Tuna (music)

Tuna (music)

A University Tuna is a musical group in Spain, Portugal, Central America or South America, made up of male university students. It is also known as a Tuna or Tunas if it is in plural. A "Tuno" is a member of a University Tuna, or may also be called a "Sopista", which is an ancient appellation of the tuno.


Despite the lack of documents to find the tuna's origins, we can assert that the Goliards from the 10th to 13th century, and medieval troubadours and minstrels underline the beginning of the traditional university music groups that nowadays we know with the name of Tuna [http://www.geocities.com/latunaes/historia.htm "Historia de la Tuna"] "a tribute to the Tuna", Retrieved on 2007-06-23 (in Spanish)] .

At the beginning the tuna was made up by troubadours and minstrels who sometimes had to sing to earn enough to live on, or when returning home from a long journey after their vacations. The name "tuna" comes from French "roi de Thunes"" [http://buscon.rae.es/draeI/SrvltGUIBusUsual?LEMA=tuno Tuno] " in the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española.] , "king of Tunis", a title used by leaders of vagabonds.

In medieval poetry, from the 11th century, the Latin school songs created a special genre which characterized them. The students known as "Goliards" appeared all over Western Europe composing and interpreting songs, of which the subject matter did not fit in with the scale of values of the society of that time. The songs were typically devoted to wine and profane love, by defending the intellectual pre-eminence against the knights, using liturgical elements in an opposite sense to how they were normally employed.

From its origins to the present day, from and through of the Tunas, Universities have the honor and glory of their continued cultivation with popular instruments such as the bandurria, lute, guitar and tambourine, instruments which are named in the Spanish book "Libro del Buen Amor" by Juan Ruiz (c. 1283 - c. 1350).

For these occupations, they took their guitars and bandurrias and sang popular songs. The "tunos" or "sopistas" also showed abilities for music, and in courting ladies that they had been wooing to [http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuna "Tuna"] "Tuna - Wikipedia in Spanish", Retrieved on 2007-06-23 (in spanish)] . The "sopistas" were poor students that with their music, friendly personality and craftiness scoured the cheap eating-houses, convents, streets and squares for a dish of soup (in Spanish, "sopa") from which they derived their name "sopista", and for a few coins which help to finance their studies [http://www2.ull.es/extenuni/actividades/tunas/filologia/historia.htm#Historia%20de%20la%20Tuna "Historia de la Tuna"] "Tuna History", Retrieved on 2007-06-23 (in Spanish)] .


The clothing of the Tuna is derived from that of Iberian students of the 16th and 17th centuries. It is called a "grillo" ("cricket" in Spanish) and consists of a cloak, doublet, beca, shirt, stockings, baggy trousers or "gregüescos" and shoes or boots.

* The doublet is a tight-fitting jacket which is worn over a white shirt with big cuffs and collar, commonly finished at the corners.
* The shirt is always white with a generous collar and cuffs.
* The pants are baggy trousers or "gregüescos" normally short and wide, it is fitted at the end of the trousers.
* The shoes and tights are garments which cover the foot and the legs to waist.
* The beca is the band with a color identifying the university from which the wearer comes. It's worn on the breast and shoulder, over the doublet. The seal of the university is embroidered on the beca, which identifies the school, faculty or university of the Tuno. The Beca is a distinction received from the tuno's partners when they considered that the aspirant could reach a sufficient grade of experience.
* One important garment of the tuno is the cloak which is long and loose, without sleeves, open in front and it's worn over the clothes. Over the cloak are displayed seals and shields of the cities and countries that the tune scoured from all over the world. Likewise multicolored ribbons and shreds are worn on the cloak in a sign of affection, expressing feelings or love. These can be presents from their pretenders, mothers or friends.

It's translated as: "every ribbon that decorates my cloak saves a piece of heart".

Musical instruments

As far as the music is concerned, there are two basic instruments. One is the guitar which comes with the tuno and his melody. The melody is created by voices and singing. Musical instruments like lute and bandurria are also used. (Portuguese tunas usually play instruments like mandolin instead of bandurria and lute). The other important instrument which characterized the student music was the tambourine.

Besides these basic instruments, the use of others instruments gives the tuno's music a very special richness. These elements were blended thanks to the different cultures and people where tunos perform. Among the distinguished instruments are the timple canario and charango. It uses, moreover, the Puerto Rican cuatro, accordion and double bass to increase the variety of sonority.

External links

* [http://groups.msn.com/TUNAUPLA/_whatsnew.msnw University Tuna UPLA] from Los Andes Peruvian University
* [http://www.tunaceu.com Tuna University Madrid - San Pablo CEU] from Spain-España


[http://www.uspceu.com/usp/tuna/Actividades/IndexActiv.htm History of the music group Tuna]

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