Timba

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This article is about a musical style. Timba_sentence_0

For the land, see La Timba. Timba_sentence_1

For the conical hand drum, see Timbal. Timba_sentence_2

Timba_table_infobox_0

TimbaTimba_header_cell_0_0_0
Stylistic originsTimba_header_cell_0_1_0 Son Cubano - Son montuno - Nueva trova - Afro-Cuban jazz - Salsa - Funk - DiscoTimba_cell_0_1_1
Cultural originsTimba_header_cell_0_2_0 1988, CubaTimba_cell_0_2_1

Timba_table_infobox_1

Music of CubaTimba_header_cell_1_0_0
General topicsTimba_header_cell_1_1_0
GenresTimba_header_cell_1_2_0
Specific formsTimba_header_cell_1_3_0
Religious musicTimba_header_cell_1_4_0 Timba_cell_1_4_1
Traditional musicTimba_header_cell_1_5_0 Timba_cell_1_5_1
Media and performanceTimba_header_cell_1_6_0
Music awardsTimba_header_cell_1_7_0 Beny Moré AwardTimba_cell_1_7_1
Nationalistic and patriotic songsTimba_header_cell_1_8_0
National anthemTimba_header_cell_1_9_0 La BayamesaTimba_cell_1_9_1
Regional musicTimba_header_cell_1_10_0

Timba is a Cuban genre of music based on popular Cuban music along with salsa, American funk/R&B, and the strong influence of Afro-Cuban folkloric music. Timba_sentence_3

Timba rhythm sections differ from their salsa counterparts, because timba emphasizes the bass drum, which is not used in salsa bands. Timba_sentence_4

Timba and salsa use the same tempo range and they both use the standard conga marcha. Timba_sentence_5

Almost all timba bands have a trap drummer. Timba_sentence_6

Timbas also often break the basic tenets of arranging the music in-clave. Timba_sentence_7

Timba is considered to be a highly aggressive type of music, with rhythm and "swing" taking precedence over melody and lyricism. Timba_sentence_8

Associated with timba is a radically sexual and provocative dance style known as despelote (literally meaning chaos or frenzy). Timba_sentence_9

It is a dynamic evolution of salsa, full of improvisation and Afro Cuban heritage, based on son, Rumba and mambo, taking inspiration from Latin jazz, and is highly percussive with complex sections. Timba_sentence_10

Timba is more flexible and innovative than salsa, and includes a more diverse range of styles. Timba_sentence_11

Timba incorporates heavy percussion and rhythms which originally came from the barrios of Cuba. Timba_sentence_12

Etymology Timba_section_0

Before it became the newest Cuban music and dance craze, timba was a word with several different uses yet no particular definition, mostly heard within the Afro-Cuban genre of rumba. Timba_sentence_13

A timbero was a complimentary term for a musician, and timba often referred to the collection of drums in a folklore ensemble. Timba_sentence_14

Since the 1990s, timba has referred to Cuba's intense and slightly more aggressive music and dance form. Timba_sentence_15

History Timba_section_1

As opposed to salsa, whose roots are strictly from son and the Cuban conjunto bands of the 1940s and 1950s, timba represents a synthesis of many folkloric (rumba, guaguancó, batá drumming and the sacred songs of santería. Timba_sentence_16

), and popular sources (even taking inspiration from non Afro-Cuban musical genres such as rock, jazz, funk, and Puerto Rican folk). Timba_sentence_17

According to Vincenzo Perna, author of Timba: The Sound of the Cuban Crisis, timba needs to be spoken of because of its musical, cultural, social, and political reasons; its sheer popularity in Cuba, its novelty and originality as a musical style, the skill of its practitioners, its relationship with both local traditions and the culture of the black Diaspora, its meanings, and the way its style brings to light the tension points within society. Timba_sentence_18

In addition to timbales, timba drummers make use of the drum set, further distinguishing the sound from that of mainland salsa. Timba_sentence_19

The use of synthesised keyboard is also common. Timba_sentence_20

Timba songs tend to sound more innovative, experimental and frequently more virtuosic than salsa pieces; horn parts are usually fast, at times even bebop influenced, and stretch to the extreme ranges of all instruments. Timba_sentence_21

Bass and percussion patterns are similarly unconventional. Timba_sentence_22

Improvisation is commonplace. Timba_sentence_23

Precursors Timba_section_2

The main precursors of timba are three bands: Los Van Van, Irakere (both in the 1970s) and NG La Banda (1988), though many other bands (e.g. Son 14, Orquesta Original de Manzanillo, Ritmo Oriental, Orquesta Revé) were influential in setting new standards. Timba_sentence_24

Son 14 Timba_section_3

Orquesta Ritmo Oriental Timba_section_4

Original de Manzanillo Timba_section_5

Orquesta Revé Timba_section_6

Los Van Van Timba_section_7

Los Van Van developed what came to be known as the 'songo' genre, making countless innovations to traditional son, both in style and orchestration. Timba_sentence_25

In Latin music, genres are commonly attributed to rhythms (though of course not every rhythm is a genre), and whether or not timba is a genre of its own is debatable. Timba_sentence_26

Songo, however, can be considered to be a genre and is in all likelihood the only genre in the world played by only one orchestra, Los Van Van. Timba_sentence_27

The songo rhythm was created by percussionist José Luís Quintana ("Changuito"), at the behest of Van Van bandleader Juan Formell. Timba_sentence_28

Since the band's creation in 1969, Los Van Van has been the most popular band in Cuba, and are themselves considered to be one of the major timba bands. Timba_sentence_29

Irakere Timba_section_8

Irakere is known largely as a Latin jazz band outside Cuba, yet much of their music can be considered to be popular dance music. Timba_sentence_30

Like Los Van Van, Irakere experimented with many different styles, mixing Afro-Cuban rhythms with son and jazz. Timba_sentence_31

While bandleader Chucho Valdés is revered as one of the great jazz musicians of Cuba, both jazz and timba prodigies came out of the orchestra, including flutist José Luis Cortés ("El Tosco"), who assembled a group of highly talented musicians to form NG La Banda in the mid-1980s. Timba_sentence_32

NG experimented with different styles, including Latin jazz, for several years, before recording what is considered by many to be the first timba album, En La Calle, in 1989. Timba_sentence_33

"Special period" (early 1990s) Timba_section_9

During the Special Period of the early 1990s, timba became a significant form of expression for the cultural and social upheaval that occurred. Timba_sentence_34

The Special Period was a time of economic downfalls and hardships for the Cuban people. Timba_sentence_35

In the wake of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Cuba's main trading partner, the country experienced its worse crisis since the revolution. Timba_sentence_36

Cuba now opened its doors to tourism, and the influx of tourists to the island helped broaden the appeal of the music and dance of timba. Timba_sentence_37

The stand-off between Cuba and most of the rest of the world gave timba space to breathe new life into the city, causing the nightlife and party scene to grow. Timba_sentence_38

Timba's danceable beat and energizing sound was popular among the tourists at a time when the music and dance scene was indirectly helping provide some support for Cuba's struggling economy. Timba_sentence_39

While timba developed at the beginning of a decade when Afro-Cuban conservatory graduates were turning to popular music catering to inner-city youth, its growth followed that of the music and tourist industries, as the state tried to address the economic challenges of the post-Soviet world. Timba_sentence_40

Timba lyrics generated considerable controversy due to their use of vulgar and witty street language, and also because they made veiled references to public concerns including prostitution, crime, and the effects of tourism on the island, which had only rarely been addressed by other musicians. Timba_sentence_41

This was not normal in Cuban texts before. Timba_sentence_42

There was also a reaffirmation of the Cuban identity. Timba_sentence_43

The difference of opinion between the old traditionalists going abroad for success and the young bloods stuck at home – and the difference in financial rewards – was bound to lead to friction. Timba_sentence_44

In the subsequent time, timba has largely crossed over from an accessible, mainstream medium to one that is directed at wealthy elites in high-end venues. Timba_sentence_45

This places timba in contrast with rap, which has come in some ways to fill the role of the music of the masses. Timba_sentence_46

NG La Banda Timba_section_10

Though NG La Banda had huge successes in the early 1990s, and is credited with being the first timba band, the band's fortunes have been mixed, partly because they remain highly experimental. Timba_sentence_47

La Charanga Habanera Timba_section_11

What came to be known as the "timba explosion" started not with NG La Banda, but with the debut album of La Charanga Habanera, "Me Sube La Fiebre", in 1992. Timba_sentence_48

This album included all the elements of what is now known as timba, and the band dominated the scene until the break-up of the original band in 1998 (they have since reformed). Timba_sentence_49

Since then a large number of bands have sprung up in Cuba and internationally, many of the best known being headed or staffed by former members of the above-mentioned bands. Timba_sentence_50

Some important figures and bands include: Pachito Alonso y sus Kini Kini, Azúcar Negra, Bamboleo, La Charanga Habanera, Charanga Forever, Los Dan Den, Alain Pérez, Issac Delgado, Tirso Duarte, Klimax, Manolín "El Médico de la salsa", Manolito y su Trabuco, NG La Banda, Paulo FG, Pupy y Los que Son Son (directed by César "Pupy" Pedroso, former pianist of Los Van Van), and Los Van Van. Timba_sentence_51

Manolín "El Médico de la salsa" Timba_section_12

Paulito FG Timba_section_13

Manolito y su Trabuco Timba_section_14

Bamboleo Timba_section_15

Main article: Bamboleo (band) Timba_sentence_52

Klimax Timba_section_16

Bakuleye Timba_section_17

Bakuleye, known as a magic wand that awakens a deity living under the Earth, is another popular band in Cuba known for its timba. Timba_sentence_53

The band's creator, Pedro Pablo Vargas, describes Bakuleye as the awakening of new ideas. Timba_sentence_54

The music of Bakuleye is a fusion of different musical rhythms such as Latin jazz, boleros, ballads, bachata, and especially salsa. Timba_sentence_55

As one of the most promising groups from Cuba, Bakuleye has received favorable press and television coverage. Timba_sentence_56

Outside Cuba Timba_section_18

Other than in Cuba, a few timba bands appeared in Miami, Florida, where a large concentration of Cuban-Americans reside. Timba_sentence_57

This became possible due to members of some timba bands moving to Miami, such as Isaac Delgado, Manolín "El Médico de la Salsa", Dany Lozada (former singer and composer for Charanga Habanera), and Pepito Gómez (former singer in Pupy y Los Que Son Son) but eventually decided to relocate elsewhere (to Spain, Mexico, and New York). Timba_sentence_58

Others include Carlos Manuel, El Pikete, Michel Calvo, Jorge Gomez and "Tiempo Libre" (who received Grammy nominations in 2005 for their album "Arroz con Mango" and in 2006 for their album "Lo que esperabas"), Los 10 de la Salsa, Chaka and his group "El Tumbao", and Tomasito Cruz and his Cuban Timba All Stars. Timba_sentence_59

In Peru, timba is also prominent with no fewer than 30 bands dedicated to promote Cuban music, the most well known of which are Mayimbe and Team Cuba. Timba_sentence_60

Others include: Mangu, Camagüey, A Conquistar, Explosión Habana, N'Samble, La Novel, D'Farándula, Bembe, Son de Timba, Los Trabucos, Yambú and Yare. Timba_sentence_61

Also, Lima is hometown for Cuban musicians such as Dantes Cardosa and Michel Maza (former lead singer for Charanga Habanera) and Caroband. Timba_sentence_62

Stylistic aspects Timba_section_19

Dance and culture Timba_section_20

Harmony Timba_section_21

Arranging Timba_section_22

Rhythms Timba_section_23

Timba rhythm sections differ from their salsa counterparts in many integral ways from the instruments themselves, to the individual patterns of each instrument, to the way those patterns are combined into gears, to the way the group navigates between those gears. Timba_sentence_63

The areas where salsa and timba are most similar are the tempo range and the part of the largest bell, played by the bongosero in salsa and, depending on the band, by either the bongosero, timbalero or drummer in timba. Timba_sentence_64

The bell played by the timbalero in salsa is sometimes played the same way by the timbalero or drummer in timba, but in timba bands where one person plays both bell patterns, a different pattern, or a much looser series of improvised patterns, is used. Timba_sentence_65

The time-honored standard conga marcha used universally in salsa is also often used in timba, but many other variations are also used and some congueros actually compose specific marchas for each song. Timba_sentence_66

Many of these timba conga marchas are twice or even four times the length of the standard conga marcha (or tumbao). Timba_sentence_67

Tomás Cruz developed several adaptions of folkloric rhythms when working in Paulito FG's timba band of the 1990s. Timba_sentence_68

Cruz's creations offered clever counterpoints to the bass and chorus. Timba_sentence_69

Many of his tumbaos span two or even four claves in duration, something very rarely done previously. Timba_sentence_70

He also made more use of muted tones in his tumbaos, all the while advancing the development of . Timba_sentence_71

The example on the right is one of Cruz's inventos ('musical inventions'), a band adaptation of the Congolese-based Afro-Cuban folkloric rhythm makuta. Timba_sentence_72

He played the pattern on three congas on the Paulito song "Llamada anónima." Timba_sentence_73

A very dramatic difference between the two genres is that salsa bands don't use the kick drum, an essential element in all timba bands. Timba_sentence_74

Almost all timba bands have a trap drummer and those with a timbalero (e.g., Charanga Habanera) add a kick drum which he or she plays from a standing position. Timba_sentence_75

The role of the bassist is also very different. Timba_sentence_76

Salsa bassists have standardized bombo-ponche bass tumbaos. Timba_sentence_77

This is sometimes used in timba, but much more often a clave-aligned tumbao is used, and it is often specific to the song in question, while the bombo-ponche tumbaos of salsa, by definition, always use the same rhythm from song to song. Timba_sentence_78

Most importantly, timba bassists stop and start their tumbaos, one of the defining aspects of timba gears. Timba_sentence_79

In salsa, the bass tumbao is omnipresent.—Moore (2010: v. 5: 13). Timba_sentence_80

Clave schism Timba_section_24

A significant aspect of the rhythmic structure of timba is the tendency towards ignoring or intentionally breaking the basic tenets of arranging the music in-clave. Timba_sentence_81

This had led to a schism within the world of salsa and related Latin dance music. Timba_sentence_82

"Gears" Timba_section_25

Breakdowns Timba_section_26

Breakdown gears set timba apart from other salsa. Timba_sentence_83

The following example is Calixto Oviedo's funky drumset pattern for a type of high-energy breakdown known as presión. Timba_sentence_84

Compared to salsa Timba_section_27

Though quite similar to salsa on the surface of things due to origins from son heritage, timba has certain qualities of its own which distinguish it from salsa, similar to the way American R&B is distinguished from soul. Timba_sentence_85

In general, timba is considered to be a highly aggressive type of music, with rhythm and "swing" taking precedence over melody and lyricism. Timba_sentence_86

Associated with timba is a radically sexual and provocative dance style known as despelote (literally meaning chaos or frenzy) that consists of rapid gyrations of the body and pelvis, thrusting and trembling motions, bending over and generating harmonic oscillations of the gluteous maximus. Timba_sentence_87

Those involved in the performance and popularization of timba crafted a culture of black, strong, masculine pride, and a narrative of male hypersexulaity to go with timba's so-called "masculine" sound. Timba_sentence_88

In a socialist society where value and identity center on labor and political citizenship, black males were representing themselves not as forces of production but of pleasure. Timba_sentence_89

Timba is musically complex, highly danceable, and reflects the problems and contradictions of contemporary Cuban society because it expresses a repetitive beat that relates to the repetitive day-to-day life the Cubans endured during the early 1990s. Timba_sentence_90

It is a dynamic evolution of salsa, full of improvisation and Afro Cuban heritage, based on son, Rumba and mambo, taking inspiration from Latin jazz, and is highly percussive with complex sections. Timba_sentence_91

Very little "traditional" salsa existed (or exists) in Cuba, the most influential foreign 'salsero' being Venezuelan Oscar D'León, who is one of the few salsa artists to have performed in Cuba. Timba_sentence_92

Timba musicians thus rightly claim a different musical heritage from salsa musicians. Timba_sentence_93

At its most basic, timba is more flexible and innovative than salsa, and includes a more diverse range of styles, all of which could be defined as timba. Timba_sentence_94

The limits of what is timba and what is not are less rigid when compared to salsa, as innovation and improvisation are key concepts in Timba music. Timba_sentence_95

According to Juan Formell, director of Los Van Van, timba is not a form of traditional son, but something new. Timba_sentence_96

Timba incorporates heavy percussion and rhythms which originally came from the barrios of Cuba. Timba_sentence_97

Timba incorporates many elements of Afro-Cuban culture and music. Timba_sentence_98

This includes various Afro Cuban rhythms (on all instruments), expressions or parts of lyrics in 'Lucumí' (Cuban Yoruba, which were before used mostly in a religious context) and references to Afro-Cuban religion, the imperative for improvisation and interaction with audiences during concerts, story-telling in the lyrics, the quoting of melodies, rhythms and/or lyrics from other sources and sustained sections of coro-pregon (call and response) interaction in songs. Timba_sentence_99

Contrary to (early) salsa, timba makes no claim to social or political messages, partly because of the political circumstances in Cuba. Timba_sentence_100

More specifically, timba differs from salsa in orchestration and arrangement. Timba_sentence_101

Some timba artists readily concede that they have occasionally taken inspiration from musical genres coming outside of Cuba. Timba_sentence_102

Thus, bands like La Charanga Habanera or Bamboleo often have horns or other instruments playing a few melodic notes from tunes by Earth, Wind and Fire, Kool and the Gang or other funk bands. Timba_sentence_103

In terms of instrumentation, the most important innovation has been the permanent incorporation of a drum kit and a synthesiser. Timba_sentence_104

Many timba bands have otherwise kept the traditional charanga ensemble of the 1940s, which includes double bass, conga, cowbell, clave, piano, violins, flute and in timba an expanded horn section that (in addition to the traditional trumpets and trombones) may include saxophones. Timba_sentence_105

However, many innovations were made in the style of playing and the arrangements, especially on the bass (sometimes taking inspiration from non Cuban genres of music), the piano (with elements of baroque music such as Bach), the horns (complex arrangements known as "champolas"), and the use of the clave (where 2-3 son clave is the standard in salsa music, timba often leans towards 2-3 rumba clave, 3:2 Son clave and 3:2 Rumba clave). Timba_sentence_106

Also different from salsa is the frequent shift from major to minor keys (and vice versa), the highly complex rhythmic arrangements (often based on santería or abakuá rhythms), the shifts in speed and the large number of orchestrated breaks, or "bloques". Timba_sentence_107

Also, owing to its many Afro Cuban origins (and, of course, to traditional Cuban music such as Son), Timba music is highly syncopated. Timba_sentence_108

Status Timba_section_28

Though timba is considered to be a form of popular music, the technical mastery of timba is only possible through highly trained musicians, who have solid theoretical backgrounds in classical music, jazz, traditional Cuban music, as well as other international genres. Timba_sentence_109

This is made possible through the high standards of government-run music schools in Cuba, as well as the strong competition between musicians. Timba_sentence_110

Government policy favours artistic excellence and Cuban music is regarded as a source of revenue and a legitimate way to attract tourism. Timba_sentence_111

However, the island's most popular dance bands have been virtually ignored by Latino radio in the US and some parts of Cuba, and are absent from the charts. Timba_sentence_112

However, pieces of Cuban sound are beginning to reach large audiences in the USA through musical recordings produced by popular musicians, such as Willy Chirino and Qbadisc, from New York City, Miami, and Puerto Rico who currently incorporate timba into their songs. Timba_sentence_113

New York and Puerto Rican musicians have further blended the double-hit bass drum in the breakdown in a more sophisticated way which does not exist in Cuba yet. Timba_sentence_114

Because of the available resources outside of Cuba, it is easier for musicians outside of the island to create music that has been heavily influenced by the Cubans. Timba_sentence_115

Meaning, it is easier for foreigners to imitate, create, and get their music out to the public more quickly because of the available technology. Timba_sentence_116

Gonzalo Grau, La Timba Loca band leader, hopes timba will gain popularity in the States, but he realizes that only small crowds will come to shows at first. Timba_sentence_117

Because of the politics surrounding Cuba, the music has not had a chance to gain exposure in the States and has not become as commercialized as traditional salsa from other Latin countries. Timba_sentence_118

Nevertheless, many Cuban musicians seek to work abroad, and a significant number of musicians now work in exile, both in the United States and in Europe (and to a lesser extent in Latin America), leading to a new wave of cross-breeding between the timba and salsa. Timba_sentence_119

While timba has gone past its peak in recent years, all major groups are still actively recording and performing, and major labels—especially in Europe—have started taking an interest in timba. Timba_sentence_120

Because timba is highly aggressive and a challenge to dance to some Cuban bands in search of a broader audience have intentionally made music that a majority of Latinos will find easy to dance to, mixing Latino staples such as salsa, merengue, and romantic ballads into the Cuban beat. Timba_sentence_121

By 1990, several bands had incorporated elements of funk and hip-hop into their arrangements, and expanded upon the instrumentation of the traditional conjunto with American drum set, saxophones and a two-keyboard format. Timba_sentence_122

Along with the Cuban congas and timbales, the drum set provided powerful funk and rock beats that added more punch to the rhythm section, and the bass players began to incorporate the playing techniques associated with funk, slapping, and pulling the strings in a percussive way. Timba_sentence_123

The combination of the trumpets and the saxes gave the horn section a more jazzed sound, and the harmony began to evolve on a more contemporary level. Timba_sentence_124

Timba has start to become popular in the worldwide salsa scene today as commercial timba music selections are selectively accepted. Timba_sentence_125

However many salsa dancers consider it difficult to dance to, due to rapid rhythm and differential arrangements than traditional salsa and beats too strong to their ears, compounded by the strong Afro-Cubans rhythm heritage and the inability of many North American salsa dancers to listen to actual tempos. Timba_sentence_126

Nevertheless, it has found a niche among a growing number of fans and has been influential amongst Cuban-American and European salsa musicians. Timba_sentence_127

From the salsa dancer's perspective, timba (due to its rhythmically complex nature) is very hard to dance unless traditional Cuban salsa (also known as casino) is mastered and may require many years of practice. Timba_sentence_128

In the same way that musicians amalgamate salsa with funk, pop, jazz, rock & roll and even tango to create timba, dancing to timba reflects the rhythms/genre incorporated in the composition being danced to. Timba_sentence_129

Timba as a dance allows incorporation of moves seen in Afro-Cuban folklore, funk, pop, rock & roll etc., and the creation of new moves under the framework of Cuban casino. Timba_sentence_130

See also Timba_section_29

Timba_unordered_list_0


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timba.