History and Evolution of the Tonadas Trinitarias of Trinidad de Cuba

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0041692/00001

Material Information

Title: History and Evolution of the Tonadas Trinitarias of Trinidad de Cuba
Physical Description: 1 online resource (136 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Frias, Johnny
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010


Subjects / Keywords: cuba, tonada, tonadas, trinitaria, trinitarias
Music -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Music thesis, M.M.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: The tonada trinitaria is an Afro-Cuban musical manifestation native to the town of Trinidad de Cuba. The city became one of the Caribbean s foremost sugar exporters in the early nineteenth century, for which reason thousands of African slaves were brought to work in the neighboring Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills). It was here that the local musical practices of African slaves, their descendents, and white peasants meshed, producing an environment conducive to the creation of creole musical forms, of which the tonada trinitaria is a prime example. The tradition took shape among the black urban population of Trinidad following the collapse of the city s sugar-based economy in the late 1840s. The first tonada groups appeared during the first war of Cuban independence (1868-1878), propagated by Patricio Gasco acuten and Tando Villa, both of whom were musicians of the Cabildo de San Antonio de Congos Reales. This cabildo was a cultural and religious center of Bantu-derived traditions, serving as a theater for local black cultural production. Both men were also war volunteers in the Cuban army and zafreros (cane-cutters during harvest season). Their personal backgrounds and interactions in the war and in the sugar fields of the Valle de los Ingenios allowed them to combine the Spanish and African musical influences which formed the base of the tonadas trinitarias. The tonada groups consist of a chorus, a lead singer, three small drums, a gu umlautiro (gourd-scraper), and a hoe blade struck with an iron beater. The gui acutea, or lead singer, begins by introducing the tonada (a two-to-four line text). The percussion joins in, providing a steady rhythmic accompaniment, followed by the chorus, who repeats the tonada. In call-and-response style, the gui acutea improvises his text based on the theme of the tonada. These themes include love, social commentary, patriotism, and puyas, which poke fun at a certain person or situation. The tonada groups represented certain barrios (marginal neighborhoods) and performed during all-night transits through the city streets, stopping to give serenades at certain homes or meet with each other in competition. The tradition evolved as new generations took over and elders retired. This generational turnover and change is conceptualized as three distinct eras by the tonada musicians. Since the beginning of the third era in the 1960s, the tonadas have declined considerably in their activity, passing to the realm of preserved folklore. Following the rise in tourism in Cuba in the 1990s, the tonadas have become confined to folkloric performances for tourists.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Johnny Frias.
Thesis: Thesis (M.M.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local: Adviser: Crook, Larry N.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2010
System ID: UFE0041692:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0041692/00001

Material Information

Title: History and Evolution of the Tonadas Trinitarias of Trinidad de Cuba
Physical Description: 1 online resource (136 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Frias, Johnny
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010


Subjects / Keywords: cuba, tonada, tonadas, trinitaria, trinitarias
Music -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Music thesis, M.M.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: The tonada trinitaria is an Afro-Cuban musical manifestation native to the town of Trinidad de Cuba. The city became one of the Caribbean s foremost sugar exporters in the early nineteenth century, for which reason thousands of African slaves were brought to work in the neighboring Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills). It was here that the local musical practices of African slaves, their descendents, and white peasants meshed, producing an environment conducive to the creation of creole musical forms, of which the tonada trinitaria is a prime example. The tradition took shape among the black urban population of Trinidad following the collapse of the city s sugar-based economy in the late 1840s. The first tonada groups appeared during the first war of Cuban independence (1868-1878), propagated by Patricio Gasco acuten and Tando Villa, both of whom were musicians of the Cabildo de San Antonio de Congos Reales. This cabildo was a cultural and religious center of Bantu-derived traditions, serving as a theater for local black cultural production. Both men were also war volunteers in the Cuban army and zafreros (cane-cutters during harvest season). Their personal backgrounds and interactions in the war and in the sugar fields of the Valle de los Ingenios allowed them to combine the Spanish and African musical influences which formed the base of the tonadas trinitarias. The tonada groups consist of a chorus, a lead singer, three small drums, a gu umlautiro (gourd-scraper), and a hoe blade struck with an iron beater. The gui acutea, or lead singer, begins by introducing the tonada (a two-to-four line text). The percussion joins in, providing a steady rhythmic accompaniment, followed by the chorus, who repeats the tonada. In call-and-response style, the gui acutea improvises his text based on the theme of the tonada. These themes include love, social commentary, patriotism, and puyas, which poke fun at a certain person or situation. The tonada groups represented certain barrios (marginal neighborhoods) and performed during all-night transits through the city streets, stopping to give serenades at certain homes or meet with each other in competition. The tradition evolved as new generations took over and elders retired. This generational turnover and change is conceptualized as three distinct eras by the tonada musicians. Since the beginning of the third era in the 1960s, the tonadas have declined considerably in their activity, passing to the realm of preserved folklore. Following the rise in tourism in Cuba in the 1990s, the tonadas have become confined to folkloric performances for tourists.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Johnny Frias.
Thesis: Thesis (M.M.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local: Adviser: Crook, Larry N.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2010
System ID: UFE0041692:00001

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2 2010 Johnny Fras


3 To my great grandmot her Flor Marina Lpez, who introduced me to Cuban culture.


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank my parents and family, my good friend Pepe Clavijo, and my pro fessors Larry Crook and Welson Tremura for their guidance and support. I would also like to thank Enrique Zayas Bringas whose help made my research in Trinidad possible.


5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 7 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 8 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 9 CHAPTER 1 PRELUDE TO THE TONADAS TRINITARIAS: THEORETICAL AND HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES ................................ ................................ .............. 11 A Theoretical Framework ................................ ................................ ........................ 11 The Colonial History of Trinidad de Cuba ................................ ............................... 14 Instruments of the Tonadas Trinitarias ................................ ................................ ... 23 2 ORIGINS THE T ONADA TRINITARIA ................................ ................................ .... 30 ................................ ................................ ............ 30 Patricio Gascn and Tando Villa ................................ ................................ ............. 34 Rebel Activities and the Wars of Independence ................................ ..................... 36 The Valle de los Ingenios and the Cabildo de Congos Reales ............................... 39 ................................ ................................ .............. 42 The Coros de Clave ................................ ................................ ................................ 44 Tonada Themes and Performance Contexts ................................ .......................... 48 3 THE MUSICAL SIDE ................................ ................................ .............................. 55 Fernando Ortiz and Afro Cuban Music ................................ ................................ ... 55 African Derived Element s in the Tonadas ................................ ............................... 56 Rhythmic Characteristics ................................ ................................ ........................ 58 Vocal Characteristics ................................ ................................ .............................. 64 Folkloricization ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 72 4 EVOLUTION OF THE TONADAS TRINITARIAS ................................ ................... 74 Arnaldo Fonseca: An Elder Tonadero ................................ ................................ ..... 74 Race and the Tonadas in Trinidad ................................ ................................ ... 74 ................................ ................................ ............................ 76 ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 85 The Three Eras ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 88 The First Era ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 91 The Second Era ................................ ................................ ............................... 95


6 The Third Era ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 98 Contemporary Performance: Conjunto Folklrico de Trinidad ........................ 115 T he Impact of Tourism ................................ ................................ .......................... 122 5 CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 126 GLOSSARY OF TERMS ................................ ................................ ............................. 131 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 133 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 136


7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 Compari son of instrumental and vocal parts in Afro Cuban musics. .................. 57 3 2 Comparison of the structure of inspiraciones in Cuban musics. ......................... 66


8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure pag e 1 1 Location of Trinidad de Cuba. ................................ ................................ ................ 15 1 2 The Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills). ................................ ............ 21 1 3 The instruments of the ton adas trinitarias. ................................ ............................. 26 3 1 6/8 bell pattern. ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 59 3 2 Bell pattern in 2/4 time. ................................ ................................ .......................... 59 3 3 Giro pattern as played by Gregorio ................................ ................................ ...... 60 3 4 Giro pattern as played by members of the Conju nto Folklrico. ........................... 60 3 5 Bombo pattern as played by Claro ................................ ................................ ......... 61 3 6 Bombo pattern as played by Bernardo. ................................ ................................ .. 62 3 7 Bombo pattern as played by Nelson. ................................ ................................ ..... 62 3 8 Un solo golpe pattern. ................................ ................................ ............................ 63 4 1 Arnaldo Fon seca and Pedro Carpio Quezada ................................ ....................... 78 4 ................................ .................... 104 4 3 Timeline of the evolution of the tonadas trinitarias. ................................ ................ 91


9 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Music HISTORY AND EVOL UTION OF THE TONADAS TRINITARIAS OF TRINIDAD DE CUBA By Johnny Fras May 2010 Chair: Larry Crook Major: Music The tonada trinitaria is an Afro Cuban musical manifestation native to the town of foremost sugar exporters in the early nineteenth century, for which reason thousands of African slaves were brought to work in the neighboring Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills). It was here that the local musical practices of African slave s their descendents, and white peasants meshed, produc ing an environment c onducive to the creation of creole musical forms, of which the tonad a trinitaria is a prime example. The tradition took shape among the black urb an population of Trinidad following based economy in the late 1840s. The first tonada groups appeared during the first war of Cuban independence (1868 1878), propagated by Patricio Gascn and Tando Villa, both of whom were musicians of the Cabildo de San Ant onio de Congos Reales. This cabildo was a c ultural and religious center of Bantu derived traditions, serving a s a theater for local black cultural production. Both men were also war volunteers in the Cuban army and zafreros (cane cutters during harvest s eason). Their personal backgrounds and interactions in the war and in the


10 sugar fields of the Valle de los Ingenios allowed them to combine the Spanish and African musical influences which formed the base of the tonadas trinitarias The tonada groups con sist of a chorus, a lead singer, three small drums, a g iro (gourd scraper), and a hoe blade struck with an iron beater. The gua, or lead si nger, begins by introducing the tonada (a two to four line text). The percussion joins in, providing a steady rhy thmic accompaniment, followed by the chorus, who repeats the tonada In call and response style, the gua improvises his text based on the theme of the tonada These themes include love, social commentary, patriotism, and puyas which poke fun at a certa in person or situation. The tonada groups represented certain barrios (marginal neighborhoods) and performed during all night transits through the city streets, stopping to give serenades at certain homes or meet with each other in competition. The tra dition evolved as new generations took over and elders retired. This generational turnover and change is conceptualized as three distinct eras by tonada musicians. Since the beginning of the third era in the 1960s the tonadas have declined considerably in their activity, passing to the realm of preserved folklore. Following the rise in tourism in Cuba in the 1990s, the tonadas have become confined to folkloric performances for tourists.


11 CHAPTER 1 PRELUDE TO THE TONAD AS TRINITARIAS: THEORETICAL AND HIS TORICAL PERSPECTIVES A Theoretical Framework The tonada trinitaria is an Afro Cuban musical manifestation native to the town of Trinidad de Cuba. It was here that the local musical practices of African slaves their descendents, and white peasants meshed, produc ing an environment c onducive to the creation of creole musical forms, of which the tonada trinitaria is a prime example. Thus the tonadas are a creole product specific to Trinidad. They also fall into the category designated by Cuban scholars as A fro Cuban folklore. It is necessary to understand certain key concepts in order to frame the history and evolution of the tonada trinitaria. Perhaps all historical scholarly study of Cuban music must take into account the concepts of creolization and tra nsculturation. In addition, it is important to clarify the Cuba. distinctive new culture out of (1995, 14) This term is used to describe the new cultural practices in the Caribbean resulting from the mix of African, European, indigenous, and Asian influences during colonialism. In Cuba, the pri mary groups coming together were Spanish and West African in origin, themselves composed of a variety of ethnicities. In terms of Cuban music, creolization is behind the origin of virtually every style created on the island. Many of these musics were fir st cultivated among the lower (largely black) classes, whose traditions were denounced as inferior by Eurocentric elites. The tonadas trinitarias are an example of a creole musical tradition, drawing largely on the influence


12 of Bantu derived musical pract ices and those of the primarily Spanish descended Cuban peasants. It was not until the twentieth century that black cultural production in Cuba began gaining scholarly acceptance due primarily to the work of Fernando Ortiz (1881 1969), the Cuban scholar r derived cultural practices in depth In one of his most famous works, Contrapunteo cubano del tabaco y el azcar ( [1940] 1978), Ortiz introduced the concept of transculturation as an alternative to acculturati on. The latter implies an ethnocentric view : when culture changes, it moves in a unilateral direction towards Western development. Transculturation allows for more than one way movement. It is the natural tendency for humans to resolve conflict over tim e, which translates into exchange and adaptation between two cultural groups. Ortiz explains that cultural loss, miscegenation, and creation all occur within transculturation For all parties involved, cultural elements are both contributed and lost, cre ating a new cultural union. In Cuba, the broadest generalization we can make about the culture is to call it mulato the offspring of Spanish and West African peoples in the context of colonialism and slavery. The tonada trinitaria is a product of transc ulturation resulting from the confluence of musical influences of Spanish and West African groups, specifically those which survived the harsh environment of slavery. Ortiz, in his later works, was able to apply the idea of transculturation to the music of C uba. In his works such as La africana de la msica folklrica de Cuba ([1950] 2001) he attempted to discern African and Iberian elements and trace their lineage to specific ethnic groups based on musical characteristics. The phenomenon of transcultur ation can be used to explain the majority if not all musical production on


13 the island. Cuban folkloric musi pre revolutionary Cuba, when racism was deeply ingrained in society (Hagedorn 1995). Between 1924 and 1937, the study of popul ar traditional Cuban culture referring to the cultural practices of the masses as opposed to elite culture was established, with Ortiz at the forefront. derived from European notions of the folk, referr ing to the lower socio economic stratum. In Cuba this signaled African folklore, but according to Kathe to denote a popular perf Cuban folklore refers to black cultural production characterized by oral transmission, variation, and improvised performance, folkloric production occurs when a derivation of this is performed (Hagedorn 19 95). Essentially, this is folklore withdrawn from its original context often in the form of staging by folkloric groups. It is thus transformed into a cultural commodity, as it is showcased for audience consumption. These concepts are present in the h istory and evolution of the tonadas trinitarias. According to Joseto Lares (2009), a tonada musician I interviewed in 2009, this


14 history and evolution is conceptualized into three eras. The first era begins with the origins of the tonada tradition arou 1878). The second begins in the decade of the 1900s or 1910s as a younger generation takes over the direction of the tonada groups. The tradition flourishes until 1950 or 1951, after which it declines, entering a p eriod of dormancy due to local economic and political crises. The early 1960s marks the beginning of the third era under the new Revolutionary government, whereupon the tonadas are revived in a new folkloricized setting. Let us now turn to the story of T rinidad de Cuba, out of whose unique history the tonadas emerged. The Colonial History of Trinidad de Cuba The tonada trinitaria central coast. Dating back to the mid nineteenth century, t he genre contains notable African influences and can be described as predominantly Afro Cuban 1 The music is performed by an ambulatory chorus of singers who respond to a lead voice, accompanied by a small ensemble of drums and percussion. While its heri tage owes much to the influence of Spanish and Cuban peasant music, its uniqueness in the realm of Cuban music stems from its locality. The history of the tonada trinitaria is inextricably tied to that of Trinidad. This chapter recounts the chronological history of Trinidad de its rise as a major sugar exporter of Cuba during the late eighteenth century, leading to a short golden age This was followed by eco nomic crisis, isolation, and the rise of 1 pularization of this term in reference to black cultural Cubans of predominant African heritage, as well as the African slaves brought to Cuba.


15 the tonada trinitaria. Scholars can agree as to the general area of origin, time frame, and the various cultural groups whose influence marked the tradition, yet the details are still contested. Presenting the ea rly colonial history of Trinidad leading up to the tonada trinitaria and describing its various cultural influences, this chapter serves as a prelude to the origin of this unique tradition. Figure 1 1. Location of Trinidad de Cuba. Diego Velzquez de Cu llar founded Trinidad de Cuba near the Arimao River, with the motive of extracting gold from the surrounding valley. The area was populated by a large indigenous community which was rapidly decimated as it was exploited for labor by the Europeans. Today w hat remains of indigenous origin are many of the place names: the Guamuhaya (or Escambray) Mountains, the Arimao River, and the Guaurabo River. The Villa de la Santsima Trinidad was among the first eight villas or permanent settlements in Cuba. Whil e most historians of the area regard Trinidad as the third villa, Jos Castellanos argues it was fourth, citing the specific dates recorded The first musicians in Trinidad arrived with the Velzquez expedition: Juan Ortis, Alonso Morn, and Porras. Porras was a singer, Morn played the vihuela (a guit ar like stringed instrument originating in Spain), and Ortis was both a singer and master of the vihuela and viola. Ortis resided in Trin idad for four years, where he was a music


16 instructor (Zayas, June 11, 2009). These were the first colonial musicians in Cuba, and although they all would leave with Hernn Corts to the conquest of Mexico, the Spanish musical footprint had been planted. Spanish hegemony would mean that European music. African derived musics would be regarded as barbaric and unrefined throughout the colonial period and well into the twe ntieth century. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Trinidad gained significance as a Caribbean. This reflected their area of primary interest, and Caribb ean port cities acted as points on a net of communication and trade. Trinidad was particularly important due of contraband trade and corsairs, Trinidad became a cent er of importance, again due to its strategic geographic location. The fortification of Havana, the system of Spanish flotas, and the centralization and monopolization of the Spanish crown favoring Havana in the seventeenth century made Trinidad an alterna tive (contraband) trading point for the Dutch, British, and French (Venegas Delgado 2005; Garca 1972). Coastal towns in Cuba falling outside of the navigation circuit of the flotas were unfortified. They led a precarious existence, relying on contraband and inter colonial commerce (Capablanca 1998). Isolation and a somewhat privileged access to contraband trade and this allowed for slow economic growth. In the latter part of the century, Trinidad began to employ local corsairs, who attacked foreign shi ps and other colonies, contributing to an accumulation of wealth in the town.


17 This was accompanied by subsistence farming and cattle ranching. The first tobacco farmers were l argely from the Canary Islands. Beginning in the late seventeenth century, Spanish immigration policies brought fifty Canarian families each year to Cuba, who dedicated themselves primarily to agriculture. This formed the base of the Cuban peasantry (Esq uenazi Prez 2009). These colonos (small scale farmers) owned the vegas of tobacco in the fertile countryside surrounding the town of Trinidad. During this time Trinidad had one of the smallest populations in Cuba (Capablanca 1998). Tobacco, contraband, and corsairs were to be the economic momentum leading into the changes of the late eighteenth century. Trinidad developed an independent consciousness due to its isolation and contraband activities An absence of colonial authority in the city spurred the local perception that Trinidad was free of Spanish dominance. I ts involvement with foreigners in contraband trade forged a sense of inter colonial ties and disobedience toward the Spanish crown (Capablanca 1998). In addition, Trinidad had a strong, l ocal, creole character. These traits rebelliousness, locality, and creoleness continue to characterize the city into the present day, and contribute d to the formation of unique cultural traditions such as the tonada trinitaria. In the early eighteen th century, economic liberalization and the first sugar plantations created a major shift in the local economy. The change of dynasties in replaced with liberal policies promoti ng the interest of its colonies (Cap ablanca 1998). Spain began giving increased attention to Trinidad, recognizing the significance of its geographic location, which was on the border of its Caribbean dominion. Spain


18 reasserted its authority over Trinida d, result ing in the decline of contraband trade and piracy. Filling this gap were the first small sugar plantations. In 1737, seventeen existed, increasing to twenty five by 1757 of piracy and increasing econ omic advantages, its population increased. During this time Catholic traditions became more pro nounced Since the earliest days of its existence, Trinidad had maintained a Catholic tradition. Bartolom de las Casas held the first mass shortly after arriv ing in Trinidad with Velzquez in 1514 churches were built. The arrival of the Frays of San Francisco during this time also ious sentiment was reflected in the establishment of the street names: Cristo, Rosario, Gloria, and Amargura, among others. The first Holy Week with processions dates back to 1534 in Trinidad, yet these seem to have gained importance in the seventeenth ce ntury (Len 1983). The processions made their way through the streets of the town whose names were connected to these from church to church (Capablanca 1998). antecedent to later secular reinterpretations, of which the tonada trinitaria is an example. The processions were dedicated to various saints and were each different in character. At least some, however, were accompanied by music in transit. Garca Alvarez cites the an orchestra, and a chorus which sang a verse of the miserere at each cross 2 14). Len expands upon this fact: 2 The pr ocessions stopped at crosses which were set up on the processional routes. Some were on buildings, while others were planted in the ground.


19 In colonial times, the Brotherhood of San Antonio, who were almos t entirely free blacks and mulattoes, were in charge of heading the procession. That p rocession was sponsored by the c ongo 3 Cabildo of Trinidad, under the tutelage and authorization of the clergy and merchants The whole nocturnal transit is accompan ied by the city band and choruses of the different brotherhoods 4 (1983, 24) Week processions, but it seems to have been established firmly by the nineteenth century. As fa r as the cab ildos in Trinidad, the primary c abildo that is, linked to the Catholic Church in the town was linked to the power and political structure of the Church. The Afro Cuban cabildos period of wealth and splendor. These were the products of the mass numbers of African slaves brought in to work in sugar production some of whom were able to organize mutual aid societies in Trinidad which aided in African cultural preservation The late eighte production rose, the population increased sharply, and an unprecedented accumulation of wealth transformed the small town into an economic and political center of Cuba. A number of factors pushed Tri nidad in this direction. In 1731, lieutenant governors were put in charge of the Cuban provinces. Trinidad became the seat of governance of the central province (Las Villas). Following the British occupation of Havana in 1762, the government of Carlos I II carried out economic and political reforms aimed at defending its colonial holdings and promoting free trade between the metropolis and the colonies stimulated the 3 In Cuba, the slaves of the Bantu groups were called congos and their derivative culture described as congo. Thes e labels are Spanish terms; thus they do not require capitalization. 4 All translations are by the author.


20 largest sugar producer Saint Domingue in 1791 with the Haitian Revolution, Cuba seized the opportunity and began its rise as a sugar giant. By the beginning of the nineteenth ce ntury, Trinidad had become the third largest exporter of sugar in Cuba. from the huge exodus of capital which arrived at its door. Huge numbers of Saint Domingue planters transplanted their holdings including slaves to Cuba. They became especially significant to coffee production in the eastern province of Oriente. Trinidad, encompassed by fertile mountains and valleys to the north, also received a bulk of Saint Domin Slaves and Their Musical Contributions As Trinidad moved from tobacco and cattle ranching into a sugar based economy, the manu al labor requirements incited the influx of large numbers of African slaves. The first Spanish slave ship arrived in Casilda (a small town adjacent to Trinidad which s erved as its port) in 1698. Those first one hundred and fifty slaves were bought by tho se who would be come the primary landowning families in Trinidad: the Borrells, Iznagas, and Echenaguzias. These surnames are still common in Trinidad among both whites and blacks, a testament to the level of miscegenation which occurred in Trinidad. Trin According to census data, there were 44,393 slaves in Cuba in 1774. This had risen to economic growth corresponds closely: t he city reached its zenith in 1841, exporting over 8,000 tons of sugar (Garca Alvarez 1992). It was the fifth largest city in Cuba, its


21 wealth rivaled only by Havana and Matanzas (Capablanca 1998). The Valle de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills) home containe d 43 mill s. The demographics also changed radically as well; t he black population had increased drastically during the sugar boom. In 1845, over half of the 15,000 inhabitants were black or mulatto (Capablanca 1998). In addition, the neighboring Valle de los Ingenios was home to large numbers of slaves. The Africans brought to Trinidad came primarily from the western portion of the continent of Africa, an area stretching from modern day Senegal to Angola. The largest groups were classified in Cuba under the names mandinga, gang, mina, arar, lucum, carabal, and congo. The last three were the most influential in Trinidad, Figure 1 2. The Valle de lo s Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills). evident in the religion, music, and cabildos of the region. In Cuba, the c ongos (Bantu) were the largest group to be brought prior to the nineteenth century, being replaced with


22 increasing numbers of lucumes (Yorub a). However, this pattern was somewhat concentrated in Havana and the western provinces; in central Cuba the c ongos maintained their large numbers. Lpez Valds (2002, 262) shows that c ongos comprised 67% of the slaves in Santa Clara, 50% in the Ro de A y (adjacent to Trinidad), an d 71% in Sancti Spritus. The c ongo slaves were not only a majority of the slave population, but given that they had been brought in large numbers since the early days of slavery, their descendents in the free colored populatio n of Trinidad were most likely numerous. The first Afro Cuban cabildo in Trinidad w as established in 1845 and was c ongo in affiliation. A group of free c ongos bought a house which would serve both as a center for ritual activities and for entertainment for the marginalized black community. As for any organization of the time, it needed to be established under the name of a Catholic p atron saint. In this way it could be accepted by the colonial au thorities while veiling its African character. Thus it was given the name Cabildo de San Antonio de Congos Reales 5 Cabildos served as cultural centers for Africans and their descendents, providing both mutual aid and a space dedicated to practice of African traditions (Mendoza Lorenzo 1986). Following the foundation of the Cabildo de San Antonio, others were established, tied to the lucum and carabal groups. The lucum were numerous in Trinidad, yet their cabildos in Trinidad did not survive into the late twentieth century. The carabal cabildo had no c ounterparts in Trinidad. This cabildo was seemingly short lived in Trinidad, and 5 The congos reales are a specific sub group of the Bantu in Cuba, originating from the Bacongo in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Bacongo were the largest Bantu ethnic group in Cuba, comprising 73.1% of the congo population (CIDMUC 1997, 20; Lpez Valds 2002, 271).


23 may have been absorbed into the Cabildo de San Antonio. An abaku 6 influence is also unlikely, as there were never branches ( potencias ) of this society in Trinidad. What is musical instruments. The instruments of the tonada trinitaria are intimately tied to the Cabildo San Antonio, which plants them as creolized c ongo c arabal creations Instruments of the Tonadas Trinitarias The drums used in the tonada trinitaria are downsized versions of the large drum used in the Cabildo de San Antonio, called the tambor yuka. The yuka is a c ongo music and dance tradition in Cuba. Yuka is played with three tall, single headed, cylindrical and its tuning system. It is used not only for yuka but for all of the ritual and dance musics of the Cabildo de San Antonio including makuta, bemb, and palo In Cuba, tuning systems are an important factor in designating the African ethnic origins of drums. The c ongo d er ived tuning system generally consists of heads that are tacked or nailed onto the drum. Yet the yuka dr um of Trinidad uses a characteristic tuning system of the carabal: ropes and stakes. For this reason Mara Teresa Linares recognizes that: the drums of Trinidad offer a regional typological variant of a tubular, cylindrical, wooden shell with the head at tached with ropes and parietal tension stakes, resulting from a process of transculturation occurring during the nineteenth century between the congo and carabal groups who mixed in the region of Trin idad Sancti Spritus. (2006, 26) Indeed, transculturat ion is a central process at work in Cuban culture, likewise 6 Abaku refers to a secret male fraternal society originating in the Calabar region of Africa among the Efik (car abal in Cuba). Similar to Masonry, the society was reestablished in Cuba by slaves and their descendents. They employ a set of drums similar to those found in the tonada trinitaria.


24 used to explain the creation of Afro Cu ban musics by Fernando Ortiz, who first used the term in his work Contrapunteo del tabaco y azcar ( [1940] 1978) In the same manner the yuka drum was recre ated, so the drums of the tonada trinitaria emerg ed. The musicians made small versions of the yuka drum in order to make them more portable, maintaining the same tuning system and general construction. Constructed from a solid tree trunk and reaching alm ost to chest height, the yuka drum was not easily moved, and was played hanging from the waist while on the ground or leaning on a post. In context, t he drums of the tonada trinitaria are less than a foot in height, lightweight, and can be played sitting, with the drums between the legs of the drummer, or hanging from a shoulder rope under the arm. Why were ambulatory drums needed? If we recall the tradition of Catholic processions in the streets, and the secularization of these practices, we have the an swer to this question, as well as to the origin of the tonada trinitaria. The secularization of Catholic proc population is a key to the organization of the tonada trinitaria groups. The Holy Week processions, which seem to hav e been similar to those celebrated in Andalusia (Castellanos 1981), were complemented by many other celebrations linked to the Church, the most important of which were the festivals of San Juan and San Pedro: June 24 and 29, respectively 7 These days were also marked by processions led by the Church and cabildos. As previously mentioned, the Cabildo de San Antonio was a sponsor of the nocturnal processions, and the Brotherhood of Sa n Antonio composed primarily of free blacks was in charge of organizin g these (Len 19 83). Therefore the free black population of Trinidad had a major hand in these processions, particularly the Cabildo de San Antonio 7 This became the period of carnival in Trinidad.


25 de Congos Reales. These processions were accompanied by musicians and singers, many of which were likely b lack In colonial Cuba, music was one of the opportunities for employment prized by blacks. For them, it was a vehicle of upward mobility, whereas it was seen as a degrading occupation by whites. Just as in other areas of the Caribbean, elements of Euro pean military band music used in processions was reinterpreted and transformed by the black population. If the municipal band accompanied processions, as Len (1983) claims, this would likely point to European military processional instrumentation, such a s snare drum, bombo (bass drum), and horns. This type of instrumentation has left its mark on carnival music practices in Trinidad as in the rest of Cuba. However linking this to the tonada trinitaria is not so clear cut unless we look at the names of t he drums. The three drums used in the tonada trinitaria are called from highest pitched to lowest quinto, un solo golpe, and bombo. All thre e names are Spanish, as are th e names for the rest of the instruments. The lowest pitch drum clearly is link ed to the idea of the bass drum, hence the influence of European military bands in Trinidad is likely. drum, as in the rumba tradition. Its origin is Spanish, where it r eferred to the idea of improvisation of the high pitched stringed instrument called the requinto 8 The middle rhythmic base. The other instruments in the tonada tr initaria include a campana and a g iro The beater The 8 From requinto comes the verb requintear which is the action of playing and improvising on the requinto.


26 g iro is a gourd scraper common throughout Cuba and the Caribbean area. While the hoe blade is a regular occurrence in Afro C uban ritual music, the g iro is not. The g iro is of indigenous origin, generally associated in Cuba and the Caribbean with peasant al son del tiple y el g iro, connotative of msica guajira (co untry music). These instruments are a primary link to the countryside, one to the guajiros (peasants) and the other to slavery. The guajiros, who were largely descended from Canarian families (or themselves Canarian) were white or blanqueado Figure 1 3 The instruments of the tonadas trinitarias. From left to right: quinto, bombo, campana, g iro, un solo golpe. with white. ing that a person in that color category may have had a black grandmother or the like (Zayas June 10, 2009). These guajiros were well known for their reunions in which music and food were central. Guajiro parties, or guateques featured the singing of to nadas (sung verses) and dcimas (ten line improvised texts) accompanied by strummed stringed instruments (some combination of tiple, tres, guitarra, and lad ) and g iro.


27 The Valle de los Ingenios was home to Canarians, guajiros, African and creole slave s, Saint Domingue exiles, and white plantation employees. They lived on sugar, tobacco, and coffee plantations primarily. Guajiros were dedicated primarily to smaller scale farming of these and other crops. Not only would slaves have been exposed to the music of their guajiro neighbors, but they likely would have traded with them on a regular basis. Some slaves had provision grounds, and traded pigs and vegetables with the guajiros (Barnet 1976). Further, the guajiros and slaves shared a similar low ec onomic status, albeit not equals. Canarians and guajiros who owned tobacco plantations also frequently owned some slaves, who often worked alongside their masters in the field. The tonada trinitaria was known at various points in its history by the name s tango and fandango derived dances in the Americas (Carpentier 1979). The term t not remain in use for long (Zayas 2001). By at least the late nineteenth century, the s labele d as a result of its entrance into the realm of folklore supported by the government. The name tonada trinitaria not only specifies its specific origin, but ties it to the music of the countryside, romanticized as truly Cuba n and nationalistic, not to mention America to reference song texts accompanied by guitar. In Cuba the term is generally


28 used in the realm of guajiro music, which has mark ed influence from southern Spain and the Canary Islands, for example the use of improvised poetic texts. The tonadas campesinas the tonadas of the countryside sung by guajiros are based on a melodic and rhythmic structure which repeats with each tona da. Each tonada comprises a verse or set of verses. In the tonada trinitaria the melodic and textual structure is very similar to the tonada campesina. Further, in both practices there exists a t radition of improvisation on a common theme. These lead s ingers called guas tonada trinitaria or gallos in the tonadas campesinas or dcimas perform this function, facing competitors in a friendly battle. followi ng question: in an effort to produce music, what did the slave have at his disposal? A table? A wooden wall or door? Perhaps a hoe blade, a machete or an old chair with a rawhide seat? The fallacy that African music is synonymous with drumming is ofte n perpetuated in Cuba as it is around the globe. Music in Africa is as diverse or more diverse than that found in Europe or Asia. The African is not inherently rhythmic nor is he or she a born dancer. Fernando Ortiz combated what he saw as these rac ist and stereotypical views imposed by whites. He argued that the basic musical conceptions were different between Europeans and Africans; therefore judging Afro Cuban music from a European aesthetical view was invalid. Drawing examples from Afro Cuban m usic, Ortiz declared that Africans valued rhythm as a central stabilizing component. Their drumming did indeed contain intricate melodies, as did their singing, complex harmonies (Ortiz [1950] 2001). The elements of Afro Cuban music are cultural product s of specific African


29 ethnicities which underwent a process of transculturation in an environment dominated by slavery and European hegemony. Therefore, the predominance of drums and percussion in Afro Cuban music do not indicate that the slaves were unfa miliar with stringed instruments or complex choral singing; rather this reflects both the importance of percussion to the dominant ethnic groups (lucum, congo, carabal, arar), and the materials available to reconstruct instruments from memory in the con text of slavery. In the Valle de los Ingenios, the slave who wanted to make music reached for what was at hand, be it a table or a wall. Conversely, slaves recreate d that with which they w ere familiar, drawing from memory, ethnic background, cultural con tact, and working with available materials. Many Afro Cuban instruments developed with this process in the context of slavery. Hoe blades, drums, wooden boxes, and gourds are commonly found in Afro Cuban ritual and profane music. Furthermore, collective music making was not limited to free time, but also occured during work time Work songs were found among cane cutters and other occupations; slaves may have been obliged to sing at times by overseers in order to limit friendly conversation between the w orkers (Zayas June 10, 2009).


30 CHAPTER 2 ORIGINS OF THE TONADA TRINIT ARIA While some attribute the origin of the tonada trinitaria to the Valle de los Ingenios, others trace it to the cabildo or to the festivities of San Juan. It is certain that the root s of the tonada trinitaria lie in the valley; after all, it was this valley which provided the economic and dietary sustenance of Trinidad. The influences of the tonadas campesinas and the g iro both of which came from guajiro music are clearly an Afro Cuban adaptation. Yet it is not likely that the tonada trinitaria, which requires a n organized group of singers and a set of drums descended from the yuka drum of the Cabildo de San Antonio existed among the slaves of the Valle de los Ingenios. The free time required to organize such a group simply would have not been available to slaves. The musical manifestations of the slaves were limited due to the harsh environment of slavery. Furthermore, the link to the Catholic practices of the city and the Cabi ldo de San Antonio and the level of creolization evident in the music clearly position the origin of the organized tradition with the urban black population of Trinidad itself. The tonada trinitaria also has a processional character which is linked to the religious celebrations of urban Trinidad. The transculturation evident in the drums and their tuning systems is a r esult of the influences of the c ongo and carabal cabildos on each other, both of which were located in Tri nidad itself. While slaves led a life of limited freedom of expression, the free colored population involved in the African cabildos would have been able to better organize musical and processional activities. And indeed they did. As previously explaine d, the Brotherhood of San Antonio and t he Cabildo de San Antonio, led by free blacks, had important roles in organizing the


31 processions dedicated to the saints. These led naturally to Afro Cuban reinterpretations of the Spanish (Andalusian) traditions. I n addition to the religious processions themselves, the birth of secular musico processional traditions, such as the tonada trinitaria (and later carnival), took place beginning in the 1840s or 1850s, coinciding closely with the establishment of the Cabild o de San Antonio in 1845. Another element which ties the tonada trinitaria to the San Juan festivities is the tradition of face washing in the river, which is a reinterpretation of the baptism performed by Saint John (Garca et al. 1972). While this elem ent has long been lost, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century the fandangueros (fandango/tonada trinitaria musicians, also known as tonaderos ) performed through the night and at dawn proceeded to the river bank. Here they washed their faces t stifies to African (especially c ongo) beliefs involving malevolent spirits and the cleansing power of water (Garca et al. 1972, 75; Esquenazi Prez 2009). The practice of washing oneself with water is also found in Venezuela Brazil, and Puerto Rico, where at midnight thousands of people go to the beaches to dunk themselves in the ocean. Garcia (et al. 1972) ties the tradition in Cuba to the superstition that if one di d not cleanse himself with water on the day of San Juan, bugs would fall on him. The following tonada trinitaria text illustrates th e connections to the San Juan festivities: Qu lindas son, qu lindas son, las maanas de San Juan, qu lindas son [ How bea utiful, how beautiful, the mornings of Saint J ohn, how beautiful ]


32 Another interesting tie to the festivities of San Juan is described by Garca (et al. 1972), comparing the tradition to that practiced in Venezuela and other areas of America. In the towns of Yaracuy, Carboleos, Aragua, the Federal District, and Miranda, the 24 th of June the day of San Juan was celebrated with drumming and festivities. Trinidad, historically linked to northern South America as a point of departure and arrival of mail s ervices and commerce, was influenced by the religious practices of Colombia and Venezuela particularly in the importance placed on Catholic traditions. Thus, in Trinidad, the tonadas trinitarias evolved as an Afro Cuban secular manifestation of these re ligious processions. Furthermore, the link with Venezuela was confirmed through the mutual presence of revolution against Spain. Narciso Lpez, an early leader of Cuban revolutionary activity and governor of Trinidad, was of Venezuelan origin. The link to the Cuban independence wars will be examined in depth later in this chapter But did the tonada trinitaria emerge only as a manifestation linked to the fest ivities of San Juan? Garca (et al. 1972, 74) explains According to what we have heard, the to nada s tri nitarias took place on the eve of San Juan, when the groups of fandangueros set out primarily from the barrios Jibabuco and Pim p. In the Pim p, they would gather under the tamarind tree which still exists (on Aguacate Street between Rosario an d Coln [Streets]), and accompanying themselves with drums quinto, requinto, and bombo done in the processions, they sa ng their songs (the famous tonadas). Enrique Zayas (June 10, 2009) argues that the tonada tr initaria did indeed exist in the Valle de los Ingenios, performed by slave s in their sparse free time. As previously mentioned, d uring i t s earliest years, this music it was called tango The Bantu origin of the term ties it to the c ongo slaves. Tango wa s a generalized term referring to African dances and music, yet it is considered by Zayas to have designated the music of the


33 tonada trinitaria in Trinidad during this time. This period, in which the slaves lived in barracks in the plantations of the Va ll e de los Ingenios, may indeed be the origin of the tonada trinitaria. Y et this cannot be proven due to a lack of documen tation. It is possible that this tango simply was not documented until it arrived in the urban center of Trinidad or that other varia nts existed far removed and mu ch less documented than activities occuring in Trinidad. What Zayas seems to suggest is that the tonada trinitaria did not appear spontaneously in tonio; it must have had a rural antecedent. We must also examine the economic and demographic history of the mid nineteenth century in overwhelming majority of the black population would hav e been located in the valley. B an exodus from the Valle de los Ingenios to the urban center of Trinidad, (as well as to the neighboring developing city of Ci enfuegos). This represented a movement of the Cuban culture bearers from rural to urban. Furthermore, among the working class labor force in Trinidad there were many zafreros (harvest time cane cutters). This created a connection between the urban center and the valley, whereby every winter the time of the sugar harvest the zafreros moved temporarily to the valley to cut cane. During the latter part of the nineteenth century as Cuban slavery was transformed with the introduction of incre ased free labor and eventual abolition in 1886, zafrero was a common occupation for the lower classes and colored population. In Trinidad, although the sugar industry had declined, it still represented the primary economic activity. In harvest time, ther e would have been masses of people involved with the sugar


34 tonadas trinitarias were in fact zafreros themselves. Patricio Gascn and Tando Villa Patricio Gascn and Tando Villa are popularly considered th e fathers of the tonadas trinitarias. By the late 1860s these men each led an organized group of singers and drummers, employing the sam e drums as a re still used today. Fernando Villa a friend of Gascn, subsequently organized his ow n group from the rival Pimp (also called Simp or Tamarindo) barrio. Although most of the evidence seems to point to the late 1860s (around the begi 1868) as the time Gascn and Villa were first organizing these groups, some suggest this was as early as 1851. Zayas, citing newspaper archives from 1851, explains that these groups were permitted to proceed through the stree ts of Trinidad (Zayas 2001). It is possible that these groups existed before this, yet were simply not documented in print until this date. Manuel Quesada Puig, a tonada trinitaria musician interviewed by Prez, also traces the tradition back to at le ast 1851, speculating that at this time they were using the same drums employed today (Prez 1986, 52). Ramiro Guerra cites a historical description of what may have been a tonada trinitaria in 1846. F.D. Altanaga, a contemporary observer, recorded a m ass of people proceeding through the streets botija (large bottle used as a bass instrument), and a chorus (Guerra 1989, 49). While long drums are not characteristic of the tonada trinitaria, this may have been an earlier form or closely related tradi tion While the tonada trinitaria may have hitherto existed,


35 it is not until Patricio Gascn emerges with his daughters from the barrio of Jibabuco to parade through the other barrio s of the town, nourishing himself [his group] with the voices of the rest of the town which accompanies the group, that this form of choral music takes its definite form and style, during the Gascn and Villa were both zaf reros, working in the Valle de los Ingenios part of the year, most likely living in barracks during this time. This suggests these men were freed blacks who had their homes in the urban center of Trinidad. The free workers on the plantations would have c omp ri sed both whites and blacks of similar economic stature, and they would have likely worked alongside slaves. Their free status, however, would have allowed them certain liberties not accorded to their brethren in bondage. As previously explained, the slaves were often encouraged to sing during work, and were allowed limited free time in which they could entertain themselves with music and dance. With free colored and white workers of urban and rural backgrounds coexisting with slaves and surrounded b y guajiros who expressed their woes through dcimas, this musical environment was clearly conducive to the formation of new musical forms. Furthermore, during the beginning of the struggle for independence, Trinidad was a hotbed of rebel activity. Many of these men would have united whites, free blacks, slaves, and guajiros under the common cause of fighting the tyranny of colonial rule. Many of the main sugar areas of the central and western regions of Cuba were less involved in the rebel cause tha n in the E ast. Yet th is is due to the fact that the E ast was less developed as an area of large scale sugar plantations. The sugar plantation life of the central and western zones was little affected by rebel activity. In Trinidad, had the war occurred during the 1840s when large scale sugar plantations were dominant, the scene may


36 have b een very much like that of the w est ern economy had changed drastically. The crisis it suffered caused the Valle de los Ingeni By the 1850s and 1860s the majority of the sugar producers had left the Valle de los Ingenios, leaving Trinidad decrepit and cut off. Furthermore, Trinidad still remained isolated geographically, and the economic ac tivity of its ports declined, contributing even more to this isolation. If the large scale sugar plantations represented stability and conservative views in favor of slavery and the Spanish crown, Trinidad no longer had this. Trinidad itself would have m ore closely resembled eastern Cuba cut off from the wealthy colonial center of Havana, free from the centrality of large sugar plantations, and economically and politically marginalized. Their communities would have been composed primarily of economical ly deprived workers with a healthy dose of African influence and a sizeable black population. For this reason they were centers of anti colonial activity. Rebel Activities and the Wars of Independence Although Trinidad had a history of rebel activity da ting to the first half of the nineteenth century, the effects of the crisis were critical in strengthening this tendency. ey). Men were recruited from the city and the planta tions, yet were easily defeated by Spanish troops (Castell anos 1989, 52). Narciso Lpez himself, one of the most important rebel leaders of Cuba, was at first half of the nineteenth century. In fact he himself was governor of Trinidad, and as such establish ed the city as a center of rebel activity in the island. Quirino Amzaga, a


37 native trinitario of African He became a martyr following h is e xecution in Trinidad. Juan Jos Armenteros was the lead er of a large group of slaves who revolted on January 6 1838 (the Day of Kings), setting fire to cane fields, haciendas sugar mills, and coffee fields. Trinidad can trace this rebelliousness to its days as a center for contraband trade and piracy. This tendency also set it apart from the rest of the west and central regions, and the downfall of its economy and the exodus of many of the upper class planter families left Trinidad much as it had been economically and politically before the success of the sugar economy there: isolated and poor. Stripped of its rebel continued to play a lead ing role in the rebel cause. In the second independence war (1895 sugar mills remained of the fifty which had dominated the Valle de los Ingenios in the ement in the independence movement coincided wit h the formation of the tonadas trinitarias. Joseto (Lares 2009) explains that Gascn himself, along with the first composers of tonadas were volunteers of the rebel army (known as Mambs). For this reason many of the tonadas surviving today contain patriotic themes, such as the tonada glorifying the Cuban war hero Maceo: Una corona al General Maceo Q ue los cubanos debemos de brindar Una corona de pura brillante Q ue ni el sol la pudiera empaar [ We Cubans sh ould offer A crown to General Maceo A crown of pure brilliance T hat not even the sun could outshine ]


38 Another tonada venerates the Siboney as an icon of the Cuban nationality: Viva el Siboney nen, V iva por quien morir Pero viva esa bandera otra vez P o r la que yo muero, L a que yo muero, Y o morir [ Long live the Siboney, L ong live those I would die for Long live that flag F or which I will die F or which I will die I will die ] Suero Reguera presents an interesting hypothesis as to the origin of the tonada trinitaria: whose first leader was Patricio Gascn, considered the founder of this genre in the town. It was he who, after the war, brought with him small drums with wedges [for the tension system] of African origin, similar to those used in the cabildo, but of smaller size (it is believed that the c ongos cut down these [cabildo] drums in order to allow for better mob ility during the war. (1972, 85) This explanation se ems to make sense. In this case, the three small drums would not have come into existence prior to the war there would have not been a necessity for ambulatory drums. There are however, a number of different possibilities. The drums may have existed prior to the war, being used in Trinidad for music processions. However this seems unlikely, as prior accounts of black processional music in 1846 and 1851 do not reference the use of three small drums. The only account of this is Manuel Quesada Puig who could only speculate that the same drums were used at that time (Prez 1986, 52). Zayas (June 10, 2009) professes that Gascn and Villa had


39 their groups already in 1851, but this would have been impossible; Gascn was born in 1840 and would have bee n only 11 years old (Guerra 1989). T he Valle de los Ingenios and the Cabildo de Congos Reales Both Gascn and Villa resided in Trinidad, and were known as well accomplished drummers and singers in the Cabildo de San Antonio de Congos Reales (Zayas 2009). Not only does this explain their musical talent and background, but this means they were likely of c ongo descent themselves. They would have been musical cohorts, and were pa rt of the central community of c ongos and the primary Afro Cuban cabildo. Ther efore, as musicians, zafreros, and war volunteers, they likely spent time performing music outside of the cabildo, outside of Trinidad, in the Valle de los Ingenios (during the harvest) and wherever the war may have taken them. Thus it is likely that thes e men Gascn being cited as the initiator perfected smaller version s of the yuka drum for easy mobility. During their free time in the barracks in the valley or in wartime, the smaller drums would allow them t o entertain themselves and o thers combini ng their c ongo musical background with the guajiro musical styles heard in the countryside. Zafreros or war volunteers of guajiro background l ikely sa ng tonadas campesinas and dcimas to the accompaniment of stringed instruments. Since the time of slave ry, blacks (free and enslaved) and whites had fraternized in the cantinas and markets in and around plantations in rural areas. Here, they played games, gambled, sang, and danced, exchanging cultural elem ents The music would have included singing tonada s campesinas and dancing the zapateo both guajiro traditions (Linares 1974). An campesinas likely produced the songs and rhythms of the tonada trinitaria. It is also possible that the three drums resulted from an


40 a baku or carabal influence. It is clear that the tuning of these drums with staves is a carabal characteristic, yet this seems to have occurred in the c ongo cabildo first, with the yuka drum. In the Cabildo de San Antonio de Congos Reales only one larg e drum is used for the musical liturgy, with a kat (two sticks striking the shell) played on the side of the bottom of the drum by a second drummer. The three tonada drums resemble abaku drums in size, shape, and tuning, yet an abaku potencia (center) never existed in Trinidad. Was Gascn exposed to abaku members during the war? From w here did the use of three drums suddenly arise? Furthermore the use of the hoe blade is not prominent in the Cabildo de San Antonio in their interpretat ions of the c o ngo liturgical music. Its use may be the result of borrowing from other African influences. Joseto (Lares 2009) recounts a story about Gascn and his cohorts in the barracks of the valley: and so he wrote some tonadas at the end of the war of six ty 9 and so at that time they were playing in the barracks, because they were doing the harvest, and so during the nights they would sing and play. and the governor heard them and sent for them to stop. Muy buenas noches mi a migo le al El gobernador me mand a buscar S ilencio en el barracn [ Good evening my dear f riend The governor sent me T o ask for silence in the barracks] and so they stop, but after fifteen or twenty days Patricio [Gascn] gets the players together and they g o to see the governor, and they s a ng: 9 tonadas being established well before the war of 1898. This was probably a mistake on his part, yet I believe it is important to present his exact words.


41 Yo le pido a s u merced Q ue me deje cantar Q ue me deje cantar Q ue me deje cantar [I ask your grace T o let me s ing T o let me sing T o let me sing] It was like a slave asking that very wel l, go After a few days he sent for them to be told that they could play. Alternatively, this song could have be en composed by slaves who were in the valley, but they would not have been able to go freely to the gover petition him through song. It is likely that it was indeed free blacks who petitioned the were common in Cuba in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Other recorded or surviving tonadas do not suggest direct origin among slaves. The lyrics speak of patriotism, love, religion, and social situations common in barrio life. These were products of urban free blacks with ties to the cabildo, the valley, a nd the war. The poetry exemplified in some of them suggests that the authors must have had at least minimal education. The lyrical content not only suggests the urban background of the authors addressing the life of the barrios but dates of origin th at can not have been much earlier than the Ten Years War. The level of patriotism and the cen trality of barrio life exemplified life in Trinidad during this time. During the Ten Years War patriotism would have reached an unprecedented peak. The number of blacks in the barrios would have risen drastically following the sugar crisis in the late 1840s. By the 1860s and 1870s there would have been a large number of established black workers in


42 the barrios. This atmosphere would have been conducive to the formation of new, localize d traditions, because Trinidad was isolated following the collapse of the economy. Let us examine the musical conditions of Trinidad in general during this time. Trinidad was home to a rich musical environment in the nineteenth century. the sixteenth century there are docu mented purchases of strings for vihuela. This indicates that those first musicians vihuela players themselves may have left behind students, or that new musicians had arrived by this time. Zayas ( June 11, 2009) hypothesizes that cultural development would have grown alongside economic development in Trinidad. This indeed seems to have been the case, as there is a growth of documented musical activity in Trinidad beginning in the late eighteenth century, coinciding with the rise of Trinidad as a wealt hy sugar producer. There existed a sizeable upper class of landowning families, many of whom were of European or North American origin. As Trinidad was one of the largest sugar producers in the world by 1840, local elite had the means to hire music teach ers for their children or send them to study in Europe a huge honor as in the case of Jos Julin Jimnez (1823 1880). An orchestra director himself, his father was also a musical director and his son Lico became one of the most famous Cuban pianists of the late nineteenth century. As early as 1808, the director of music of the Cathedral of Havana the most distinguished post in Cuba was a trinitario: Jos Franciso Ransoli y Navarro. Catalina Berroa (1819 1911) was an organist and musical director of the Parroquia Mayor (main parish) of


43 Trinidad She was a music professor who produced successful students, such as Lico. Her songs became very popular among serenading trovado res in Cuba This high level of cultural activity was supported by the weal thy families, and in 1840 the splendid Teatro Brunet (Brunet Theater) was opened by Don Lus Nicols de la Cruz y Muoz, or Count Brunet. This and other theaters were the setting for music al and theatr ical performances patronized by the upper classes. In the arena of popular vernacular music, the local variants of son were also developed during this time, according to Zayas. These included the bunguero and later the son trinitario in addition son were rooted in the guitar based music of Spanish descent which was combined with certain African characteristics, as in the case of the son oriental The former did not grow from the latter, as some local theorie s suggest; rather, it is more likely that regional variants of son existed across the island independently, wherever these basic characteristics were present. The tonada trinitaria, like the son trinitario, is a variant of a larger musical occurrence see n in other areas of the island. While the son variants were based on the basic combination of Hispanic stringed instruments, African derived rhythms, and voice, the tonada trinitaria and other urban choral Afro Cuban manifestations were based on community groups representing barrios who took to the s treets to perform and at times compete with one another. During the same general time period, similar groups were found in Havana, Matanzas, and Sancti Spritus called coros de clave (clave choruses).


44 The Coros de Clave The coros de clave were large, organized choruses made up primarily of Afro genre employed by these groups, and also the instrument employed often in the accompaniment. Although so me scholars, such as Ned Sublette (2004), suggest that the name and origin of these choruses are tied to the tradition of working class choruses established by Anselmo Clav in Catalonia, there is little evidence to establis h this. Others suggest that these choruses existed in Cuba before those of Clav. While community choruses may have also occurred in West African traditions, Esquenazi (2007) argues they were created in the image of the Spanish choruses proliferating in Havana and Matanzas in the nineteenth century. Orovio provides a simple and clear explanation: the clave song was created in the Afro Cuban barrios near the port of Havana. From there it spread into the city of Havana and later to Matanzas, Crdenas, and Sancti Spritus in the early twentieth century. The choruses performed in the style of Spanish choral ensembles yet due to the high concentration of Afro Cubans in these neighborhoods, African characteristics entered the music as well, observable in the use of instruments and rhythms (Orovio 2004, 54). It is clear, however, that these groups functioned and organized in a way that showed a high European influence more so than say, the tonadas trinitarias. They were highly organized and met regularly to rehearse their repertoire, which was often written by the director. T hese groups had a mixed chorus of males and females, the highest voices of whom were the clarines or clarinas usually women. The gua led the songs and established the tonality by way of a diana (melody sung with nonsense


45 syllables), the decimista was in charge of improvising or performing dcimas and a censor insured the textual quality of the music. The claves were full texts similar to trova sung by the entire chorus. The cal l and response characteristic seen in many Afro Cuban traditions such as the tonada trinitaria was not present. Claves were accompanied by a slow cadence based in three beat subdivisions at first played by a viola (small drum similar to a stringless kora or banjo), later joined by clave and different combinations of guitar, botija (jug), and son instruments (this latter adaptation of son instruments occurred only in Sancti Spritus). The first instruments were African or Afro Cuban in origin, showing a cr eative combination of African characteristics and predominantly Hispanic choral traditions. The coros de clave did not grow out of a religious processional tradition. Rather, it seems that they grew from the general tradition of Hispanic ambulatory chora l groups, visiting different homes and public places to perform on days of festivities. Two well known choruses La Unin and El Arpa de Oro were at their most active during the Christmas season. These choruses were the precedent on which later coros d e rumba (rumba choruses) of the early mid twentieth century were based, followed by the professional rumba ensembles of the 1950s. The coros de clave offer an interesting comparison to the tonadas trinitarias, as they share a number of similarities. Is it possible there was influence between the two traditio ns? M any parallels exist between the two, and some scholars such as Esquenazi Prez (2009) describe the tonada trinitaria as a local variant of a coro de clave type manifestation, yet there is no theor y or evidence that suggest s direct contact or influence between musicians of the two traditions Both were influenced by the


46 musical environment of their cities in the nineteenth century. Most authors suggest that the coros de clave originated in the lat ter part of the century around the 1880s although others suggest they existed much earlier. Most scholarly opinions, however, attribute an earlier date of origin to the tonada trinitaria these were esta blished by no later than the 187 0s. As previou sly noted, f ollowing the 1840s and 1850s, Trinidad was working class musicians with those of Havana and Matanzas would have been limited. For this reason the tonadas trinitar ias never had the opportunity to bec o me popular outside of Trinida d, and it remained a localized tradition. The coros de clave, on the other hand, were popular in both Havana and Matanzas (in Matanzas they were known as bandos ). F rom here they traveled t o Sancti Spritus by way of Juan Echemenda, a director from Havana who established a chorus in the town (Len 1984, 69) The claves used melodies, harmonies, and the general musical expression inherited from Spain, and even guajiro rhythms, according to Orovio (2004). This was also true for the tonada trinitaria, albeit to a lesser extent. While the tonada groups performed with a chorus, using the same basic harmonic elements as the claves, lyrical song texts were not used. Rather, the singing style w as closer to that of the guajiros, in terms of the melodic lines. 10 Furthermore, the style of antiph onal singing, featuring repetition of a short chorus between which t he gua improvises, is a West African characteristic. The improvisation itself is not o nly African, however; the guajiros also improvised on given themes in their dcimas. What sets the tonada choruses apart from much of the Afro Cuban liturgical music especially that of the c ongos, from which 10 These musical aspects will be explored in depth in Chapter 3.


47 it drew much influence is their melodic inf lection and their length. The melodic inflection, as previously explained, draws on that of the tonadas campesinas and dcimas of the guajiros. The chorus es comprising the tonadas trinitarias are generally longer than th ose sung in the liturgy of the c on gos, including songs of palo (from the Bantu Cuban religion of Palo Monte) and makuta (a c ongo secular music dance form), both of which were sung in the Cabildo de San Antonio. The latter are composed of short choruses made up of one line or a few words, often in Bantu Spanish dialect. The tonada trinitaria choruses, on the other hand, commonly contain two to four lines and encompass a wider melodic range. Both the claves and tonada groups used a rhythmic marker as means of organization and reference. T he viola performed this function in the earliest coros de clave (later adding other instruments), and the campana does the same in the tonadas trinitarias. The use of rhythm as a reference for musical stability is seen in virtually all genres of Afro Cuba n music, such as rumba, yuka, bemb conga and bat. Zayas (1997), in his classification of the genres of Cuban music, groups the coros de clave and tonadas trinitarias together with the variants of rumba, conga, mozambique, tahona comparsas, and coros de rumba. Apart from sharing a strong Afro Cuban influence, they originated in marginal neighborhoods among working class non professional musicians as community based, secular, creole manifestations. These groups often represented barrios and sometimes competed with one another. The coros de clave, basing th eir activities around days of festivities such as Christmas and New Year, often would meet in the public arena, exchanging songs in an effort to outdo each other. The same seems to have been true of the tonada groups,


48 although this seems to have occurred only in t he early years (late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries ). Joseto ( Lares 2009) explains that the two first tonada groups (those of Gascn and Villa established around the time of the Ten Years War) independently chose many of the same days to perform. As Gascn and Villa were friends and musical cohorts of the Cabildo de San Antonio, it is likely that they would have been as these were the only tonada gro ups in existence at the time. However, it is possible that these groups independently chose many of the same days, as these were the primary dates celebrated by the entire city of Trinidad. These dates included the celebrations of San Juan, San Pedro ( co inciding with the height of the local month long carnival) as well as Christmas Eve, New Years, and other religious holidays. These days were characterized by street music, public dances held in homes or institutions such as the cabildos, and general merr iment. As prime dates for street perfo rmanc es, Gascn and Villa could have chosen many of the same days While the two groups were from two different barrios Gascn from the Popa and Villa from the Pimp they would have performed in many of the same part s of the small town of Trinidad. Eventually out of coincidence or mutual planning they would have met in the streets. In the manner of the coros de clave, the two groups would have performed for each other perhaps taking turns in order to sho w off their musical skills. Tonada Themes and Performance Contexts These groups primarily perform ed the tonadas as serenades, at the homes of other musicians or enthusiasts. Many of the songs were addressed to certain unnamed persons, dealing with a par ticular situation. While some songs dealt with love,


49 patriotism, or scandalous social situations, a type of tonada also developed to address opposing groups. This type of tonada, called puya acted as a friendl y or n ot so friendly poking of fun toward the oppo sing group. Puya themes w ere also used by the coros de clave; they in some way or another, perhaps by describing a negative characteristic of the second. It should be no ted that in the tonadas campesinas and dcimas of the guajiros, two lead singers in competition often verbally bashed one another in the ir improvisations, superior talent while criticizing the shortcomings of the other. The guas of the to nadas trinitarias performed the same function in their improvisations, according to the prevailing theme of the chorus text. The following three puyas were sung to me by Puchi Anoche como a la una te vi yo Anoche como a la una te vi yo Cuando los gallos cantaban Me hice de la vista gorda [ Around one last night I saw you When the roosters were crowing ] This song was directed at a certain person, as were the majority of puyas. This tex t implies that the unnamed person (perhaps a member of another group or a rival g. The composer is indicating that he know s something is going on. This may have involved unacceptable ye t common social behavior such as adultery or prostitution. The following example accuses a woman of unethical behavior such as prostitution : Yo no lo puedo c reer Yo no lo puedo creer


50 Que una mujer sola Pague su casa y se mantenga Sin ofender a su honor Yo no lo puedo creer [ That a single woman b y herself Can pay her house and support herself Without offending her honor ] Another tonada shames a woman for being out enjoying herself while her husband is home in bed. Ese accidente que a t i te da Ese accidente que a ti te da Tu marido est en la cama Y t bailando en el Pimp ¡Tan sinverg enza! [ That mishap [or misadventure] that you undertake That mishap that you undertake Your husband is in bed How shameless! ] Another tonada seemingly tries to mend a situation between two friends after a situation in which the composer may have sung or dedicated something to the lover of a friend. Many of these referre d to a situation (or gossip) which may have been known by a few or by the town. This tonada taken from the list of tonada texts compiled by Suero Reguera (1972) appears to have a hint of satire. Y yo se la ded iqu con la mejor intencin Sin querer a of ender a mi amigo De mi estimacin [ And I dedicated it t o her with my best intentions Without meaning to offend my friend Of highest esteem ]


51 Guerra (1989) describes how the two groups would meet during the day of San Juan to compete. These competitions were for the most part friendly, yet so me ended in fights when puya themes were taken seriously. The same tendency towards violence was found at times among the coros de clave and the later coros de rumba, whose texts sometimes directly criticized specif ic rival groups. Such was not the case with the tonada groups; no texts exist which are aimed specifically at an opposing group. Rather, the puyas of the tonadas trinitarias were aimed indirectly at certain occurrences of particular members or residents. At daybreak following a night of playing, the tonada groups would proceed to the river bank to wash themselves, and then join the day festivities (Guerra 1989). The patriotic holidays established after independence of course Christmas Eve, the Day of Kings (January 6 th ), the day of the proclamation of the republic (May 20 th ), and the Day of San Antonio (June 13 th ), among others (CIDMUC 1997) Hence, the earliest tonada groups seem to have performed in two primary types of occasions: serenades and group competitions The first type involved one group traversing the neighborhood, performing songs of love, satire, and social commentary. These themes could have been performed on any date, without a need for special occasion. The second type meetings between two groups would have called for satire and puya themes. We must also make the distinction between the dates these types of performan ces fell on. Religious and patriotic occasions would have entailed the performance of songs with complimentary themes. Therefore, these themes and


52 the meetings between the two groups originated with and were tied to these days of public celebration. The development of love and social commentary themes were tied restrictions. All evidence withstanding, it is safe to say that the tonada trinitaria tradition draws inf luence s from the slave experience in the Valle de los Ingenious but crys tallized in Trinidad in the mid nineteenth century among the urban black population, intimately tied to the Cabildo de San Antonio and the San Juan festivities. It is feasible, howeve r, that an early form of the tonada trinitaria developed among the slaves of the valley, which was then transported to Trinidad and organized in the barrios Hence the tonada trinitaria became established in Trinidad, to be passed on to subsequent genera tions through family lines and other social ties as an oral tradition. The tonada trinitaria groups not only interpreted the tonadas, whose texts reflected the social life of the barrios, but rumbitas or rumbas which are in fact expressions of what Cuban musicologists classify as rumba managua an old tradition of c ongo extraction. The tonada trinitaria groups also incorporate columbia 11 at times, although to a lesser degree. In the early days, the groups may have also performed the son corrido which is a variant of son from the rural tobacco growing Western region of Vueltabajo, which also contained elements of competitive improvisation between singers (Prez 1986). Thus, it is evident that the tonada trinitaria was a transcultural product not only of 11 Columbia is a musical style first cultivated by cane cutters in Matanzas province. It is one o f the three main styles of the urban rumba associated with Matanzas and Havana, the other two being yamb and guaguanc


53 African and Spanish derived musics, but of local musical cultures native to other areas of Cuba. The tonada trinitaria followed much the same historical path as Trinidad: economic downturns led to isolation and preservation, later opening up to tourism. During the time the tonada trinitaria crystallized, the economic landscape of Trinidad was changing. The sugar plantation owners began to migrate in the 1840s and 1850s from the Valle de los Ingenios to neighboring Cienfuegos which was developing at the time Trinidad had reached its economic peak in the early 18 40s, less than a century after large scale sugar plantations appeared in its valley. Yet the ensuing crisis left the town decrepit after only a few years. A huge outflow of capital and populati on followed the collapse of sugar in Trinid much remained frozen in time, hence the famous colonial architecture and cobblestone streets. Trinidad was very late in being connected to developing railroads and highways tha t linked the rest of Cuba in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. This contributed to the isolation, cultural traditions, such as the tonada trinitaria. F actors such as the 1959 Revolution, and the renewal of tourism in the 1980s greatly impacted Trinidad and the tonada trinitaria. The origins of the tonada trinitaria cannot be neatly packaged and presented. As with other musical genres and oral traditions originating in marginalized populations, a finite b eginning cannot always be established Given the historical documents available and the theses of Cuban scholars, however, the tonada trinitaria can be not only described, but compared to similar, better documented Afro Cuban genres. We can agr ee as to the area of origin, the general dates, and the various cultural groups whose influence marked the tradition.


54 Yet the complete story behind the o rigin of the tonada trinitaria if there exists a single may be lost to history forever, dying with the slaves and free blacks who first performed their tangos in colonial Trinidad. After having examined the evolution of the tonada trinitarias, let us now turn to the musical characteristics. This includes tracing the ethnic origin s of the genre and linking this to the instruments and their use, and taking into account the harmonic, melodic, rhythmic, and spatial elements which compose the overall musical organization of the tonadas.


55 CHAPTER 3 THE MUSICAL SIDE The tonada trinitari a shares fea tures of African and Spanish musical heritage yet is a unique creole creation specific to Trinidad de Cuba. The musical organization occurs across rhythmic, melodic, harmonic, and spatial ele ments. The rhythmic element is based primarily in the percussion instruments, while the melodic and harmonic aspects include the voices of the gua and the chorus. The spatial element encompasses the performance arena of the tonadas. Fernando Ortiz and Afro Cuban Music In analyz ing the musical organiz ation of the tonada trinitaria, it is wise to refer to the writings of Fernando Ortiz. In chapter five of his work La africana de la msica folklrica cubana ( [1950] 2001), Ortiz explores the instrumental and choral music of Afro Cubans. He begins by ex plaining the concept behind uniting the voice (our primordial instrument) with other instruments. Song is an intense form of human expression, and the addition of instruments serves to further the intensity. In Afro Cuban rel igious musics such as palo (o f c ongo extraction), the use of voice and instruments together is critical, as it intensifies the magical or spiritual effect. In the majority of Afro Cuban expressions, the use of song and percussion is central, often, but not always, in addition to danc e. The employment of percussion instruments in Afro Cuban music is attributed to the high value placed on these in the religious instruments held more magical value than str ing or wind instruments according to Ortiz. While it is stereotypical to see West African music as purely percussive, the centrality of drumming and rhythm is clear. The re creation of West African religious traditions in


56 Cuba is closely tied to Afro Cub an music and its instruments. Yet we must also remember that African and Cuban born slaves had only limited resources at their disposal. When it came to making music, a wall or door often sufficed for instrumental accompaniment. When it came to re creat ing drums, the Africans called on their memory and used what was at hand in their new environment. Further, slaves born in Cuba would have been exposed to multiple African cultural traditions. This was the case with Esteban Montejo, a slave turned cimarr n (maroon), who could describe the characteristics and beliefs of the African elders, disting uishing between the lucum and c ongos, for example (Barnet 1976). The majority of the religious and secular mus ics of Afro Cuban origin can be described as com posed of a number of musical planes. In the vocal plane, one singer leads the songs and is often responded to by a chorus (antiph onal). The rhythmic plane percussion and drums, weaving a repeating cell whi ch is complemented by a drum that caja either the high est or lowest in pitch of the drums. African Derived Elements in the Tonadas The clearest influence of African music in the tonadas trinitarias is found in the rhythm ic plane The drums are of c ongo carabal influence, derived from the yuka drum of the Ca bildo de San Antonio de Congos Reales. The hoe blade, or campana, is used in many Afro Cuban musical forms, such as palo, bemb, and columbia, and may be derived from the practices of the Cabildo de San Antonio. However, on Mara Teresa ngs of the music of the cabildo (recorded in 1984), no metal strikers are


57 used (2006). The hoe blade may have been used in other manifestations tied to the cabildo or simply drawn from other Afro Cuban practices in or around Trinidad. The use of a set of three drums can be attributed to the fact that th is a standard in Afro Cuban music. Although the Cabildo de San Antonio only uses the single yuka drum, the use of three drums is seen in musical ensembles of bat, palo, rumba, and yuka. If Patricio Gasc may very well have been from exposure to other Afro Cuban drummers abroad. The g iro is without a doubt an influence from Cuban peasant music, having originated with the Cuban a boriginal population. These instruments conform to a rhythmic plane often found in Afro Cuban music based on skin, metal, wood, and shaker or scraper. The following chart compares the tonadas trinitarias to similar manifestations. Table 3 1. Comparison of instrumental and vocal parts in Afro Cuban musics. PALO YUKA ABAKUA RUMBA TON. TRIN. SKIN LOW DRUM Caja* Caja* Bonk enchemiy* Salidor Bombo MID DRUM Mula Mula Ob ap Tres golpes Un solo golpe HIGH DRUM Cachimbo Cac hi mbo Kuch yerem, Solo go lpe/Biankom Quinto* Quinto* WOOD Cat Cat Itones Cat/Clave METAL Guataca** Ekn Campana SHELL SHAKER Nkembi *** Nke mbi Erikundi Chkere G iro VOICE Gallo Gallo Moru Yuansa Gua Gua CHORUS Coro Coro Coro Coro Coro *Functions as the improv isational drum. ***The nkembi are gourd rattles worn on the wrists of the caja player. As can be inferred by the chart, the tonada trinitaria most closely resembles the in strumental characteristics of rumba. While palo, yuka, and a baku traditions are tied


58 creole creations and exhibit the highest level of Spanish influence in the group The palo and yuka were tied to dances and songs brought by c ongo slaves, and the abaku trace their roots back to a secret society of the Calabar. In contrast, b oth rumba and the tonada trinitaria were created by Cubans, drawing on the mulatto cultural m ixtu re taking place in nineteenth century Cuba. The names of the drums are Spanish in origin, as is the name of the hoe blade. The g iro is the term used in Cuba for the gourd scraper of aboriginal origin. Furthermore, the improvisational drums in rumba and the tonadas are found in the highest register. This is characteristic of European music; the improvisational or lead instrument is found in the high register, while in West African and Afro Cuban religous musics the lowest drum is usually that which Rhythmic Characteristics 12 The rhythm in these Afro Cuban musical forms is organized around a repeating five note pattern played by the instrument of the same name. This central rhythm ic cell however, is often performed on a clearly audible metal object, such as a hoe blade or cowbell. This is the case in palo, bemb, columbia, and the tonada trinitaria. These four genres all employ the same musical pat tern, often referred to as the 6/8 clave or West African clave (see Figure 3 1) Unlike the pattern played in palo, bemb, and columbia, which are squarely in 6/8, the campana pattern of the tonadas is not very strict. By this I mean that in practice the 12 This analysis is based on my fieldwork carried out in 2009 with both retired elder musicians and younger musicians of the Conjunto Fo lklrico de Trinidad.


59 pattern does not evenly fall into the 6/8 rhythm of Figure 3 1 somewher e between 6/8 and 2/4 (Figure 3 2 ) Rhythmic characteristics exhibiting a flexibility or ambiguity falling between what in Western music is conceptualized as t riple (for example 6/8 time) and duple (for example 2/4 time) is very common in Afro Cuban drumming, such as in bat, palo, and abaku traditions. Figure 3 1. 6/8 bell pattern. Figure 3 2. Bell pattern in 2/4 time. o n the player as well. Elder tonaderos, who experienced the tradition in its original context (nocturnal street transits) differed widely in their interpretations from younger musicians who performed the tonadas. From the 1960s on, the tonadas had only existed within a folkloric context, withdrawn from its original activities and placed on stage. Furthermore, only a single state sponsored the living traditionprevious to th e Revolution). Outside of this, the tonadas were also performed by folkloric troupes in Trinidad, one of which was the Conjunto Folklrico de Trinidad. The state sponsored tonada gro up ceased to exist in the 1990s; following this, the Conjunto Folklrico was the only remaining performer of tonadas, and is now


60 made up excusively of younger musicians who are less experienced with the tonada tradition. In terms of rhythmic interpretation, the surviving elder players (who are now retired from active partici pation in performance of the tonadas) like Joseto Lares however, who were not involved in the tonadas except as part of this folkloric context, tend to play the pat tern more squarely in 6/8. Interestingly, the same effect is seen in the g iro pattern. E lder players such as Gregorio Valdvia play a pattern which has a specific feel to it, emphasizing the downbeat and giving little attention to the inner notes. Th e state sponsored tonada group prior to the 1990s. Figure 3 3 Giro pattern as played by Gregori o. (Dashes indicate long scrapes; dots indicate short scrapes). I Conjunto Folklrico, which emphasizes the time in a different manner. They described the g iro pattern as being the same as that played by popular bands in Cuba. Figure 3 4. Giro pattern as played by members of the Conjunto Folklrico.


61 The patterns played by the drums work in a manner sensitive to the singers. When the gua is singing, they play slightly softer, complementing the solo voice with slight emphases added dur These punches often occur in the bombo during a resting point in the melody, and take the campana pattern, re spectively). The bombo, although primarily based on a repeating two bar figure, plays an important role in embellishing the tonada in addition to the quinto. The punches it provides serve to inspire the singers and drummers alike. These punches also occ ur during the chorus responses. Figure 3 5. Bombo pattern as played by Claro. (Dots indicate a dry sound; o under a note indicate s an open tone). As with the other patterns, the drums are played differently by the less experienced members of the Conjun to Folklrico. As with the g iro and campana Claro Valdespino and other elder drummers. Claro and the elder drummers seem to ing wi th the drummers of the Conjunto Folklrico This may be due not only to less experience but less internalization: less applied effort and enjoyment in their interpretations. When I recorded the elder drummers performing in 2009 they were visibly engaged with each other and were thoroughly enjoying the


62 Figure 3 6. Bombo pattern as played by Bernardo. experience. On the other hand, the Conjunto Folklrico performs the same stock tonadas many times a day for small groups of tourists, primarily seeking economic gain. In my percussion lesson with Bernardo Lara, a drummer of the Conjunto Folklrico, the 6). The following bombo lson, a young drummer of the Conjunto Folklrico Figure 3 7. Bombo pattern as played by Nelson. The un solo golpe (middle drum) is the only drum which maintains a c onstant and unchanging pattern (Figure 3 8) The sole difference I observed between the drummers of the Conjunto Folklrico and the group of elders with whom Carpio played the un solo golpe was the placement of the left (or less dominant) hand. Where as only used his closed fingers for this effect, positioning his hand in the same manner as for an open tone (fingers closed and top of palm lining up with the border of the drum). The quinto, being the most conversational or improvisatory drum, is performed subjectively by different drummers, conforming to an over all rule of loud versus soft.


63 F igure 3 8. Un solo golpe pattern. The loud versus soft was the primary el ement I learned during my lesson with Bernardo, and was emphasized by many of the musicians I spoke with. When the gua sings, the quinto player uses his fingers to play open tones on the border of the drum, sparsely complementing his text. When the chor us enters, the quinto player uses his full hand more or less in the manner of a conga player and improvises more aggressively and lou dly over the text. Arnaldo Fonseca, a much respected elder tonadero, told me quinto should be soft; the bombo is the one who should inspire [the quinto] (Fonseca and Carpio Quezada 2009). percussive ensemble as a whole. When the gua sings, it is as if the instruments subside and ever yone listens to what he has to say. When the chorus enters it is as if the ensemble turns up the volume and energy, with everyone participating in the chorus text. This is like a holding of the breath followed by an energetic release. This control of dy namics was necessary not only because of a lack of microphones in the street observed in rumba. When the text of the song is performed by the lead singer, the quinto mus and response in the montuno, the energy increases and the quinto asserts itself


64 Vocal Characteristics The organization of the singers correspon ds to the voices. The gua is the lead solo voice, and the chorus is composed of prima (first), segunda (second), and falsete referred to as inspirando (inspiring). The same reference to inspiracin (inspiration) is rumba is the use of two or three vocal lines in the chorus. In rumba groups this depends on the number of chorus singers; if there are women they will usually sing the high octave, corresponding to the falsete of the tonadas. However, in a full tonada group, according to the elder musicians, the presence of all three vocal lines is necessary. The basic melodic line, introdu ced by the gua, is the prima. This voice can be sung be males and females. The segunda, sung a third under the prima, is usually performed by males, being the lowest voice. The falsete is the realm of the highest female voices. This is performed an oc tave above the prima. This harmonic organization of the three chorus voices is identical to that of the coros de clave. Both of these genres drew on the tradition of Spanish choral groups, which were organized in much the same manner, being based on thir d and sixth harmonies and being composed of prima, segunda, and falsete. The vocal quality is similar to rumba and many other Afro Cuban song genres: clear and clean, with a slight nasal quality reminiscent of both West African and Andalusian or Canary Isl ander singing styles. Hence this quality is inherited not from a tradition of high European art, but from the influence of Afro Cuban religious music (such as that of the Cabildo de San Antonio) and msica campesina.


65 The melodic contour and harmony of t he tonadas trinitarias is what seems to draw campesinas, where lead singers foc us on improvising text, while conforming to a pre set melodic line with little variation. In both forms, the melodic contour rises in the beginning and middle of the inspiracin, with a descending line marking the end. The beginning and middle sections m ay be repeated in the tonadas campesinas until the singer is ready to finish, and this is signaled by a descent to the dominant, which is held for a few seconds. In the tonadas trinitarias, the melodic contour tends to be more strictly adhered to in the i nspiraciones. The first section (A) of the inspiracin is always repeated twice, followed by a second section (B) which connects to the final descending line (C), similar to dcimas sung in rumba. This formula is rarely altered, although on a few occasio ns I noticed Arnaldo repeating the B section before connecting to the final repetitions than the tonadas trinitarias. In fact, two main types of tonadas campesinas exi st: tonadas de punto fijo (tonadas with fixed accompaniment) and tonadas de punto libre (tonadas with free accompaniment). In the first type, a fixed rhythm and harmonic structure accompanies the singer, to which he must conform. In the second type, the in which he can move between the A and B sections, repeating as he pleases (see Table 3 2) While punto libre is more common in the western provinces, such as Pinar de l Ro, the punto fijo dominates the center part of the island, to which Trinidad corresponds.


66 Since the punto fijo style limited the flexibility of repeats and encourages the singers to stay within rhythmic and harmonic boundaries, the tonadas trinitarias drew on this element as an influence. Furthermore, the fact that a repeating rhythmic cell comprises the reference point (as in most Afro Cuban musics), the singing generally corresponds to staying within the rhythmic boundaries. Thus, in rumba, the sin ger and chorus rely on the five notes of the clave to define entrances and length of notes. On the contrary, In the same way, the tonadas trinitarias are based around the seven note pattern played on the campana. Each chorus has a certain point of entry based on this reference, yet the lead singer always enters on the second beat of the campana, Table 3 2. Comparison of the structure of inspiraciones in Cuban m usics. Inspiraciones Tonadas trinitarias A A B(x)* C Punto fijo A(x) B(x) C Punto libre A(x) B(x) C Rumba (dcima) A A B C *(x) represents flexibility of repetition, yet always in the order A, B, and ending with C. In the tonadas trinitarias the B i s only repeated rarely.


67 following the chorus (see measure 15 in Figure 3 9) F igure 3 9. Example of a chorus and inspiracin in relation to the campana. Campana Chorus Gua


68 Figur e 3 9. Continued is common in Cuban country music, and is rooted in the influences of Canary Islanders in Cuba. On the few existing recordings of the tonadas tri nitarias, recorded by the


69 only person who uses this at times is Puchi (Efran Zayas Escobar), the present lead singer of the Conjunto Folklrico, and he admits to copy ing this from Arnaldo. Puchi, be because he is one of the few surviving singers of the older tonada groups. It is unlikely that Arnaldo simply invented this; he must have heard this element used by during which there was a much larger community of tonada musicians. He himself element which may have been more common of earlier eras, or perhaps a characteristic of a certain early singer. how the element of improvisa tion has been lost (Fonseca and Carpio Quezada 2009). This element was present in the first and second eras 13 when the tonada groups of the barrios were active. It was the interaction of these groups in their meetings or competitions which spurred the ne gua was demonstrated in this way; his inspiraciones were judged on how creative and witty they were, while also addressing the theme of the tonada. The lack of competition in the third era due to the absence of multiple groups has resulted in the limiting of textual improvisation. Furthermore, in the Conjunto Folklrico, the tonadas trinitarias are performed as part of a show for economic gain. There is no need to develop witty 13 As previously mentioned, Joseto Lares (2009) described the history of the tonadas by way of three eras, which I will describe in depth in Chapter 4. During these first two eras the tradition was a living one: it was performed with in its original context and was cultivated voluntarily by different tonada groups of the barrios of Trinidad. Following this, in the third era, the tonadas became confined to the realm of folkloric performance, preserved by the state through sponsorship o f a single tonada group as well as folkloric groups specializing in Afro Cuban musical traditions.


70 improvisations; there is no opposing group or gua to address. Now there are only foreign tourists w ho may have no idea what is being said The end result has been the repetition of stock phrases by the gua, many of which can be used regardless of the theme of the tonada it self. Both Puchi and Arnaldo, the two singers whom I interview ed and record ed Conjunto Folklrico, and so he had no reason to develop the aspect of textual improvisation. A rnaldo had experienced the tonadas in their original context in the second era of the tonadas (1900s 1950s) as a young man but this was six decades ago! The majority of his experiences fell within the third era (1960s present) when only one tonada grou inspiraciones are composed primarily of stock phrases. T hich always occurs on the Cmo es..... O lo lo, o lo lo, o lo lei la O lo lo lo lo lo lo lo lo lei la.... O Oye la rumba y la ton Oye la rumba y la ton Oye ese quinto caramba qu bueno est ya ves.... [O Hear the rumba and the tonada Hear the rumba and the tonada Listen to how good that quinto sounds...] O O lo lo, o lo lo, o lo lei la


71 Con sentimiento del alma oye la ton y ya vers.... [O O lo lo, o lo lo, o lo lei la Good black woman, come here .] The gua can also, although rarely, simply repeat the tonada as it is sung by the chorus. Some stock phrases are linked to a certain tonada. For example, whe n singing the tonada No llores, no llores Mara No llores, no llores por Dis Que los sentimientos del alma querida Ay porque as, ay porque as lo manda Dis Because [of] the emotions of a beloved heart Because that is, because that is what God orders] One of the stock inspiraciones for this tonada is: Eh.... Adis Mara, no hay novedad Adis Mara, no hay novedad Con sentimiento del alma y de madrug ya vers... [Eh.... Goodbye Mara, there is nothing new Goodbye Mara, there is nothing new addresses the woman in the tonada, but addition of a general stock phrase. The early morning reference refers to the time when the tonadas were usually performed: through the night and into the wee hours of the the deep feelings expressed by the tonada musicians. Thus whole inspiraciones can be generalized stock phrases which belong to


72 These can be employed with any tonada whatever theme it may contain. The Mara example shows that phrases that pertain to the theme of a particular tonada can be inserted and then combined with a section of a stock phrase. Therefore the inspiraciones are not truly improvised in the sense t original text on the spot. Rather, both Puchi and Arnaldo pull phrases from a memory pool and recite or recombine these in the style which they associate with the tonadas trinitarias. The melody of the inspiracin is preco nceived; the gua needs only to fill in the text. This leads us to conclude that if the inspiraciones of the guas of the first and second eras were indeed truly improvised as the elder musicians claim, then the third era has seen a shift from a textual t o a musical focus for the gua. If this is the case, then the role of the gua is no longer as central to the tonadas as in previous eras. Folkloricization Thus in the third era, following the Revolution, there has been a shift towards a focus on the tr aditio n as a presentational performance event. This i s folkloricization, the process of making folklore folkloric ( Hagedorn 2001 12). Folklore, which in Cuba generally designates Afro Cuban folklore, is performed in a folkloric way In other words, thi s is folklore withdrawn from its original context, usually transferred to staged performances. The tonadas, thus, were withdrawn from their original context (nocturnal street transits) surviving only in cultural festivals and other avenues for folkloric p erformance They were now performed for the sake of listening rather than functional participation. Once they extracted from their street level context and put on a stage in front of a sit down audience, their function was drastically altered. The tonad as became a sort of cultural object which was to be appreciated and observed as a static


73 presentational performance event rather than a spontaneous popular expression which was voluntarily cultivated and participated in by the masses. The tonada group spo nsored by the Ministry of Culture in the third era grew out of a need to rescue and preserve, imposed from above. The need from below (the barrios), based on entertainment and enjoyment, was no longer present. Granted, this is not to say that the musicia ns and fans of the tonadas no longer enjoyed the music, yet it was clearly no longer necessary for them. It is not likely that the tonada group of the third era would have remained active had it not been for the Ministry of Culture. Although the genre wa s greatly altered by the interference of the Ministry of Culture, we must appreciate the fact that their efforts helped propel the tradition into the twenty first century. The following chapter will incorporate contemporary discourses about the tonada by local culture bearers and ethnographic description, serving to map the evolution of the tonadas trinitarias.


74 CHAPTER 4 EVOLUTION OF THE TON ADAS TRINITARIAS Arnaldo Fonseca: An Elder Tonadero Arnaldo Fonseca is 79 years old and spends most of his time taking care of his in the past, now run by his son. He is considered among the most knowledgeable elders of the tonadas. All of the musicians I interviewed venera ted him as the most talented (remaining) singer of the tonadas trinitarias; they encouraged me to interview him and record his singing. He is treated as something that was being lost. Through the you seemed to admit that they were not only less experienced, but less knowledgeable and authorities. Not only is Arnaldo one of the elder tonaderos, but he stands out because of his skin color. He was also the only white tonada musician I was aware of in my 2009 trip to Trinidad. For this reaso n, I would like to briefly discuss the theme o f race in relation to the tonada tradition. Race and the Tonadas in Trinidad The prevalence of blacks and the low numbers of white participants in the tonadas were due to a number of factors, which reflect the historical condition of the tonadas. Not only was the tradition first cultivated by blacks, bu t it crystallized in the marginal neighborhoods of Trinidad, whose demographics w ere and are primarily black Furthermore, the musical characteristics are clearly Afro Cuban, and the Cabildo de San Antonio de Congos Reales was highly influential in its de velopment. As such, the tonaderos themselv es can be estimated at about 90% black or mulatto, with few whites


75 participating. This same phenomenon is observable in other non religious Afro Cuban musical manifestations with roots in the barrios. The same h olds true in rumba, for example The majority of rumberos are black or mulatto, with a far fewer number of white participants. Carnival music is als o still dominated by blacks All of these manifestations were first created and performed by Africans and their descendents in colonial Cuba. As opposed to the non Spanish speaking Caribbean, Cuban society was racially divided into two main groups black and white rather than three black, mulatto and white (Helg 1995) In both Cuba and Puerto Rico whi tes were both the holders of power and num erically superior. Racial ideology of the nineteenth century identified whites as the superior race, with characteristics lesser races should aspire to. Jos Antonio Saco, a prominent intellectual of the 1830s an d a spokesperson of the white middle class, proposed encouraging European immigration to Cuba, envisioning Cuba as a white Hispanic nation. He did not consider blacks as part of an independent Cuban nation (Moore 1997, 17). Blacks were seen as biological ly and culturally inferior; their music and customs were generally regarded as unrefined and barbaric. Hence, when the tonadas trinitarias, the rumba and other Afro Cuban genres developed, few whites participat ed. Many traditions had roots in the slave b arracks, and while white masters unacceptable for them to participate. When the tonada and the rumba crystallized in the urban barrios, they were extension s of the traditions of the slave barracks. In this new, freer environment, in which previously freed blacks and ex slaves lived in close quarters with poor white Cubans and working class Spanish immigrants, the Afro


76 Cubans dominated the music making. Furthermore, at this t ime the occupation of musician was looke d down upon by white society and prized as a n avenue of upward mobility by blacks. While po or white Cubans in the barrios began to participate in the dominant music of their social space, performed in shared public arenas by their black and mulatto neighbors, whites of the middle class saw this as cosa de negros (things of the blacks). This racist view still exists even today among many Cubans and designates black traditions to the low realms of uncultured, unrefine d, inferior expressions. Yet this snubbing of Afro Cuban traditions was perhaps strongest in the development of these musics The fact that there were fewer whites in the barrios, the presence of racism and con tempt for black traditions, and the disdain for musicianship were all factors in determining the low numbers of white participants in the tonada trinitaria. Understanding this, let us return I met Arnaldo the previous year through Enrique Zayas, heard him sing a couple of tonadas, and expressed my interest in returning the following year to learn more. In 2009, when I returned to Trinidad, I learned tha ill and that Arnaldo dedicated the maj ority of his day to her. Hence, Carpio (Pedro Carpio Quezada) my primary informant and coordinator, warned me that we did not want to impose too much or expect too much from him. Carpio knew Arnaldo personally, as he was himself a tonada musician. We m ade it a point to stop by his home and politely ask for some time to speak with him. Arnaldo always became animated when speaking about the fandango which was the name he he used to refer to the tradition When he


77 recounted his stories, he was full of e motion; his singing exposed a deep joy he felt for this part of his life. Arnaldo was introduced to the fandango through his father, who used to bring him on the recorridos (transits through the streets) of the group. His father was a fandanguero altho ugh it does not seem as if he was a musician, but rather a follower From an early age, his father would take him by the hand to accompany the fandango 14 group that Arn aldo developed his art and performed. when he began being exposed to the fandangos, as he referred to the musi c and the groups. As Arnaldo was 79 when I interviewed him, this means he would have been born around 1930. Therefore his first experiences may have occurred with the tradition as it was in the late 1930s. In his teenage years in the 1940s he would have begun musical participation of his own accord. Indeed, many of his personal stories are from los cuarenta y pico was headed by Alfonso Puig, a respected bombo player and gua. This would have been in the la te 1930s and the 1940s. Arnaldo listed the names of other fandangueros members ten ded to be the brothers and fathers. Any women referenced were accorded an individual rather than a family connection; all of those mentioned were seen as 14 The terms fandango and tonada also refer to the musical groups that performed this music or to the event itself ( un fandango ).


78 outstanding as chorus singers. No women guas or drummers were mentioned nor did I see any in the present. Figure 4 1. Arnaldo F onseca and Pedro Carpio Quezada. 26 June 2009. The gender roles here are clearly divided men lead and dominate the primary roles and women are recognized only if they add a beautiful voice to the chorus. Men, on the o ther hand are remembered if they stand out as great drummers or guas not as chorus singers. Specifically, as drummers, only the bombo or quinto is affor ded the opportunity to show outstanding skill. I never heard them men tion a great guiro player, cam pana p layer or even an outstanding un solo golpe. This is not to say that some may have played better than others, yet th e quinto and bombo are the instruments which improvise They music The other instruments maintai n the same patterns with little to no deviation. This quality rating is a central component of the fandango and is what Arnaldo seemed


79 g enerations. the Simp [barrio] a surprise (Fonseca an d Carpio Quezada 2009). one group from one barrio went to surprise another barrio with an unanounced visit. A long the way they would stop at the homes of the The fandango went on all night, the group making its way through the streets of the town. These types of fandangos were unplanned events; they were spontaneous. tarareaban ut (Fonseca and C arpio Quezada 2009). In essence, these neighborhood musical groups would simply decide to get together that night or a date in the near future to meet and play. A core group was all that was needed to do this : enough persons to cover the five percussion parts and some singers. They would then set a meeting place, which was usually the house of one of the primary musicians. For example, Arnaldo points out that of the Barranca the unofficial director. Another organizer was Pepe Entenza, a well known gua who also ( had his own group ) Likewise Alfonso Puig had his fandango. It seems that these organizers also owned the instruments some


80 were drum mak instruments were housed. After warming up with a few tonadas, the group would take to the streets to start ter. Once in the streets, the fandangueros would sing tonadas as they proceeded to their stopping points. In order to better comprehend these processions, it is necessary to understand the layout of Trinidad. In these neighborhoods, all the houses along the sides of the cobblestone streets are connected, separated only by walls of cement. Windows, doors, and balconies look to the street, which is a social arena for everyday life. When the fandangos transited through these streets, people would have eas ily heard the music through their windows or front doors, which separated them only minimally from the social veins of the city : the streets. As the fandango passed through the streets anyone could join the throng of revelers, singing and dancing behind t he drummers and gua, who were usually the leaders. Thus, the group grew as it moved, sometimes reaching forty or fifty follow ers. This is comparable to carnival time in Trinidad (and other cities in Cuba) where the multitudes often fall in behind the co mparsas (carnival groups) singing and dancing as they follow the group through the streets. to enthusiasts of the music. Often, these were musicians themselves, singers or dr g the way. For example, when Arnaldo a drummer of the tonadas, led a hard life according to Arnaldo: he was very poor and lived in a d ecrepit house near the outskirts of Trinidad. Arnaldo proudly confessed that


81 he was the only one who could get Prose out of the house to join them. Arnaldo also apparently was slightly better off than many of the musicians (he was also one of the few whi tes) and would help out Prose at times. He was also the one to contribute money for some of the liquor which served as a stimulus to the musicians as they proceeded. Arnaldo recounts an example of how he w ould get Prose to join them. O nce he arrived at to tell him Arnaldo wanted to speak with him. Arnaldo then told Prose that he wanted him to come rumbear (play/ have fun) with them for a while. After a little coaxing, Prose got dressed a nd joined them. The group would then proceed to the next house on their route. Upon my questioning, Arnaldo provided a hypothetical we Carpio was present with us in the room] house and there we would lay it down even stronger and do by those whom the fandangueros visited. be sleeping and everyone would wake up they would open their doors and they had the tonadas [themselves] and after four songs everyone would be reaching for the bottle and so you would get to any house and immediately they would give you the bottle give us anything, rather it wa s to give them a great surprise (F onseca and Carpio Quezada 2009) After enjoying a few so ngs at that point, the receivers of the friendly serenade would then usually join the group as they proceeded to their next stop on the route. friends or perhaps even a young wo s For example, one night during the transit, Arnaldo decided he wanted to sing for this


82 beautiful mulata 15 her and see if she opens the win They serenaded her ¡ qu clase de (what a serenade!) and were impressed when she came to the window to show her appreciat ion This brings us to another descriptor used by Arnaldo: the tonada as a serenade. Trinidad, just as the rest of Cuba, had a tradition of troubadours. Arnaldo mentioned the existence of these singer songwriters in Trinidad when he was a young man. Troubadours in Cuba, called trovadores sang to the accompaniment of guitar. Originating among the black working c lass of Santiago de Cuba, the repertoire was developed primarily in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The trova has much in common with the fandango. The tempo of both genres tend s to be slow, the melodies are lyrical and sung in parallel harmonies of thirds and sixths. Furthermore the trova contains many songs with amorous themes, as do the tonadas. Both also contain patriotic themes, as both were developing alongside the Cuban wars of independence in the late nineteenth century (Orovio 2004, 214). Arnaldo was among the youngest musicians during h is early years in the fandango, which would have been in the 1940s. He remembers a certain occasion on which the fandango group came across a photographer or simply someone with a camera who took a pict ure of the full group at five in the morning! This memory ¡qu clase de foto aquella! were the 15 Mulata refers to a light skinned black girl, often of mixed black white parentage.


83 and dress shoes how beautiful [it was]! (Fonseca and Carpio Quezada 2009). Arnaldo even recounted the trajectory of the photo. There had been two copies, one of which belonged to him and was kept in his butcher shop. He had lent it out twice to other musician friends and later kept it framed in his living room. Unfortunately he had lost it at some point, perhaps lent to a friend. He greatly lamented this fact; he cle arly associated the p hoto with memories of happier days. This emotional attachment to the photo which seems to have been the only one he had of the group of that time reveals his feelings for fandangos. Throughout the interview, Arnaldo would grow v ery animated as he described stories and recalled songs. This contrasted greatly with his character when greeted at the door, as he was constantly under the pressure of caring for his sick wife at this time. These conversations surrounding the fandango s eemed to provide an emotional outlet by serving to stimulate fond memories of his younger days. Cubans often display a number of framed photos in living rooms and bedrooms of family, close friends, and memorable occasions. For Arnaldo to treasure the pho to in this way shows that this was an important part of his life. Ironically, the fandango in its past form has also nocturnal transits. Let us continue with Arnaldo meeting, warming up, and taking to the street to sing and visit homes, the group would arrive at the designated barrios. The exact place could be a central public area of the barrio or outside the home of th e organizer of another fandango. The point was to dedicate this surprise musical event to that barrio. Multiple barrios could be visited ; the


84 group often made its way through much of the town during the course of the night. Upon arrival to another barri o, the musicians and other enthusiasts of that neighborhood would come out to partake of the singing and show their appreciation for the group. This was a friendly musical gathering for the most part. For example, Arnaldo recalls his group from the Barra nca would get to the Tamarindo barrio and all these young negras (black women) the [trans it through] town unt il dawn (Fonseca and Carpio Quezada 2009). That no one messed with them implies that their singing voices were of such a quality that no tracking their transit through the town in order leave these young women in their neighborhoods. They could not be left to return home unaccompanied at that hour. This was part of the moral code of the time, which was also manifested in the interpretation of the tonadas. Arnaldo described disci pline, education (in terms of being well mannered), and decency as aspects of the fandango of that time period elements he believes are no longer present. Of course this ties in with the perception of change of the moral code in Cuba. In the early 1900 s, it was still considered proper etiquette for young men to tip their hats to young women, in the same way that serenades were seen as a romantic way to show affection for a young lady. At the end of the night or in the early morning participants ret urned home and the drummers met back at the original house to leave the instruments before dispersing. In the 1940s and previously, when the fandangos were visiting homes, different tonadas with varying themes were performed. The theme c hosen depended on the


85 situation. For example, a serenade to a young woman would likely conta in an amorous theme. En una noche de plcida calma E l cielo imploraba por ti [ On a night of placid calm T he heavens pleaded for you] Another tonada told Rosa how lovely she is: Ro sa qu linda eres, Rosa qu linda eres t, Si t me quieres como yo te quiero Rosa ¡qu linda eres t! [ Rosa, how beautiful you are, Rosa, you are so beautiful, [If] you love me as much as I love you Rosa, how beautiful you are!] Themes with sat ire or puya, as previously addressed, were also common. Joseto (Lares 2009) describes how this worked as far as composition, using Gregorio (who was stan ding next to him) as an example : I would compose a song about what I knew about Gregorio, or what I had found out about him about what had happened to him a tonada, and another person would do the same. And so what happened? Well, when two groups would play and start to sing these tonadas de puya [they would end up fighting]. These types of meetings between groups occurred on street corners or other public would not let him take part in the tonadas until he was about sixteen years old, w hich would have been in about 1951. Trinidad, along with Arnaldo. He has been a percussionist and chorus singer since he


86 began in the tonada tradition as a teenage r. It seems he has always been a clavero (clave player or player of the campanita ). His first experiences in the tonadas were with his uncles, whom he says were from the second era of the tonadas 16 (early twentieth century) He and Arnaldo were involved in these groups during the same time period, beginning in the late 1940s for Arnaldo and about 1951 for Joseto. His earliest first hand experiences in the tonadas date from about 1948 1950, during which he knew was not allowed to pa rticipate in the actual transits, however, until he was sixteen years old (1951), due his uncles prohibit ion This testifies to the theory that active participation in the tonada groups required s uncles prevented him from participation due to the dangers of violence. Only after he reached an age in which he surpassed the need for constant supervision was he allowed to participate. This holds true not only in the tonadas, but in many other Afro Cuban musical traditions. The fact that these events are male dominated, involve alcohol, violence, and at times, adult themed song material, the participation of children is not widespread. Furthermore, the tonadas were performed during all night trans its, which likely had little or no presence of children. In Afro Cuban drumming traditions, such as bat and palo the musicians are primaril y male and do not usually active ly participat e until adolescence or young adulthood. These drumming traditions ar e seen as fuerte or strong, and unfit for females and children; they are the realm of men. The role of women and non musicians is in singing chorus or dancing. Those who become drummers often enter the tradition through family connections and pass throu gh a period of training and rites of passage. The 16 The different eras of the tonadas will be discussed in detail later in the chapter.


87 same seems to hold true for the tonadas trinitarias. Women are neither drummers nor lead singers; rather, they sing chorus and follow. Young men who become drummers or singers often had a family member o r members who were musicians. As they reach a certain age of maturity, they begin to participate with consent of the older members. Following this, they gain experience and begin to learn the intricacies of the music by watching their elders, perhaps com plemented by a short lesson here and there. (how young is not clear), when his father would take him by the hand to accompany the fandangos. Arnaldo was the only musi cian that described participation as a child, yet interestingly, he was also the only one to deny violence as a part of group meetings. Rather, he describes the meetings as friendly encounters. This, however, runs contrary to the majority of historical a nd personal accounts I consulted. As far as his father taking him along as a child, this may have been because his father was not an active musical participant. Arnaldo neglected referring to his father as a singer or drummer; therefore he may have simpl y been an enthusiast a follower. This means he would not have gotten caught up in violence as easily as the musicians themselves. On the other hand, the fact that he was taking his young son with him may have been an early way of initiating his way int o adolescence, or manhood, and he was willing to assume tocadores (instrumentalists/drummers). Thus, as primary musicians, they would have been more preoccupied with playing, than chaperon ing an underage nephew. Hence, during his first experiences Joseto was confined to the pre transit house jams. As described by both Joseto and Arnaldo, the fandango groups would meet at


88 arm up with some tonadas before taking to the streets. Joseto first experience as a participant took place one evening when his uncles called for him to come to the meeting Two claveros (clave or campana players) were missing, a nd so they let him cover this part. He was not, however, allowed to accompany them on the transit. Thus began his first musical experiences in the tonadas: participating as a substitute clavero in the in house warm ups. His family connection was the pri mary factor in allowing him the opportunity to participate, as was the case with Arnaldo. Both would have been familiar with the environment of the tonadas from an early age and had family This family c onnection is important not only because of the exposure it provided them at a young age, but because of the access it provided to learning this oral tradition. As in other Afro Cuban folkloric traditions, not everyone has access to learning the parts, esp ecially when it comes to drumming. Those who are not approved by musicians are not taught. Preliminary watching and imitating was a first step, but new musicians need to be corrected and xperienced musicians. One of the reasons behind the shifting practices and musical interpretations behind oral folkloric practices such as the tonadas trinitarias is the differing levels of communication and transmission from one generation to the next. For this reason, the history of the tonadas can be grouped into eras, each based on the interpretations of a generation and influenced by the dominant realities of life in Trinidad during the time. The Three Eras According to Joseto (Lares 2009), the tona das trinitarias have passed through


89 or iniciadores (initiators). They differ from each other on different levels, which result from the evolving political, economic, and cultural landscapes of Trinidad. In turn, this influenced generational changes in such things as interpretations and repertoire. Presently, the tonadas are no instead it has become frozen in tim e and placed on the stage for tourism or cultural d isplays. I will refer to the f irst, second, third eras in organizing the evolution of the genre Each of these eras overlaps somewhat with o ne another, with the first two eras constituting the period in which the tradition was most vibrant. The ending of isolation with improved national communications, the onset of tourism in Trinidad in the 1940s, commercialism, and most importantly, the Revolution, have contributed to the general decline of the tonada tradition in the latter part of the twentie th century. In the first two specialized musicians who actively cultivated adding to and subtracting from the tradition Thereafter, the tradition eventually became a traditional music of the past ceasing to evolve and instead shrinking in the size of its repertoire and number of musicians. Its conservation stems from the purpose of preserving a local and unique tradit ion representing a marker of cultural identity for Trinidad and its musicians. The modern musicians, however, still trace this music back to the founders. Villa. It is imp ortant to remember that a definitive date of origin cannot be given to the tonadas trinitarias and that similar variants may have existed prior to Gascn and Villa. As described earlier, the tango the first name given to the tradition may be traced as


90 far back as 1846 or 1851, according to some scholars. Zayas (June 10, 2009) believes that Gascn and Villa already were performing with their groups in 1851, yet Gascn was only 11 years old at this time. The overwhelming evidence points to the time per iod of the Ten Years War as the origin of the tonada groups. Earlier manifestations were likely musical processions related to the cabildo(s). The theory with the most supporting evidence links the instruments and the songs to Gascn and his experiences as a volunteer soldier and cane cutter The link to the countryside stems from contact and familiarity with white peasant music a nd a musical background in the c ongo cabildo. The small drums were developed by Gascn in the manner of the yuka drum of the cabildo (perhaps with influences of or exposure to other drum trios), making them easier to transport. These drums were used in the Valle de los Ingenios during the harvest time in addition to or alternatively during the Ten Years War. The g iro and the singing style of the tona das campesinas were influenced by guajiro music, while the drums, hoe blade, and antifonal singing testify to the influence of the c ongo cabildo. The first two urban groups, established during or closely following the Ten Y ears War (1868 1878) were led by Gascn and Villa, respectively. They performed the tonadas as serenades and as nocturnal musical processions on religious (and later patriotic) holidays. The first organized group manifestations are generally considered t o be tied to the eve of San Juan. Following this, the groups may have proceeded to incorporate other public holidays. As a result of selecting the same times to perform (whether this was coincidental or planned is not known), of which the most important was the eve of San Juan, the groups occasionally met in public areas. Here, the groups competed by see ing wh o could contribute the best song creations (Garca et al. 1972).


91 These meeti ngs spurred the composition of puyas, tonadas aimed at teasing or poki ng center of revolutionary activity in the nineteenth century, patriotic songs were composed venerating war heroes or symbols of cubanidad Religious songs corres ponded to the religion comprising a central aspect of local culture. Social commentary on the cotidian aspects of barrio life and songs of love also became common. In this way, the first tonada groups represented the birth o f an Afro Cuban barrio manifestation, comprising a secular form of public entertainment comparable to rumba in Havana and Matanzas. Figure 4 3. Timeline of the evolution of the tonadas trinitarias. The First Era The first era represents the crystallization of organized tonada groups and the active development of repertoire and traditions. Previous to the organization of groups, Gascn and his cohorts in the Valle de los Ingenios ( during the war or cane harvest ) may have be gun to develop the repertoire. The songs composed and performed by the tonada groups began to be heard re gularly in the streets. T he participants and


92 onlookers, after hearing the choruses repeated one after another, began to assimilate these songs as the specific author. This is often a characteristic of oral folklore, which is handed down through the generations. Yet this lack of authorship was present from the beginning, testifying perhap s to the democratic nature of these groups. Similar manifestations, such as the coros de clave or rumba traditions, generally value authorship to some degree. The claves, for example, were often written by the director of the group, who also arranged the voices and rehearsed the ensemble. In rumba, while many of the older songs or refrains no longer can be tied to an author, in more recent times (since the early mid 1900s) authorship is valued. Rumberos on Yet t he rumba is also democratic or authorless, to a degree. I n its early days in the nineteenth this may have been more pronounced at the barrio level. The surviving rumbas de tiempo Espaa (colonial domain These and the majority of rumbas remain authorless. However, the fame of rumba composers in Havana and Matanzas in the twentieth century, such as To Tom and Flor de Amor, resulted from the popularity of their rumbas, which were performed often by local and professional groups. The tonadas are ver y different in this aspect. They were rooted in a close knit marginal community in a small town. Furthermore, Trinidad was for the most part isolated from the rest of Cuba from the 1850s until the 1930s. This locality and isolation in conjunction with the democratic nature of the groups made it unnecessary to assert authorship. All participants and onlookers learned the songs as they were performed in the street an d internalized them as their own. These were amateur m usical groups


93 made up of frie nds and neighbors. They did not hold formal rehearsals as did the coros de clave; the tonadas have a shared structure and general melodic contour making them easy to lear n in relation to each other. In learning a new tonada the director, composer, or singer would have simply t aught a few of the singers the short chorus melody and text. To this, the same harmony would have been applied as in all the other songs (a third below the primary voice), and the gua would have improvised in the same space allotted to any other tonada. In essence, learning a new tonada was only learning a short chorus text. There was no need to assign authorship to each tonada, which is essentia lly a chorus. Only the musicians performing a relatively new tonada ng a tonada that belonged to Alfonso Puig (which he must have heard from Puig during the late 1940s or 1950s) He remembered Pu ig as the author due to the fact that Puig wished no one to sing it other than himself This was because i t dealt wit h raising the dead (Lares 2009): Vengan a or cantar a Luisa Vengan a or canta r a Luisa Resuscita a los muertos en la tumba [ Come and hear Luisa sing Come and hear Luisa sing She resuscitates the dead in the grave ] The first era seemed to have a religious connection not present in later eras. Not only did the first tonada gro but following the nocturnal transit, the groups would proceed to the river bank to wash their faces. This semi religious aspect linked to the baptism and possibly to the c ongo belief in the cleansi ng power of water, disappeared at least by the early twentieth


94 century. It may only have existed among the first groups those of Gascn and Villa and disappeared in the second era with the following generation. Composition in this era was based aro und social commentary, and romantic, patriotic and religious themes. The active composition in this era led to the formation of the base repertoire. These songs were performed as serenades, in transit, or in meetings. These central activities spurred the creation of this repertoire. Why were romantic songs written? Why were patriotic songs common? Why were social commentary and puya songs necessary? The answer s to these questions lie in the Romantic tonadas were written with the purpose of singing a t the home of the woman being admired. This tradition in itself reflects the gender relations and courtship practices in Cuba in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centur ies Women were expe cted to be humble and passive, and men were expected t o court women respectively; a serenade represent ed a romantic endeavor. The presence of patriotic songs owes much to the fact that Trinidad was a hotbed of rebel activity during the independence wars. Th emes exalting Cuban nationalism were very popular at the time. Social commentary themes resulted from the fact that the tonadas originated within a closely knit lower class comm unity of Afro Cubans. T he puyas have their origin in the meetings or compe titions between two groups, where guas attempted to show mastery of improvisation through the use of witty texts. These elements formed the base of the tradition to be handed down to following generations. he fi rst era lasted until the early 1900s, flowing into the second era. Since the eras are based primarily on generations


95 (especially those of the leaders or organizers), the first era spans more or less the participation of Gascn and Villa. Gascn died in 1 918 at the age of 78. The older longer actively participate in the long neighborhood transits. It is likely that Gascn was inactive in the tonadas during his final ye ars, which would have left others to take over as organizers. The Second Era The second era begins in the 1900s or 1910s, and is marked by the transfer of generations of the organizers. In this case, if Gascn and Villa represented the first era, Alfonso Puig and others, such as Pepe Entenza, represent the second. The generational overlap is crucial in the evolution of the tonada tradition. Both Puig and Entenza were involved with the groups of the first era, perhaps from the time they were teenagers. A s the generation of Gascn and Villa became less active, the next generation took over the tradition. It is possibl e that the tonada tradition declined in its activities at certain points during this period. Mayra Martnez (1983) believes the tradition s uffered following the disappearance of Patricio Gascn as an active organizer, and that the economic crisis in Cuba in the 1920s harshly impacted the musical traditions in Trinidad. While the impact of the economic crisis on Trinidad may have dampened mus ical production temporarily, the retirement of Gascn did not likely impact the tradition negatively. Rather, the tradition seems to have grown. I n the second era a number of tonada groups were present; in the beginning there had only existed those of Ga scn and Villa. Either way, t his caused the younger generation of musicians to pull together and assume responsibility of the groups themselves.


96 Joseto (Lares 2009) described how when the organizers of the first era began to die or retire Alfonso Pui g, a bombo player of the first era, became the organizer of the tonadas in the second era. It is not clear if this was gradual or if the tradition had come to a standstill at some time. It is likely that at a certain point Puig would have simply taken ov er the organizational aspect. He is, however, remembered as one of the leaders of the second era. This generation of tonaderos seems to have retained the tradition largely as it was in the first era, although the religious affiliations may have lessened. During the first era, it is possible that other tonada groups arose, representing other barrios. This is very likely; if the first two groups began performing in the 1860s or 1870s, then their exposure on the streets of Trinidad over many years would ha ve stimulated the creation of new g roups in the other barrios. A similar phenomenon took place in Sancti Spritus, when Juan Echemenda, director of the coro de clave La Yaya, moved here from Havana. He established the first coro de clave in Sancti Sprit us, which led to the subsequent creation of other groups in neighboring barrios (Linares 1974, 69). Many of the organizers of new tonada groups were tied at some point to a previous group, with whom they would have learned. For example, Alfonso Puig and Alfonso Puig was a leader of the tonada (group) of La Barranca. The tonada group representing La Barranca was not in existence when Villa and Gascn first started. Thus at the beginning of the second era. Pepe Entenza, a singer who had been a member of e


97 1940s. What is certain is that by the early twentieth century, many different tonada groups emerged, representing the different barrios of Trinidad. Claro (Valdespino 2009) mentions the barrios of La Barranca, Simp, Santiago, and Loma de los Chivos as having tonada groups when he was young (1940s). s days and ot her days of public celebration; these were then expanded to include patriotic holidays not present before independe nce from Spain in 1898. The tonada groups also continued to perform serenades and meet in competition. This is very important, as these ac tivities were the impetus keeping the tradition alive and dynamic that new co mpositions and improvisation were present. New tonadas with puya themes or commentary on barrio life were created to be heard by other groups and other barrios. Later, when these central activities were no longer present (in the third era) th e impetus to compose was also lost. The textual improvisation of the gua was also an important element in competitions. The more creative and witty the inspiracin the more respect the gua gained. In this way he could counter his opponents and show h is skill. In serenades, the gua was expected to perform in the same manner, so that the tonada could be appreciated by listeners. Thus, the gua was a central figure with an active role. Although active composition continued, there was a slight change in the themes emphasized. Most markedly, there were no patriotic or political co mpositions addressing twentieth century Cuba. The patriotic compositions of the tonadas only address heroes and themes dealing with the wars of independence. The musicians do seem to have continued actively composing themes with social commentaries. This


98 testifies to the continuing economic difficulties for the marginalized population of Trinidad. The composition of tonadas with religious themes may have declined somewhat, as the tradition became secularized. Although this is not certain, the fact that the element of river washing on the day of San Juan was lost during this time supports this theory. While many scholarly sources cite the river washing following the transi ts on the eve of San Juan as being present among the earliest groups, this is no longer mentioned in later generations. None of the elder tonaderos I interviewed described this as part of the second era. On the whole, however, the second era remained ver y similar to the first era, continuing to flourish and spread among the barrios of Trinidad. The second era extended into the first years of the 1950s (1950 1951), according to Ar naldo and Joseto. Following this there was a lull in the tonada tradition. This may have been due to the passing or retirement of the elder leaders (Alfonso Puig, Pepe Entenza), as occurred in the early 1900s when Gascn retired. In the 1960s the tradition was once again revived by the younger generation, including Francisco the new cultural policies of the Revolution. This was the beginning of the third era. The Third Era The greatest change in the tonada trinitaria tradition occurred during t he transitio n to the third era, which began following the Revolution, in the early 1960s. The socialist state sponsored groups which, in Cuban tradit ions previously looked and educate the Cuban population through culture.


99 The end of the second era and the lull of the 1950s coincided with increasing anti governmen t activity on the island. Following the 1959 Revolution, the new government enacted a number of reforms aimed at lessening racism an d discrimination in Cuba, problems that had plagued the society since colonial times. Due to Afro Cuban participation in t he wars of independence, open discourses on scientific racism and black inferiority were ended, yet the dominant classes remained prejudiced towards black culture. In 1959 the new government desegregated public areas, pushed for fairer employment opportun ities, provided free medical care, and started a national literacy campaign, all of which generally benefited blacks more so than whites. Yet Castro ultimately sidestepped the issue of race denying Afro Cubans a voice and prohibiting any black organizatio ns Despite this double standard, the socialist government aimed to preserve and disseminate traditional music. For the first time, Afro Cuban drumming and song was heard in the mass media, and cultural festivals were created which featur ed music from ar ound the island (Moore 2006). This emphasis on culture was accompanied by the creation of a number of folkloric groups, many of which specialized in Afro Cuban traditions, such as the Conjunto Folklrico Nacional. Scholars in Cuba had mixed views on th involvement in Afro Cuban traditions. While some wholly supported the movement, others disagreed. Helio Orovio, for example, believed that the creation of certain groups was a form of cultural reservation: these ensembles were to be the only ou tlet of Afro Cuban forms the government wanted to disseminate. In stark contrast to their contexts in the barrios, the songs and dances presented by professional folkloric groups time wanted to

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100 elevate folklore to a professional level, so as to be more appealing to general audiences. This meant that dancers often trained with choreographers and musicians e Revolution was not necessarily supporting Afro Cuban culture as it was ; conversely, a more refined, acceptable version was created. One of the major changes was the lack o f spontaneity and improvisation present in the street level performances (Moore 20 06). T hese changes were also observed in the tonada trinitaria tradition of the third era. In Trinidad, the Conjunto Folklrico de Trinidad was established in 1963. The tonadas, which had been seemingly inactive (or much less active) since about 1950 or 1951, were revived in 1961. Joseto (Lares 2009) explains this revival. He recalled an activity for a school in nearby Santa Clara (likely the University of Las Villas) in which representative musical groups were to be brought from d ifferent regions. Students needed to bring a group from their province to perform. One of the students was from Trinidad, from the barrio of La Barranca, and was familiar with the tonadas. He told a co usin of his, who was a tonadero t o put together a group for him to ta ke to Santa C lara. A group was formed, put o n a bus, and sent to perform in Santa Clara. T he tonada group then persisted in Trinidad, and shortely thereafter, the local branch of the Ministry of Culture ( this was in corporated them under its authority As part of Cultura however the group lost its independence; it was now under official control of a local branch of government. This incorporation into Cultura had both positive and negative impacts. As the sole t onada group in Trinidad, this meant that the entire tonada tradition was now sponsored from above. Cultura was in charge of organizing cultural events and

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101 festivals on the island, and the tonada group could be called at any moment to perform. While the g roup does seem to have persisted to some degree with nocturnal transits, according to one instance cited by Joseto, this activity was rare, leaving the tonada group established prima rily as a folkloric ensemble. Cultura established a program to which the tonaderos had to adhere. Carpio (Fonseca and Carpio Quezada 2009) stressed this as one of the primary differences from before and after the Revolution. Before the groups had been internally directed; with Cultura they lost their independence. It is als o important to remember that the tonada musicians belonged to the working classes. They were shoemakers, butchers, carpenters, or bakers. They were not employed as professional musicians by the state; rather they were paid a small salary for performances and expected to excuse themselves from work (with government permission) in order to perform on the days assigned by Cultura. Arnaldo described one such performance in Havana in 1976. It was a competition for musical groups from different regions of the island, hosted in the Amadeo Roldn Theater. Arnaldo and a group of tonada musicans were taken to Havana for a week. They received first place in the competition, ousting the only professional group there, Los Muequitos de Matanzas. According to Arnal do the tonada group was very good; when they started singing everyone would quiet down and listen. The members were the older and most experienced tonaderos, including elder generation was also prese nt: Claro Valdespino, Arnaldo Fonseca, and Joseto (Fonseca and Carpio Quezada 2009). Some of these tonaderos were also members of the Conjunto Folklrico

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102 Mana, a bombo ssionist. In fact, when the Conjunto Folklric o was founded in 1963, some of the best tonada musicians filled its ranks. In addition to Mana, who was recognized as one of the best bombos, Rogelio Lugones (an experienced gua), Zoila Estrella, Natividad Zayas, and Paula Lugones (these last three were female chorus singers) remained active in the group for an extended period of time. In the 1980s and 1990s these elder musicians began disappearing from the ranks, succumbing to age or to death. Their passing represented the loss o f one of the last gene rations that had experienced the tonada tradition of the second era. The final generation, including Arnaldo, Joseto, Claro, and Gregorio, are now in their 70s. These are the only remaining tonaderos who experienced the tradition of nocturnal transits a nd serenatas, even though this aspec t has been largely absent for the majority of their life spans Having learned the tradition during the tail end of the second era (up to about 1950), they are the most musically able and the most knowledgeable when it comes to the history of the tonadas A number of elements chang ed in the tonada tradition following the Cuban Revolution. used. Previously known locally as fandango, C sentiments in Cuba, as elsewhere, are often strongly linked to an idealized rural culture. In Cuba, lo cubano ( what is Cuban ) is of ten romanticized as having originat ed in the predominantly white rural population (guajiros) Although African influence is recognized, it is seen more as an addition rather than a core of identity The term f and dance of the black population in

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103 colonial Cuba, ceased to be used when Cultura absorbed the tonada tradition. could not be confused with another tradition; locals knew exactly what this referred to. is a very general term. i n order to link the genre to the city of Trinidad, in a national context. Another alteration resulting from the direction of Cultura was the dress. In the second and first eras, when the groups wer e informal assemblies of musicians, there were no uniforms, costumes, or particular style of dress adhered to. However, when the tonada group of the third era performed in festivals such as the competition described by Arnaldo in 1976, the musicians were dressed unformly in white guayaberas. The guayabera is another symbol of cubana (Cubanness) originating in the countryside. The guayabera is even used as the normal dress shirt for the Cuban Communist Party. The style of dress used in many state sponso red folkloric groups, tonaderos), a colored handkerchief around the neck, pants, and sometimes a hat. This Cuban in origin and tied to the marginal barrios, this type of folklore needed to be uplifted and refined in the eyes of culture advisors in order to be acceptab le to the dominant (white) population in Cuba. The absorption of the tonadas by Cultura not only dressed up the tradition, but

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104 the tonadas trinitarias must be admi red (after all, the tradition may have been lost completely without state intervention) the tradition was altered both consciously and unconsciously with control from above. As a result of the disappearance of the fandangueros of the disappearance of the fandangueros of the second era and the new confines within Cultura, spontaneity was reduced considerably. This meant that the nocturnal transits as serenatas Figur e 4 2. other holidays disappeared. This is the most important distinguisher between the third era and the previous eras: the tonada tradition lost its central activities. In the third era, the only spontaneity took place in informal gat herings in the park, where some musicians and singers would sing some tonadas and rumbas while sitting on the benches (Carpio Quezada 2009) No more need for shoulder straps to carry the drums, no more transiting, no more serenatas were performed. Essent ially the tonadas performed in the park were part of an informal jam session. Otherwise they we re

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105 performed only within the Conjunto Folklrico and the state sponsored tonada group. Since the 1990s, even these park gathering s have been lost. The size of the groups was also altered significantly. While in the first and second eras large groups of followers joined the tonada groups as they proceeded from house to house, the loss of the tradition of nocturnal transits meant that only the musicians thems elves composed the performing group. In essence, the line between perfo rmer and audience became more pronounced The performers were put on stage and dressed up, clearly distinguishing them from their audiences. The decline in participation by audience members must have also led to decreased interest and museum relic, the younger generations are separated from this. It cannot appeal to the masses on the popular leve l when it is withdrawn from its barrio context. While on the one hand we may see the lack of nocturnal transits and local public participation in the tonadas as contributing to the decline of its popularity, we must also take into account the role of pop ular music dissemination in Cuba. B y the 1950s the mass media disseminated popular music in Cuba through radio and discs, which were played in victrolas (jukeboxes) in bars and other public venues. The decline of the street tradition of the tonadas coinc ides with the rise in consumption of popular music in Cuba. More and more young people were dancing to the sounds of national and international bands. In Trinidad, this phenomenon can be traced to the 1930s, when communication with the rest of the island was improved through connections to the central highway system. Previously, Trinidad had been virtually isolated since its fall as a sugar giant in the late 1840s. Following the 1930s, increased communication with the

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106 rest of the island relieved the iso lation Trinidad had experienced for well over half a century. It was in this isolation that the tonadas tr initarias were born and thrived. T hus it is not surpri sing that their decline followed the end of this confinement. If unique local traditions are born out of locality, then it only makes sense that decreased locality contributes to their demise. As a result of the retardation of the tonada tradition following the second era, the composition of new songs also withered. The fact that meetings betw een tonada order to be heard by other groups or individuals, for which they were performed in the transits. When the tonada groups no longer transited through the streets, no longer performed serenades at homes, and no longer competed with other groups, there was no one there to listen! When the tonadas were removed from their origin al context and put on display by Cultura as a preserved tradition, the lack of public participation and appeal dropped, and the tonadas became a static tradition. Although composition declined, it did not completely stop. At least two tonada texts appear to originate in the third era. Although many of the tonadas cannot be clearly dated, except perhaps those which deal with patriotic themes of the independence wars, one text clearly stands out as a composition of the third era. Although it may have been from the latter part of the second era, its text signals that the great singers of the first and second eras are no longer present, and that they must be remembered for their contributions. Unan su voz trovadores Hganlo con emoci n

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107 Al recordar los cantant es De nuestra jurisdiccin A Pepe Entenza, el Tando Villa, Patricio Gascn, que era tan feliz Y no olvides nunca a aquel gua sublime Que se llamaba Alfonso Puig [Unite your voices troubadors With emotion As you remember the singers Of our jurisdiction Pep e Entenza, Tando Villa, Patricio Gascn, who was always so happy Named Alfonso Puig] All of the singers menti oned were part of the first era; Alfonso Puig and Pepe Entenza carried the tradition into the second era as leaders of tonada groups. Puig and Entenza were still active in the 1940s at the end of the second era, as Arnaldo re calls, thus this composition must have benn composed after this. It was likely written during the beginning of the third era by those who had known these men (or at least some of them) personally. The younger generations are not quite as familiar with the names of the great tonaderos of the past. This tonada venerated those singers of the first two era s such as Alfonso Puig, which had ei ther passed or were no longer part of the tradition. The second new text of the third era is not really a new composition, but an adaptation. The melody is exactly that used in a tonada referenced earlier: Qu lindas son Qu lindas son Las maanas de San Juan Qu lindas son The text was simply changed to: Qu lindas son Qu lindas son Las tonadas trinitarias Qu lindas son

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108 [ How beautiful they are How beautiful they are The tonadas trinitarias How beautiful they are] This is clearly an alterati not used previous to this time. In the end it is clear that composition al activity deteriorated greatly during the third era. As composition withered, the existing repertoire began undergoing ca nonization. While the largest collection of tonadas trinitarias (sixty four tonadas) is included many tonaderos, such as Arnaldo, recall there being more than one hundred at one point presumably bef ore the decline of the tonadas in the th ird era The 1972 article was the first written documentation of tonada texts, obtained from the elder tonaderos of the time, such as Rogelio Lugones. Sadly, the same number of songs could not be catalogued by a pr esent day investigator. Even the eldest tonaderos, such as Arnaldo and Claro, cannot recall many songs, simply because they are rarely performed. Arnaldo recounts how in the second era, the tonaderos would get inspired as the transit proceeded, causing t hem to jar from memory song after song. Essentially, the ambience of the street contexts (charged with rum and emotional energy) helped the tonaderos recall songs, one after another. The loss of this ambience in which highly charged musicians f ed off of resulted in the radical transformation of performance. W hen the tonada group and the Conjunto Folklrico were formed in the 1960s, the performance contexts did not inspire the musicians in the same way. Performances were allotted a certain amount of time and the groups rehearsed which songs were to be performed beforehand. Thus, if the tonada group was to perform at a certain cultural festival and had time for three

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109 songs, those songs would be rehearsed and performed within the tim e limits. According sung for an extended period of time, until the gua felt inspired to start a new song. This was no longer the case in these the third era. The Conjunto Folklrico for example, began performing the tonadas as an introduction to its show. The shows of the Conjunto Folklrico as is the case for many Afro Cuban folkloric groups, consist of a short sample of a number of Afro Cuban tradit ions. The Conjunto Folklrico includes local (from Trinidad) traditions such as the tonadas and local carnival traditions as well as general Afro Cuban manifestations, such as rumba, palo, and orisha dances. Carpio referred to these folkloric shows a s guiones matadores (killer sets) (Carpio Quezada 2009) A typical set for the Conjunto Folklrico is still performed in the same manner. Two tonadas trinitarias are sung, followed by yamb, guaguanc, and columbia Then a short, traditional act from Tr matanza de la culebra (the killing of the snake). In this piece, a comical character employing a rough Bantu Spanish dialect, removes a (fake) snake from his basket, frightening onlookers, and proceeds to kill it Following this, some Afro Cuban religious (palo and orisha) dances are performed in costume, and finally some son is played while the dancers pull audience members up to the stage to participate in the dancing. While the tonada s were still employed i n the Conjunto Folklrico the same songs tended to be repeated over and over, limiting the repertoire further. In the tonada group the repertoire was likely much larger, although the altered context and restricted number of performances impeded the vibra ncy of the tradition. Perhaps because many of the elder members of the tonada gr oup were also members of the Conjunto Folklrico the

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110 same songs became prevalent in both groups. There exists a filmed recording of the tonada group from the 1980s, spurred by the joint efforts of Mara Teresa Linares and the University of Las Villas, yet this proved inaccessible during my trip. The available audio recordings, from the 1990s, were made by the local folk the Conjunto Folklrico The f the tonadas. Yet the fifteen or so tonadas recorded there are largely the same as those recorded by the Conjunto Folklrico S ince few lead sin gers remained, the songs they sa ng frequently were thos e that were preserved. These same songs and in fact, an even a lesser number are performed regularly b y the Conjunto Folklrico still. Since 1990, when the tonad a group ceased to exist, there ha s been no group dedicated solely to th e t onadas Only t he fo lkloric group Cocor and the Conjunto Folklrico were left performing tonadas in the 1990s. Presently, only the Conjunto Folklrico performs them. Yet, as previously described, these groups only perform one or two tonadas per show. Pu chi, the lead singer for the Conjunto Folklrico tends to repeat the same songs show after show, drawing from a pool of less than ten. These songs have become standards, yet represent the range of tonada themes: romance, patriotism, puya, and social commentary. Not only have the venues, spontaneity, improvisation, dates, and repertoire changed, but the performance of the music itself has been transformed This includes alterations to tempo, instruments, number of voices, and timbre, and the addition of rumba to the tonadas. The tempo has general ly increase d When Arnaldo and Claro listened to a reco rding I had just made of the Conjunto Folklrico performing a tonada, they both shook their heads and said it was too fast. Although different tonadas have

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111 slightly fa ster or slower tempi, overall, according to Arnaldo, they should be calenciosas (slow and cadential). While the recordings of the folkloric groups Cocor and the older recording of the Conjunto Folklrico both still involved the elder tonaderos of the to n ada groups, the present day Conjunto Folklrico no longer includes these members, such as Rogelio Lugones and Mana. To the inexperienced listener, their interpretations sound great, yet the remaining elders (Arnaldo, Claro, and Joseto) do not regard th em as true performers of the tonadas. They see this younger generation as playing too quickly and not possessing the finesse required to perform the tonadas correctly While the present Conjunto Folklrico does start the tonadas very slowly, they tend to speed up fairly quickly. Even though the tempo does not seem to be very much different from those tonadas I recorded with the elder musicians, the overall feel is a world apart. Wha t seems to differentiate the Conjunto Folklrico in terms of making them sound faster or quicker is the playing of the quinto and the g iro. The quinto is hasty, louder, and more complica ted in its rhythms among the Conjunto Folklrico players. When Cheo, who is into with the elder musicians, his sound blended much more with the other drums and singers. He did not he chorus, and overall his patterns the present Conjunto Folklrico musicians. Carpio attributes the tendency of younger drummers to play faster to the influence of rumba. By this I mean the influence of modern rumba from Havana, primarily, where the present generations of rumberos emphasiz e a fast, aggressive, and complicated style of rumba called guarapachangu e o The younger musicians of the Conjunto Folklrico had only limited exposure to the

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112 tonadas. Most of them did not grow up hearing this music; they did not learn it through family ties as the older generations had. The younger generations are more familiar with rumba and popular music. The tendencies in rumba to push the tempo and employ aggressive drumming do not fit into the tonada tradition. The tonadas come from a time when cadential, beautiful, lyrical, and presentable were adjective s used to describe a quality group. They come from a time when serenades were sung to women by troubadours, from the time of the large coros de clave in Havana and Matanzas. The generational changes in values, morals, and attitude are therefore manifeste d in performance as well. When the younger players attempt to perform the tonadas which no longer exist in their original context but are rather relics of the past, they s imply will not be able to reconstruct the tradition exactly as it was. In terms of the g iro pattern, the present players play the same pattern employed in contemporary Cuban salsa uted with the tonadas of the Conjunto Folklrico Again, it stands out rather than blends. On the other hand, Gregorio, who is only a few years younger than Arnaldo and Claro and performed with the tonada group of the third era, executes a simpler pattern. He emphasized the downbeat and plays a short pickup to this. The bombo is also played very differently by Claro with the elder musicians as oppose d to the bombo player of the Conjunto Folklrico While Claro is constantly interacting with the quinto and singers with variations, accents, and sli des, the bombo player of the Conjunto Folklrico remain s relatively stable. All these factors indicate that while the elder tonaderos perform the tonadas in a very dynamic and inte ractive fashion, the younger Conjunto Folklrico interpretations are relatively static. One example of this is the fact that the bombo do es

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113 not interact effectively with the other drums and s ingers which mak es for a relatively unchanging percussive accompaniment. bombo playing is a prime example of this; it does not compare with the comple xity and level of interaction present in playing. The static bombo pattern exemplified by the younger Conjunto Folklrico musicians remains in the background while the quinto is forced by itself into the foreground, where it stands out more than it s hould (according to the opinions of the elders) In my observations, t he lack of interaction me ans that the instruments and singers do not cooperate as much; they do not Yet among the elder musicians, e ven the camp ana and g iro can be heard intera cting with the percussion and si ng ing They reside somewhat in volume while the gua performs, and on the pickup to the chorus they become slightly more aggressive, as does the rest of the e nsemble. In the present day Con junto Folklrico however, the drummers and the singers repeat the same tonadas over and over again for small crowds of tourists who have never heard this music. The dynamic is not present due to the lack of experience with the tonada groups of the past, and also because they are merely performing a task of labor In contrast, the elder tonaderos had performed tonadas out of personal conviction; they enjoyed reunion I recorde d. It had been a long time since most of them had come together to play, and they were very excited. The formal staging of the group also adds to this lack of interaction. When the tonada groups transited through the streets, there was no specific for mat for the setup of the musicians; the drummers were in close proximity and the chorus clustered

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114 together for the most part, but the movement of the group was collective and democratic. They proceeded through the streets together, with a group of followe rs who could join in on the songs if they chose. The staging of the groups in the third era set them apart not only from the public, but from the natural collectivity of the first and second eras. A format was developed whereby the drummers formed a semi circle with the chorus behind them and the gua out in front, all of them facing their audience. How does this impact the interactions among the musicians? For one, they are no longer facing each other. In transit, the musicians could physically move an d interact as they chose with one another and with others. On stage, the group was static. No shoulder straps are needed to carry the drums; they are played seated, between the legs. The physical motion is therefore limited. The chorus stands still, an d the gua sings facing the crowd, rather than interacting with the other singers and drummers. As mentioned before, when I recorded the elder tonaderos performing in a makeshift reunion, the energy levels rose as they interacted with one another, feedin g ather than in transit, they did not seem to be performing for me as much as for each other They were taking the opportunity to enjoy themselves together, as they had not been reu nited for some time. I must mention that I did provide a compensation for their time, but they did not necessarily expect this of me. They appreciated the fact that I wanted to document this music. On the oth er hand, when I recorded the Conjunto Folklr ico performing, I was expected to compensate them up front. These musicians have a job economic conditions, they cannot be blamed for their entrepreneurship. Almost all

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115 en la lucha [ for survival ] ). Afro Cuban folklore as a commodity has proven one of the most effective means for blacks to access the tourist dollar. I will examine this in depth in the section on the impa ct of tourism. F or now I will continue examining the impact of st aging the tonadas, using the Conjunto Folklrico as an example. Contemporary Performance: Conjunto Folklrico de Trinidad 17 de los Co ngos Reales, a small caf style enclosure with a small bar and group of tables and chairs facing a g shade to the small groups of foreign t ourists who enter from the steamy streets, eager to enjoy a refreshing mojito and seek solace from the longs walks on the cobblestone streets. 18 The tourists enter, unsure of what to expect; they see the stage, devoid of performers but with a cluster of percussion instruments on the side. They take a seat, and are approached shortly by a waitress who is clea rly bored with her job. The Conjunto Folklrico musicians, who have been lounging around a table or near the entrance, casually conversing, get up to go to work. They are not dressed in unifor ms, but in cas ual clothes. When enough tourists are present, they are cued to start a show by the director. Now, they are not necessarily reluctant to quit their lounging and get on stage, but it is clearly a repetitive motion for them; it is work. The dancers go bac kstage to put on their costumes while the lead singer (Puchi), standing at the forefront of the group, begins a tonada (which he has probably performed dozens of times that week). Puchi and the musicians are 17 Palenques were runaway slave communities in Cuba, where escaped slaves lived communally, independent of the d ominant society. 18 on my personal experiences and observations during my visits to Trinidad in 2008 and 2009.

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116 relegated to the right margin of the stage. Th e drummers and singers form a line behind him. When I visited in the summers of 2008 and 2009, the chorus consisted of one or two female and one or two male singers. The tonadas are peformed first; usually one or two is sung. These tonadas are performed as separate pieces, each beginning They only last a couple of minutes each. As mentioned earlier, this in itself is a huge change in the performance style. This con minutes (or even much longer), until another tonada is introduced. This is done by interjection, and is performed by the gua or another lead singer (who will then become the gua for that tonada). The difference here is that the percussion does not stop; text. All of this is done within t he same key. This same phenomenon is observable in rumba, in its informal context. The rumba and the tonada trinitaria traditions are very similar in the way that they were transformed during the Revolution from localized, unprofessional expressions of marginalized Afro Cubans into professional folkloric manifestations. Previous to the Revolution, rumba was largely informal and spontaneously performed in solares 19 in Havana and Matanzas. Following the Revolution, rumba was incorporated into the reperto ires of folkloric groups such as the Conjunto Folklrico Nacional, and standardized It was no longer a localized, oral tradition with endless variations. Suddenly, there was increasing emphasis on categorizing and labeling the different 19 A solar is a common area between apartment bu ildings, usually connected to the street by a narrow passageway. This was a central social area for the marginal classes of the barrios.

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117 types of rumba, hand the rumba was given a level of unforeseen exposure, the government banned the spontaneous rumbas of the barrios. Instead of a couple of rumberos getting together, getting inspired w ith a song, adding a couple of boxes and spoons, and spontaneously creating a rumba jam, an event featuring drumming (including for religious events) would need to be planned ahead and a license obtained. While the tonadas have a slightly different trajec tory the result ing standardization was largely the same. The ultimately became part of the constellation of Afro Cuban folklore employed in entertain ing tourists. Unfortu nately, while rumberos were numerous and the rumba tradition continued to flourish in Havana and Matanzas, the number of tonaderos diminished and the tradition became frozen. Another similarity between the two is the segmentation of performances that redu ce s connectivity between songs. As in the tonada tradition, where one song sprung from another without a stop in the percussion, rumbas were also once like this. In informal settings in the barrios, the percussion could proceed for hours without stoppin g, as singers interjected one song after another. This collective ambience in rumba has been largely replaced by performance which is largely stage like: the lead singer(s) sing the text, introduce the montuno, the dancers come out, and the song ends afte r a couple of choruses. The format of the tonadas performed by the Conjunto Folklrico is largely the same. Each song begins and ends exactly the same. The tonada is performed, and after a few choruses the gua introduces a faster paced chorus and the g roup speeds up, going into a rumba.

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118 The addition of rumba to the end of tonadas i s entirely a creation of the Conjunto Folklrico in the third era. During the first and second eras, only tonadas were sung by the groups of the tonadas trinitarias. Some we re slightly faster or slower, yet this was the only genre employed. Claro Valdespino one of the drummers of the Conjunto Folklrico when it was founded in the early 1960s, is credited with this invention. This type of rumba is not the rumba from Havana or Matanzas (yamb, guaguanc, columbia). Rather, what is referred to as rumba in the tonadas is actually a derivative of the rumba managua It is played in a very similar rhythm to that of the tonadas; not much changes except for the tempo, which speeds up. What Claro did was position this as the second half of a tonada, in order to make it more exciting for stage shows. Fernando Ortiz (1954) describes ongo slaves and their descendents of colonial times, consisting of s inging puyas, or about impossible fictitious situations Similar to the man another c ongo music and dance game performed in colonial times consisting of danced fighting between men, the manag eros (those who played managua) would show up at a party of ten where yuka was being danced and sung and managua would be danced. The rumba managua did not have a specificic set of drums; whatever drums in use at a dance of the c o ngos (again, yuka drums were common) were employed. The managua was likely perform ed at some point in the Cabildo de San Antonio de Congos Reales in Trinidad, where the yuka drum was used as accompaniment. The influence of the singing of puyas in the tonadas may have come from the te xts of the rumba managua, although this is not necess arily the case The rumba managua is likely an older tradition than the tonadas, but they were certainly contemporaries in the late nineteenth century during the

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119 independence wars. The following rumba describes Spanish soldiers from the viewpoint of the Cubans: All vienen los curros bajando la loma Vestidos de blanco parecen palomas [ There go the Spanish descending the hill Dressed all in white, they look like doves] The majority of the se rumbas ar e made up of two line texts sung as choruses, betwee n which the lead singer improvises. Thus, the drums (whose rhythm only changes slightly in the bombo) and percussion speed up when the rumba is introduced. All of the tona das performed by the present Conjunto Folklrico end with a rumba. The switch is s ignaled by the gua, following a few repetitions of the tonada chorus. He interjects the rumba chorus, the percussion speeds up and increases in volume, and the rumba at th e end. It is important to note that this is done for live shows On the CD recorded by the Conjunto Folklrico only tonadas are performed, without the addition of the rumba (Conjunto Folklrico de T rinidad, 1999). Thus, it is clear that the genres are still c onsidered separate. Yet the Conjunto Folklrico musicians, such as Puchi, seem to feel compelled to always add a rumba at the end of the tonada. When I learne d the drum patterns from the Conju nto Folklrico musicians, they showed me both those for the tonadas and those for rumba as if they were closely intertwined with one another t was interesting to obse rve hi s interaction with the elder tonaderos in the reunion I organiz ed. All of the musicians were of the older generation (in their late 60s or 70s) except for Pu chi who was 56 at the time. Puchi and Arnaldo represented complete opposites here, Arnaldo being the eldest singer and strict in terms of what he considers a g ood tonada. More

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120 than anyone, he seemed to put his whole heart into the tonadas and thoroughly enjoy them; he in no way expected any payment or compensation for his participation (although he very much needed it and I insisted). Puchi, on the other hand, sings the tonadas daily as part of his job; it is routine for him and he definitely expected monetary compensation. The music began with Arnaldo introducing a few tonadas, after which Puchi interjected f e w ced a rumba, to which the ensemble responded by speeding up. Arnaldo, on the o ther hand, never introduced a rumba; he sang only tonadas. In my interv iew with Arnaldo I was confused as to the relationship between the tonadas and the rumbas. Clarifying t his, he explained that in the old days (first and second era s ) the tonada groups sa ng only tonadas. The rumbas were reserved for other events ; they were separate Furthermore, the rumba is danced in a specific way, w hile the tonada is not tied to a speci fic dance As explained by Carpio, rumba is performed not for transit, but for dancing in a designated area (such as the cabildo or a park). In essence it represents a separate, secular c ongo element which was fused to the tonadas in the 1960s for folklo ric shows. This reflects on another fundamental change to the tonadas trinitarias in the third era, which relates to function. The move to folkloric shows represents the addition of n of the old days (from eras one and two) of transits and competitions essentially stopped. The tonadas were hoc tonada group put together for a performance at a school in Santa Clara in the early 19 60s. The fact that the tonada was no longer a living tradition, practiced and upheld by the inhabitants of the

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121 barrios of Trinidad, determined a n alteration in its basic function. Essentially, Cultura decided to appropriate the tonada group so as to pres erve what it saw as a traditional cultural element of Trinidad. And it did just that preserve d it. The tonada came to represent a frozen relic of a past tradition. Of course, it became more frozen and standardized over the following decades, as those who had lived during the heyday of the tonadas were no longer part of the scene. Thus, beginning in the 1960s, the tonadas moved from independence towards dependence (on Cultura) and incorporation. By this I mean that previous to the Revolution, the tona das were independent groups run by their organizers as they pleased. They represented a distinct tradition, set apart from other ensembles and musics. Following the Revolution, the tonadas were co opted by the national government and placed into a catego ry of folklore on two levels. The first level is that of the local folklore of Trinidad, which includes other largely by gone traditions performed by the C onjunto Folklrico such as Cuban folklore, encompassing all general Afro Cuban traditions of the island, such as orisha music, palo, bemb, and rumba. Cultura in the end did little to promote the tradition or keep it alive. Participation in one national competition in Havana did little to disseminate the genre. Perhaps this is one reason that so little is written and known about the tonadas trinitarias in Cuban musicology. Only scholars and students from the Central University of Las Villas produced a few articles on the tradition. Th us on the national level (not to even mention the international level) the tonadas trinitarias are a largely unfamiliar topic. On the local level, where Cultura employed the tonadas more vigorously, the impact was not resounding. If their aim was to educ ate Cuban audiences on their own cultural

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122 traditions, this was largely ineffective in Trinidad. No support was given for the tonadas to continue in their original manner (transits), no effort was made to arrange for classes, and the economic crisis of the tonada group. Previous to the 1990s the strategy was primarily documentation and preservation. This was done largely by those scholars who published articles on the tonadas from the Central Universi ty of Las Villas in the university magazines Signos and Islas With the advent of the Special Period, government funded research was largely cut off in the realms of folklore and music. For this reason there has been virtually no research in the area of the tonadas trinitarias. The economy began to incorporate capitalist elements, and the doors were opened for tourists as Cuba struggled to emerge from economic disaster. Suddenly, money became the driving force behind cultural production. The tonada gr oup was no longer sponsored because it was not producing money; likewise the tonaderos had no reason to continue the group as they were busy struggling to find ways to get by. Only when musical production (especially Afro Cuban) became more profitable did it emerge as a worthwhile endeavor for mus icians. For this reason the Conjunto Folklrico endured. As a group representing the spectrum of Afro Cuban folklore as well as those traditions unique to Trinidad, shows were arranged to entertain tourists and generate money. The Impact of Tourism Trinidad now has the fortune to be one of the tourist centers of the island, due largely to its colonial style architecture and enchanting cob blestone streets. Tourists enjoy the relaxed Caribbean ambience, nearby b eaches, and the famous waterfalls of

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123 the nearby mountains, and enjoy a mojito while listening to the exotic and unfamiliar Afro Cuban traditions of the Conjunto Folklrico This is how the tonadas are preserved today. In fact, tourists are exposed to the tonadas trinitarias more than any of the local younger generations! The tonadas are relegated to the folklore stage, no longer performed in the streets or i n public. Cubans themselves do not figure among the spectators in the Conjunto Folklrico Any persons lounging and enjoying the show at t he venue, called the Palenque de Congos Reales, are expect ed to purchase drinks, which are sold in divisa (Cuban dollars). Since Cubans are paid in moneda nacional ( pesos ), which in summer of 2009 was 1/26 of a Cuban dollar, items sold in divisa are much less acc essible to Cubans. On the other hand, almost all services and items for tourists are available only in divisa. This creates an unofficial segregation between Cubans and foreign tourists. In 2009, Ral Castro instituted changes which allowed Cuban citizens to access hotels and other services previously only available to foreigners, who pay in divisa (before this, these areas were off represent an advance towards greater egalitarianism they are for the most part symbolic. This does not change the fact that most Cubans, who may only make the equivalent of twenty Cuban dollars a month, remain exc luded from these services. Thus, Cubans still have li mited access to hotels, restaurants, dance clubs and concert venues which require payment in divisa The musical venues aimed at tourists often consist of folkloric shows performed by prof essional groups, such as the Conjunto Folklrico Therefore i n T rinidad Cubans do not really hav e access to the shows of the Conjunto Folklrico unless they come in to ch at with a friend who is an employee. In addition, many locals

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124 would not attend even if they could Why? Because the music and dance performed for tourists are not the same as those consumed by Cubans Although there are rumba venues in Havana open for both Cubans and foreigners, these are more dynamic, involving participation of Cuban audiences. Rumba is a living dynamic genre, and so Cuban rumbe ros participate. Yet the folkloric show s of the Conjunto Folklrico are aimed only at tourists. Cubans do not participate primarily because they perform frozen music genres of the past or those which are not cultivated popularly by contemporary musicia ns in Trinidad. They perform the same tonadas, the same orisha songs, the same rumbas in their short sets. These are performed over and over again througho ut the day, six days a week. They are meant for small groups of tourists who enjoy the sample, yet will only hear it once. For them it is not repetitive, yet for the musicians and locals, it is nothing special. This is the point that the tonadas have reached: they are viewed as nothing special. They represent a local tradition of the past, cultivate d once upon a time by tonaderos who are now dead or retired. As Esquenazi Prez (2009) put it, T ourism does something; it converts the tradition into a scheme. So, for example, you get to Baracoa and they make a type of [folkloric] group for that have there that are ancient, and then with the little [traditional] outfit, but nicer, and what happens is the opposite [of preservation] it is lost, because in actuality the rest o they take something that is traditional and they freeze it, they put it on for tourism, and th ereafter it remains ritualized. It is a s if the tonadas are a preserved ritual of the past, put on display in a museum its past. Tourists come to enjoy the yellow and pink colonial style architecture, t he centuries old Spanish churches, and to take rides on horse drawn carts through the

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125 cobblestone streets. Many streets are lined with local artisans who sell straw woven hats and figurines. Tourism is the biggest mone y maker in Trinidad, and the Conjunt o Folklrico has a part in this. Just like the miniature conga drums and cheap maracas available for tourists, the tonadas have become a historical cultural commodity. Tourists in the Palenque de Congos Reales are even offered the tonadas tr initarias CD of the Conjunto Folklrico for purchase, so that they may take a piece of Trinidad home with them.

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126 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION T he tonadas trinitarias have survived well over a century in Trinidad, evolving as social, economic, political, and generational c hanges left their mark. The ties to the Valle de los Ingenios the c ongo slaves and their descendents, the guajiros, and the The origin of the tonada trinitaria will never be absolutely certain, yet it is clear that it grew out of the circumstances surrounding Trinidad and the Valle de los Ingenios of the nineteenth century. The confluence of Africans, Europeans, and creoles in the Valle de los Ingenios created a unique en vironment in which transculturation and creolization played central role s in developing prosperity in the 1840s as one of the top sugar exporters of the island was followed by economic crisis and the down fall of the sugar industry, spurring a mass movement of people from the valley to the city. Many city dwellers continued to work as cane cutters in harvest time, as the case of Patricio Gascn shows. He, along with Tando Villa, both of whom were black mu sicians of the Cabildo de San Antonio de Congos Reales, were likely exposed to white peasant music and other musical influences as they cut cane in 1878), urban and rural blacks and whit es worked and fought side by side, participating in a continual process of creole musical creation. In addition to the primarily c ongo and guajiro elements present in the music and instruments of the tonadas, the processional component was tied to the anc ient tradition of saint processions in Trinidad. The tonadas represented an Afro Cuban secular variant of these transits. The evolution of the genre has seen changes through the generations and the

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127 involvement of the Revolutionary government. These gen er ations are represented by the notion of the three eras. The first era was led by the generation of Gascn and Villa, whose groups represented different barrios of Trinidad. These groups are said to tied to the celebration for San Juan. After proceeding through the streets on the eve of San Juan, the musicians and followers would make their way to the river to cleanse their faces. The themes of the tonadas reflect their nature. These included rel social, romantic, patriotic, and puya themes. The puyas were used when two tonada groups would meet in competition. The other tonadas were sung either in transit or as usic. The traditions of competition and serenades continued much the same in the second era, when the younger generation took over. The political and economic turmoil of the 1950s in Cuba, as well as the growing presence of popular orchestras and bands l ikely contributed to the lull in the tonadas by sponsoring a single tonada group in Trinidad. While this certa inly encouraged the revival of the tradition in some wa ys, it also cont ributed to the folkloricization of the tradition. In the 1990s, the only tonada group in Trinidad succumbed to the pressures of the Special Period economic crisis and tourism became the sustenance of Trinidad. Since then, most of the elde r tonaderos have vanished or retired, and the genre remains alive only as a small part of staged folkloric perf ormances for tourists by the Conjunto Folklrico The future of the tonadas trinitarias rests in the hands of younger generations of local musici ans, whose experiences with the tonadas have been much different than

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128 those tonaderos of the first and second eras. The past half century has seen a decline in the tonada traditions. Once a vibrant, lively manifestation of the barrios of Trinidad, the ge nre has become constricted in its performance, canonized and ultimately relegated to folklore shows for tourists. So what is its future? The future of the tonadas trinitarias i s uncertain. It will certainly be an extension of their present status, tied to tourism, folklore, and the economy. As we trace the history of the tonadas, we see them rise and flourish and then fall due to economic hardships and generational disconnect. We see them become folkloricized under the Revolution and standardized for tourism. If this standardization and canonization continues, fewer and fewer songs will survive in performance. The performances will remain within the realm of folklore and tourist shows, being cut off from the general public. Younger generations will be less and less familiar with this old, stale tradition, and younger musicians of the local folkloric groups will learn it solely out of necessity. W hen they do lea rn it, it will no longer be through exposure to the elder tonaderos, rather it will be tra nsmitted to them by drummers who themselves never performed in a tonada group. Essentially, the frozen tradition will continue to shrink and likely ultimately disappear. (tourism wipes everything out) (Esquenazi Prez 2009). While this is certainly a valid argument, other factors are in play, one of the most important of which is the economy. The tonadas are simply not enough of a viable economic product to stand on their own as a commodity They no longer serve their original purpose of socio musical entertainment of the lower class masses of Trinidad. In modern day Cuba, everyone is luchando (struggling). This means that economically, people will do whatever it takes to

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129 get by. Ironically, perhaps the only reason the tonada survived past the 1990s is tourism. With the absence of the Ministry sponsored tonada group beginning in the 1990s, the tonadas survived only in the local Afro Cuban folklore groups. These groups especially the Conjunto Folklrico became important in Trinidad as the t ourism scene grew. Only the Conjunto Folklrico remains in existence today, and as mentioned previously, they depend solely on performances for tourism. Aside from the Con junto Folklrico the tonadas are no longer practiced. Thus, the future of the genre also depends on the viability of this group and the presence of tourism in Trinidad. Fortunately Trinidad is one of the most popular tourist centers of the island outsid e of Havana. Almost everyone in Trinidad is involved in some way or another with tourism; it is their main access to Cuban dollars. As expressed by Esquenazi Prez (2009) ive off of tourism; if they are not renting rooms they are selling something). The musicians of Trinidad do the same. If they are not playing son or salsa in the street or in a caf, or performing with the Conjunto Folklrico they are not making money. So, I imagine the tonadas will cont inue to be cultivated in the Conjunto Folkrico in the years to come, yet in the long run it is likely they will disappear. After all, the tourists themselves are not expecting to hear the tonadas trinitarias specifical ly per se; they come, listen and watch the performance as a spectacle. In fact, the tonadas do not even contain a dance component on stage which makes them les s essential than the rumba and religious dances, with their elaborate and colorful costumes. T he tonadas could easily be left out of the cycle in the face of ha and c ongo traditions. Thus, only as long as the Conjunto Folklrico chooses to include the tonadas

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130 in its repertoire will they still be perform ed. If the future of the tonadas rests solely on the choices of one small group, the future does not look particularly hopeful. At the very least, we can be thankful that the tonadas trinitarias have survived into the present.

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131 GLOSSA RY OF TERMS a baku carabal and their descendents. b arrio Marginalized or lower class neighborhood. b ombo The lowest pitched drum used in the tonada trinitaria. Also refers to the player of this d rum. campana H oe blade used in the tonada trinitaria. Struck with an metallic beater, this instrument repeats the basic rhythmic cell to which also others must adhere. Also referst to the rhythm played on this instrument. clave Another name for the campana used in the tonada trinitaria. Also refers to the rhythm played on this instrument. c arabal In Cuba, this refers to the slaves brought from the Calabar region of West Africa and the surviving cultural elements of this group in Cuba. Conjunto Folklrico (Conjunto Folklrico de Trinidad) Performance group established in 196 3 in Trinidad specializing in Afro Cuban folkloric music and dance. congo In Cuba, c ongo is an umbrella term referring to the many Bantu ethnic groups brought as slave s from the central western area of Africa. The term also refers to the surviving cultural elements of these groups and their descendents in Cuba ( congos ). f andango This referred to what is now called the tonada trinitaria. This name was used common ly in Trinidad previous to the Revolution. guajiro This refers to Cuban peasan ts and their derivative culture. gua In the tonada trinitaria tradition, the lead singer. g iro G ourd scraper used in the tonada trinitaria.

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132 q uinto The highest pitched drum used in the tonada trinitaria whose role is improvisatory in character. Also refers to the player of this drum. rumba A musical tradition originating in and around the barrios of Havana and Matanzas in the mid late nineteenth century Cultiva ted primarily by urban blacks, it is a result of the influence of African and Spanish derived musical elements. un solo golpe The middle pitched drum used in the tonada trinitaria. tango This was the first name given to what is now called the tonada trinitaria. It may have also referenced pre tonada black musical production in Trinidad such tonada une. Also used used to reference the tonada trinitaria. tonadas campesinas Refers to the tonadas sung by guajiros These were poetic texts accompanied by stringed instruments are largely derived from Andalusian and Canary Islander musical traditions. tonadas trinitarias Refers to the musical tradition established by Patricio Gascn and T ando Villa in which a set of three drums, a g iro and a campana accompany a chorus and gua who interact in call and response style.

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133 LIST OF REFERENCES Barnet, Miguel. 1976. Biografa de un cimarrn. Mexico City: Siglo XXI Editores. Capablanca, Enr ique and Carlos Venegas Fornias. 1998. La Habana Vieja. Trinidad. Patrimonio Cultural de la Humanidad. Havana: Editorial de Letras Cubanas. Carpentier, Alejo. 1979. La msica en Cuba. Havana: Editorial Letras Cubanas. Carpio Quezada, Pedro. 2009. Interview by author. Trinidad, Cuba. June 26. Castellanos, Jos. 1981. Trinidad: biografa de un pueblo. Miami: Laurenty Publishing Inc. Centro de Investigacin y Desarrollo de la Msica Cubana (CIDMUC). 1997. Instrumentos de la msica folclrico popular de Cuba. H avana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales. Conjunto Folklrico de Trinidad. 1999. Tonadas trinitarias. EGREM, Autntico Producciones. CDM 015 (CD). Cuban Music Website: The History of Cuban Music. http://www.l ordtiger.com/1roots.html (accessed December 1, 2009). Esquenazi Prez, Martha. 2007. Del areito y otros sones. Havana: Ediciones Adagio. _____ 2009. Interview by author. Havana, Cuba. June 18. Fonseca, Arnaldo, and Pedro Carpio Quezada. 2009. Interview b y author. Trinidad, Cuba. June 28. Islas 43 (September December): 51 64. Garca Alvarez, Ral. 1992. La Trinidad: embrujo del Nuevo Mundo Havana: Editorial Pablo de la Torriente. Garca, Rosala et al. 1 Islas 43 (September December): 65 104. Giro, Radams. 2007. Diccionario enciclopdico de la msica en Cuba. 4 vols. Havana: Editorial Letras Cubanas. Guerra, Ramiro. 1989. Teatralizacin del folklore. Havana: Editorial Letra s Cubanas. Hagedorn, Katherine. 1995. : The "Folkloricization" of Afro Cuban Religious Performance in Cuba PhD diss., Brown University.

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134 _____. 2001. Divine Utterances: Performace of Afro Cuban Santera. Washington and L ondon: Smithsonian Institution Press. Helg, Aline. 1995. Our Rightful Share: The Afro Cuban S truggle for E quality, 1886 1912. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Lara, Bernardo. 2009. Interview by author. Trinidad, Cuba. June 28. Lares, 2009. Interview by author. Trinidad, Cuba. June 29. Len, Argeliers. 1984. Del canto y el tiempo. Havana: Editorial Letras Cubanas. Len, Ren. 1983. Trinidad historia y leyendas. [ S.l: The Author]. Linares, Mara Teresa. 1974. La msica y el pueblo. Havana: Editorial Pueblo y Educacin. Tonadas y msica campesina. Coros de clave. _____ prod. 2006. Antologa de la msica afrocubana 10 cd set plus booklet. Havana: EGREM. _____ 2009. Interview by author. Havana, Cuba. July 8. Lpez Vald s, Rafael L. 2002. Africanos de Cuba. San Juan, PR: Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe. Manuel, Peter. 1995. Caribbean Currents: Caribbean Music From Rumba to Reggae. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Revolucin y cultura 126 (February): 54 58. Islas 85 (September December): 49 73. Moore, Robin D. 2006. Music and Revolution: Cultural Change in Socialist Cuba. Berkeley: University of California Press. Orovio, Helio. 2004. Cuban Music From A to Z. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Ortiz, Fernando. 1954. Los instrumentos de la msica afrocubana. Vol. 4. Havana: Direccin de Cultura del Ministerio de Educacin. _____ 1978. Contrapunteo cubano del tabaco y el azcar. Caracas: Biblioteca Ayacucho. (Orig. pub. 1940.) _____ 2001 La africana de la msica folklrica cubana Havana: Editorial Letras Cubanas. (Orig. pub. 1950.) Clave 3: 51 59.

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135 Sublette, Ned. 2004. Cuba and its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo. Chicago: Chicago Review Press. Signos 3/3 (May August): 85 97. Schwartz, Rosalie. 1997. Pleasure Island: Tourism and Temptation in Cuba. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press. Scott, Rebecca J. 1985. Slave Emancipation in Cuba: The Transition to Free Labor, 1860 1899. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Valdespino, C laro, and Pedro Carpio Quezada. 2009. Interview by author. Trinidad, Cuba. June Valdivia, Juan Gregorio. 2009. Interview by author. Trinidad, Cuba. June 29. Venegas Delgado, Hernn. 2005. Trinidad de Cuba: Corsarios, azcar y revolucin en el Caribe. Hava na: Centro de Investigacin y Desarrollo de la Cultura Cubana Juan Marinello. U npublished manuscript _____ _____ 2001. presented at the XXVIII Semana de la Cultura de Trinidad, January _____ 2009. Interview by author. Havana, Cuba. June 10. _____ 2009. Interview by author. Havana, Cuba. June 11. Zayas Esc 2009. Interview by author. Trinidad, Cuba. June 23.

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136 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Johnny Fras developed an interest for travel, geography, and culture at a young age. His fascination with culture and love of Cuban music led him to pur sue studies in ethnomusicology. As the son of a Cuban exile, Johnny feels a very personal connection to the island and has studied its music both as a performer and academic. He has visited Cuba numerous times, studying performance of Afro Cuban musics a nd conducting research. Johnny concentration in ethnomusicology and a minor in Latin American studies in 2005. During his undergraduate studies, he founded and directed Rumbaku, a musical group dedic ated to the performance of Afro Cuban and Afro Puerto Rican music. Johnny went on to live in Puerto Rico for two years, performing with Rumbaku and other local groups. In 2008, he returned to the University of Florida to continue his studies in ethnomus icology at the graduate level. In addition to cultivating interests in race, ethnicity, and folklore, he hopes to contribute a Cuban American perspective to the ethnomusicological discourse on Cuba.