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SpanishEnglishClave Changes Track by Track - Para el llanto

6) Para el Llanto

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Our Love Fever review has a lengthy discussion of this track. Here we’ll just describe the clave structure. As usual, it starts in 1st gear in 2:3. Towards the end of the "chorale" (see main review), at 0:48, the campana switches to 2nd gear. After a series of bloques we wind up in 3rd gear at 1:05, still in 2:3. The first clave change comes when the mambo at 1:47 starts 2 beats early, on the 3 side, and puts us in 3:2 via a New York style change.

The ingenious coros on this track make this a good place to discuss the relationship between coros and clave, which is traditionally a very strong one. In a huge amount of early salsa and son, many if not most of the accents of the coros will fall right on the clave. In Timba, where such a high value is placed on originality and hooks in each coro, the relationship is much more subtle, but it’s still there. Let’s take a look at the first two coros of "Para el Llanto". The first is in 2:3 and the second is in 3:2, but notice how ingeniously they’re constructed such that "para tanto" falls squarely on the 2 side. In coro 2, the phrase "y que te quedas" is repeated twice to push these syllabes over so that the natural rhythm of the language still coincides with the clave.

To spell it out, the syllables in bold underline are the ones which fall directly on the clave. If all this seems too confusing, just clap clave along with the record and note the "ra" and "tan" always coincide with the two notes of the 2 side.

coro 1 (2:3): (in this case "qui" is the 2nd note of the 2 side, "llan" and "no es" are the 2nd & 3rd notes of the 3 side and, as notes, "ra" and "tan" are both notes of the 2 side)

y que te quedes tranquila y para el llanto que no es para tanto [audio example 29]

00000000000000|0000
00x0|0000|x0x0|x000
0x0x|0x0x|xxxx|xxxx
(underlined notes coincide with the clave)

coro 2 (3:2): (in this case "ti" is the 2nd note of the 3 side, "tran" is the 2nd note of the next 3 side, "que" and "que" are both notes of the 2 side, "te" is the 3rd note of the 3 side, "qui" is the 2nd note of the 2 side, "llan" and "es" are the 2nd and 3rd notes of the 3 side and "ra" and "tan" are both notes of the 2 side.

no me mortifiques más déjame tranquilo ya y que te quedas

y que te quedes tranquila y para el llanto que no es para tanto [audio example 30]

00000000000000
|xxx0

x000|000x|xxxx|xxx0
x000|000x|x000|0x0x
xxxx|x000|00x0|0000
x0x0|x000|0x0x|0x00

Another interesting relationship occurs in coro 4, at 4:00, "échate pa’llá, déjame tranquilo…" We’re still in 3:2 and the conga is playing the standard open tones on the big drum on the 3 side. Note that "pa’llá" coincides exactly with these two conga tones.

In summary then, "Para el Llanto" follows all of the "rules" of the New York style of clave changes. It starts in 2:3, drops 2 beats to switch to 3:2 New York style and the stays in 3:2 for the rest of the track.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011, 03:31 AM