Definitions for "Timbales"
Keywords:  cowbell, cymbal, afro, cuban, drum
A percussion set-up consisting of two small metal drums on a stand, with two tuned cowbells, often a cymbal and other additions. The timbales descended from a small military dance and concert bands. They were originally confined to the charangas and orquestas típicas, to which they imparted a distinctive, jaunty, march-like rhythm, but during the 1940s they came into wider use. The timbales are played with sticks, with the player striking heads, rims , and the sides of metal drums. All this plus cymbal and cowbells make for a varied instrument. A standard timbales beat, the abanico, is a rimshot-roll-rimshot combination.
Two round metal single-headed drums similar in shape to the snare drum and played with sticks both on the head or on the shell, or cáscara. Timbales first gained popularity in danzón orchestras (substituting for the timpani).
Pair of tunable drums invented in Cuba. Mounted on a stand and played with sticks and some timekeeping strokes made with the hand on the lower drum. Measuring in sizes from 13" to 15" in diameter they are paired as 13" and 14" or 14" and 15". Initially used exclusively by the Charangas interpreting Danzón, they became part of the Latin orchestra in the 1940's and are now a mainstay and signature sound of many Afro-Latin styles. The standard set now includes cowbells, woodblocks and a cymbal. Timbales are the direct descendant of the European tympani. The larger of the two drums is called the hembra and the smaller macho. (CS)