advance.

cuerpo literally, "body" - this refers to the song itself, main vocal section, prior to the the coros, guías and mambos..

metales horns

teclado synthesizer

tumbascolor congas

pailas timbale

batería drumset

bajo bass

double-stops when a stringed instrument, such as bass or violin, plays two notes at once

BPM "beats per minute" - this is the unit of measurement used to describe the tempo or speed of a song. The most common tempo for danceable salsa and timba is about 90BPM. Anything over 105 BPM is very fast. The average Merengue is about 150 BPM. A typical Cha Cha is 120, but has only half the subdivisions, so it would be the equivalent of 60BPM. Cha Cha, like rock and roll, subdivides the beat in half instead of in quarters.

mambo originally a dance style from the mid 1900's, but for the
timbaphile, it refers to a written-out horn section figure which comes up in the second half of a salsa arrangement as an interlude between vocal sections . It usually lasts 4 to 8 bars and then repeats 2 or more times. One of the innovations of Timba arranging is to combine mambo figures with coros and various types of rhythm section breakdowns.

montuno originally referred to the second half of a Son-Montuno arrangement, but in Salsa and Timba, its most common meaning is the 2 to 4 bar rhythm figure that the piano plays during the coros and mambos. Timba has taken the art of montuno-playing to its highest level and the montuno is frequently the "hook" by which a song is identified. The pre-Timba and early Timba montuno style is definitively covered by author/pianist Rebeca Mauleón-Santana in her two books, "The Salsa Guidebook for Piano and Ensemble" and "101 Montunos".

tumbao another word with multiple meanings - in Timba, it's primarily used to describe the repeating figure of the bass when the piano is playing a montuno (see montuno).

a capella voices (or horns) performing without instruments - Timba sometimes uses this technique but more frequently implies it by having the piano lay out and the bass play "bomba" style. "Vocal Sampling" is a true a capella group which is to that that all of its members are singers and every sound is produced by the human voice. We use a capella much more loosely to describe a section where either the voice or horns stand out as if they were singing a capella.

bomba style this word has many meanings, not the least of which is the Puerto Rican genre of the same name. Also, groups like Klimax and NG frequently use a bomba-hybrid groove, but our articles usually use "bomba" to refer to the bass-playing style first developed by Feliciano Arango of NG, where the bass slides down the neck on the upbeats of 2 and 4, the percussion breaks down, featuring the kick drum in "conversation" with the bass, and the piano optionally lays out.

"New York style" clave change We made up this term to describe the method of changing clave where it's possible to start playing clave at the beginning of the tune and continue to the end without ever clashing with the arrangement. Volumes have been written on the profound role of the Clave rhythm in Afro-Cuban music and the real and semantic differences in the ways it's verbally explained have been the cause of heated debate among Latin music fans for many years. We'll try to step lightly around those hot coals as we point out that there are two ways to "change" from 2:3 to 3:2 clave or vice versa. The method that we call "New York style" certainly didn't start in New York, but we coined the term because New York artists such as the Fania All-Stars and Ruben Blades did so many wonderful things with it. A particularly compelling example is Blades' "Todos Vuelven" which changes clave in this fashion six times. Furthermore, many top New York musicians consider it wrong to change the clave in any other way. Regardless of what you call it, the concept is very simple - it's possible to start the song playing the clave rhythm and continue uninterruped to the end without conflicting with the rhythms of the percussionists. The arranger must write the music in such a way that sections in 2:3 and 3:2 can coexist without breaking this rule. A great deal of Timba, (and other salsa of various origins), breaks the rule, or "jumps" the clave, such that the person playing along would have to play the "2" or the "3" side twice in a row. In Rebeca Mauleón-Santana's "101 Montunos" she interviews Juan Formell on the subject and he refers to this as "Clave License". Timba uses both methods extensively. For example, on NG La Banda's "En la Calle", "La Expresiva" and "La Protesta de los Chivos" change clave New York style and "Que Viva Changó" changes "Clave License" style.

"Clave License" a term coined by Juan Formell in his interview in Rebeca Mauleón-Santana's "101 Montunos". It refers to the willingness of Cuban musicians to "jump the clave" if they feel the music calls for it. (see "New York style clave change").

bloque basically, this translates to "break" -- a short, syncopated rhythm pattern played by the percussionists in unison, sometimes accentuated by the bass, piano or horns. Traditional salsa tunes might have one or two of these to transition between sections, but Timba can have a dozen or more in a given arrangement. It's mind-bending for non-Cuban musicians to listen to the sheer number of complex bloques that are memorized by Timba musicians for each arrangement. It's almost as if the percussionists are playing a horn chart, but the music stands are nowhere to be seen! The secret, of course, is that these bands rehearse up to 6 times a week. Some, like Bamboleo, have numbered bloques which can be called out like basketball plays, so that in concert a given song will have different bloques from night to night. Timba increases the frequency of bloques, and the complexity of their rhythms (which are often derived from polyrhythmic Afro-Cuban folkloric music), but even more exciting is the placement of the bloques within the arrangement. Instead of reserving them for transitions, the bloques are frequently inserted after a section has begun. Just as the listen lets his or her guard down and settles down to listen to the coro and lead singer, an explosive bloque will erupt from out of nowhere. Bloques are one of the most exciting aspects of Timba. Keep checking back, as we will be creating a whole page on bloques with audio examples of some of the best ones.

¡Ay que rrrrrico! "Oh, how rich!" Rich, like dark chocolate more than rich like got lotsa dough.

¡Ataca guayacan! "Go for it." Los Van Van use this one.

¡Camina! Literally "Walk", the singer is telling the band (and the dancers) to "Go!"

¡Dale mambo! "Give them the mambo". The mambo is a part of the song where the instruments take off in horn breaks, often with improvisations.

Mueve la cintura "Move your waist", equivalent to "shake your booty". A favorite of Bamboleo who definitely know how to move their cinturas.

¿Como? "What?" or "How?" In Timba, the singer will ask the coro (the chorus), "¿Como?" when they say a line, and they'll repeat the line. North American soul and blues singers used to say, "say what?"

¿Como no? "Why not?

Ahí-namá "This is it! Nothing else!" An expression of satisfaction. Los Van Van use this one a lot.

Ya tu sabes "Now you know" says the singer, after all, I've just spent five minutes telling you the story!

Compay "buddy" or "pal", short for compadre.

Chevere Cool, hot, awesome, great. Not just a Timba word, but it sure applies!

¡Azúcar! Celia Cruz popularized this call of "sugar!" This could get complex with meanings of sweetness, also the product of Cuba, also the hard work of harvesting sugar, also hyperactivity and cavities... Los Van Van sing of the Cancún nightclub called Azúcar - so does Celia with the Fania All Stars.

Rompe el cuero! Break the leather: of the drum heads

Rompiendo el coco Literally, "Breaking the coconut (your head)" also refers to sex (what doesn't?)

¡A gozá! Enjoy!!

Pa' 'llá Over there (para allá)

Pa' 'cá Over here (para acá)! These are used to direct the dancers.

Sabrosura very tasty!

Dale cuero Literally, "give skin", this is asking the drummers to hit the skins.

¡Metales! A call to the horn section.

Coge el trillo vena'o this is a Cuban countryside expression that means "walk into the forest", it is used by soneros at the precise moment when the tres player (tresero) begins to play an improvisation. In modern music (such as timba) it is also used when the pianist plays a solo.

Guaniquiqui or Wanikiki dough, dollars, bucks, money. comes up a lot in songs about jineteros/as.

Mmamiriki / Papiriki hot momma or hot daddy (respectively)

Temba A middle aged person, usually good looking and in good shape

¡A la batalla! "Into battle" The singer tells the band to go for it.

¿Qué vola asere? What's up man (bro, dog, dude, etc.)

#3437 door gero
15 jul 2004, 00:58
Dit onderwerp spreekt mij aan !

Nou we toch in het engels bezig zijn,
anyone ... :?:

wat betekent "farandulera" in het liedje "Mala noche" van
Aldaberto Alvarez

Alvast bedankt,

#3439 door Harjan Bos*
15 jul 2004, 01:04
Hola Gero. Bienvenidos al nuestro foro! Waar was je al die tijd?

#3452 door gero
15 jul 2004, 01:55
Bueno, Harjan, leyendo, que te pareces :lol:

Y mi respuesta, por favor, donde se queda :?:


#3460 door Harjan Bos*
15 jul 2004, 02:24
Farandulera: enganadora. More or less the same, een bedriegster dus.

Next question please :wink:

#3462 door gero
15 jul 2004, 02:44
Gracias, Harjan, y ya que se que se trata de una enganadora
tengo muchas preguntas pero no son pa' ti :wink:

Ay, que nadie me pega los taros, por favor :evil:

Buenas noche,

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