I GENERAL KNOWLEDGES
II. THE SPANISH TIMBRADO SONG CANARY
III. SONG EVALUATION
IV. JUDGMENT SHEET
V. GENERAL RULES FOR JUDGING CONTESTS
This Code abolishes all regulations that exist before the date
of its approval, in reference to the Spanish Timbrado Song Canary.
In its construction, there has been specially taken present the
concerns of the canary aficionados, as well as the technical observations
set forth by people that integrate into the Technical Commission.
This way it is an attempt to correct errors of the past, as well
as taking advantage of the knowledge of the greatest number of people.
We consider that the compilation of a standard cannot be the work
of just one person, corresponding to the collective of the cultivators
of our breed of canary to decide the basic parameters of selection
of the said breed.
To the Technical Commission, that is, to the collective of judges
and aspirants of the speciality, awaits the difficult and usually
ungrateful task, of interpreting the specific directives given by
the aficionados. So that, after a conscientious process of study
and technical analysis, they shape the basic and fundamental norms
of the breed, which must be and is, the Song Code. The finding of
a consensus needed for the approval of any norm, has, as a price
to pay, an unavoidable ambiguity when dealing with the most conflictive
points, for which, we apologise if in any part of this text it is
not clear or precise enough.
At the onset of our work we placed as an objective not to allow
such noticeable ambiguities as the already traditional caused by
the name of the breed, and that, we believe, we solve in the present
Code through the explanation of the nature of the Spanish Timbrado
denomination. This breed is named "Timbrado Español" because
of the voice of the canary is "timbrada", brilliant, and metallic.
It is an absolute must to clear up the fact that the word "Timbrado"
had a double origin: the already seen about the peculiarities of
the vocal timbre, and that it was supposed that timbres were not
only innate, but the basic song of the race. This later origin was
put above the former, even though time has demonstrated that the
idea of timbres being innate has not any foundation. As the birds
song has gone on unfolding, going better and richer, specially by
the emission of trills performed in a discontinuous rhythm, each
time more and more complex, it has been verified that there are
many canaries that do not have "timbres" at all in their melodies,
yet do not for that reason, cease to be Spanish Timbrados.
The "Spanish Timbrado Song Canary Code" strives to be an instrument
that guarantee the evolution and progress of our national song canary
as well as the consolidation in the context of the International
Ornithological Sport. Likewise we want that all the canaries belonging
to this breed are reflected in this standard.
Finally, in order to not make more modifications than the strictly
necessary, we have taken as reference the "present" set of standards
that were approved by the Technical Commission in Malgrat de Mar,
in January of 1993, correcting and actualising them in conformity
to the mandate set forth by the General Assembly of the Technical
Commission in Burjassot, on December 1997. We hope that aficionados
does not perceive excessive changes in the standard so they could
promptly assimilate the novelty introduced.
I. General Knowledge
The first thing that we hear when a bird expels air from his lungs
trough the syrinx is a series of sounds, produced by the vibration
of the syringeal membranes, that can be perfectly transcribed and
represented in a song chart by the different signs and musical notes
that we use in our regular music. They generate a melody as they
sing, creating music, due to the fact that these sounds make up
the three fundamental components of music: rhythm, melody, and harmony.
At the same time, we can distinguish and clearly differentiate,
by the sound similarity, the vowels and the consonants that make
up the different musical passages or tours emitted by the canary
during the execution of the song.
It is for that reason that we consider so important the complete
knowledge of all the characteristics that accompany the sound as
physical agent and of the music as a conjugation of sounds. Both
components are essential components of the song canary and its knowledge
and utilisation will serve us to better comprehend the forth coming
explanations of the score sheet and give us a much more amplified
knowledge, helping us to be better understood by the fanciers.
To begin with, when we hear a canary song, we are hearing sounds
that could be good or bad,
in accordance with they had musicality and melody, or they had
simple noise. Because this is the first clear difference that we
perceive upon hearing any sound, it is needful that we know what
makes this difference. It is not theoretically clear what constitutes
the difference (between noise and music), because sometimes music
can seem like a noisy sound, and sometimes noise can take on an
almost musical sound when associated with other sounds. In spite
of that fact, the difference fundamentally is: while in music it
is possible to determine the intonation, and the vibrations emitted
are consistent; in the noise the vibrations are irregular and in
is impossible to determine its intonation.
2. The Sound
We can say that sound is the sensation that is produced in the
organ of hearing by the vibratory movement of the bodies, that has
been transmitted through an elastic medium such as air. We can deduce
that a body can only produce sound if it is capable of vibrations,
and it is a must that said waves of vibrations be produced in an
elastic medium, this due to the fact that no sound can be transferred
through vacuum. The velocity by which sound is propagated varies
according to the medium. Thus, in air at zero degrees centigrade
the transfer rate of sound is 331 meters per second, and increase
at a rate of 0.6 m/s with each degree of rise in temperature. Waves
produced by a sound are transmitted by air, being introduced to
our eardrum and on into the interior of the inner ear where the
nerve endings transfer the sensations to the brain which immediately
identifies the sounds and give us the information on what we are
hearing. That is to say, that by the tone of those vibrations, the
harmonics that accompany them, along with their intensity, we can
identify both the characteristics and where the sound comes from.
As to the physical aspects of the sounds, we can say that sound
is the agent that is manifested in form by vibrating energy and
that that is the cause of auditory sensation, while the vibrations
are manifested within certain limits. The simple harmonic movement
of a vibrating body is transmitted by the elastic medium that surrounds
it, provoking in it a series of compressions and refractions that
propagate away from the source of the sound. This perturbation forms
a longitudinal undulatory movement that has a finite velocity, and
properties of reflection, refraction, interference and diffraction:
1) Reflection is the acoustic phenomenon related to the change
of direction or the turning back of the sound waves to its original
source when they find in their advance an area of adecuate density.
2) Refraction is the acoustic phenomenon related to the change
of direction of the sound waves in passage from one medium to another
of different density.
3) Interference is the acoustic phenomenon related to the effect
produced by two or more sets of sound waves, that on meeting tend
to neutralize or augment each other by a combination of disimilar
or like phases.
4) Diffraction is the acoustic phenomenon by which the sound waves
are detoured when they pass the edge of an obstacle.
All these acoustic phenomenon, results of the characteristics of
the medium that propagate the sound waves, can cause a change in
the original qualities of the sound when emitted within the original
source, and cause the characteristics of the original sound to be
perceived as distorted.
3. Sound Qualities
The qualities of sound are three: tone, fundamental frequency or
loftiness, intensity, and timbre or quality.
1) The tone is the quality of sound that permits us to distinguish
a bass sound from a treble sound, and consists of the number of
vibrations by unit time of the sound objects. The higher frequencies
produce sharp notes while the slow ones bass notes. Nevertheless,
the human ear cannot perceive sound of which the frequency is not
within 20 and 20.000 vibrations per second, that is to say only
one dozen octaves. In music, a tone is the grater distance of intonation
between two consecutive notes, with the exception of the distance
of minor intonations from the consecutive notes called semitones
and comprehended in the musical scale between MI and FA and between
SI and Do.
2) Intensity is the quality of the sound that permits us to distinguish
a strong from a weak sound, depending on the amplitude of the sound
waves. Major amplitude means more intense while minor less. Nevertheless,
the ear cannot perceive a sound whose amplitude is less than a specific
value or a minimum level. The minimum intensity is known as "threshold
of audibility." If for some reason there is a very great increase
in the amplitude of the sound vibrations, the auditory response
is pain. The maximum limit supported by the human ear is known as
the "threshold of pain."
We must also be able to distinguish between the intensity of sound
wave itself and intensity of the perception of sound. The first
being dependent upon the amplitude of the vibrations of the body
that produces the sound, while the second is dependent upon our
auditory sharpness; of the intensity of the sound waves vibrations
and, as is logical, the distance we are from the source of the sound.
3) In relation whith the "timbre", we can affirm that it is the
quality of the sounds that permit us to distinguish between sounds
emitted by different instruments. In other words, the timbre is
the quality of the sound that permits us to differentiate between
same notes emitted by different instruments, and is related to the
complexity of the vibrations, that is, with the presence of harmonics
superimposed into the fundamental sound.
To sum up:
- The tone or highness depends on frequency or the number of the
vibrations per second of the body producing the sound, permitting
us to distinguish between a bass sound and a treble one. It is measured
in cycles or Hertzs.
- Intensity or strength depends on the wave's amplitude. That is
to say, the energy used to produce the sound allow us to distinguish
between a strong sound and a weak one. It is measured in Decibels.
-The timbre, quality or color of the sound depends upon the number
of harmonics that accompany the main sound and permits us to distinguish
between two sounds of equal tone
4. What is music?
In accordance with the " Real Academy Dictionary of the Spanish
Language," we can say that music is the art of combining sounds
in the time, in such a manner that they produce pleasure to the
hearer as well as affecting his/her sensibility. The three essential
elements in music are rhythm, melody and harmony.
5. The qualities of music
1) Rhythm. It behooves us to remember that music is made up of
sounds, so it is subject to the law or rules of sounds. In relation
with the essential elements of music, the order and proportion in
the timing determine musical rhythm. Rhythm is born out of the inner
necessity of mans mind to establish an order for all he perceives.
For example, in dancing, rhytm regulates the movements; in poetry,
the metric structure and proper emphasis; and in music, the systematical
joining of consecutive sounds. Rhythm existed, both in bands and
savage tribes, before music itself was born.
The relationship between the two came about when man realised the
unity of harmony and melody. That is to say, rhythm preceded melody,
and harmony came after the melody as a result of the logical evolution.
For this reason, rhythm is based on the duration of the sounds and
is manifested in what we call a "compass" in music. Nevertheless,
we must not confuse the rhythm with the compass, due to the fact
that a rhythmic unit can be made up of several compasses or just
one. The compass is the unit of notation elected by the composer
according to his own likes and conveniences.
The appearance of the compass constituted a technical need to conjugate
the musicians, thanks to it the uncontestable reality of rhythm
was perceived, and the idea that it is fundamental to confer on
it an absolute regularity was a must.
2) Melody is the element of music that consists in the succession
of diverse sounds jointed between themselves, as well as all of
them in a set, in a musical sense, that is to say, that in melody
there are interwoven sounds with different intensity, intonation
and duration, creating music.
3) Harmony is the musical element that consists in the combination
of simultaneous and dissimilar sounds, but in acorde. The difference
between harmony and melody resides fundamentally in that in the
melody the sounds come one after another, while in harmony the sounds
are superimposed, thus, when the individual canary sings, he creates
melody, while when the canary team sings, the birds together create
6. To Sing
In the former paragraphs we used the verb "to sing" and we can
say, simply, that to sing means to emit with the voice organs a
series of modulated sounds.
The general musical concept of modulation can be adapted to our
field by defining it as melodious variations produced during the
emission of tours related to produce changes in the tone or intensity
of the voice of the singer. The modulation of the intensity is produced
when during the emission of the tour the volume is modified to become
greater than or less than it was, with periodical changes from one
to another. The modulation in the tone is produced when, during
the emission of the tour, the cadence of the notes that make up
the tour are modified giving the auditory sensation that the vowels
that form the notes change, due to the fact that they go from bass
(o, u) to treble (a, e, i), from treble to bass, or periodical changes
from one to the other.
8. Musical tinge
We can say that the musical tinge refers to the distinct degrees
of intensity that can be given to sound and are given names, usually
Italian, that range from pianissimo to fortissimo and expressions
such as crescendo, etc., that modify the motives.
When we hear sound we must take in account that what we are listening
is in fact a mix of various sounds. The note we hear is the one
that dominates, but at the same time, and at the same instant, superimposed,
we hear softer, sometimes almost barely perceived, sounds that blend
perfectly with the fundamental note because they have a perfect
relationship in their sound wave frequencies. These sounds are called
harmonics and are those that give beauty to the song, and make it
interesting. The bird that emits with its syringe these sounds with
greater ease is considered a more capacitated bird and in the same
manner, we can say that the human ear that is best prepared to hear
these sounds is considered more sensitive in the musical sense.
10. The canarys song
Along with the calls or grievances and screams, the song of the
canary represents a form of acoustical communication that has territorial
and sexual meanings as main functions. Territorial is the song when
the canary, as with the rest of the passerines, marks and identifies
his territory to the rest of his kind; and his song sexual when
used to attract and conquer the females.
Physiologically the song is the answer to a series of stimuli.
The production of the song is determined by the secretion of the
male hormone, testosterone. The evolution of the song is specifically
linked to the increase in the levels of this hormone in the blood
of the canary. This is manifested in certain areas of the brain
that control the song, especially the High Vocal Center, whose size
increases or decreases according to the levels of testosterone in
The information about the song is transmitted from the High Vocal
Center to the Robust Nucleus of the Archistriatum, and from here
to the Hypoglossal Nuclei, that innervates the muscles of the syringe,
which is the organ that produces sound in birds.
11. How does the song apparatus in the canary function?
When air stored in the air sacs and in the lungs is expelled to
the exterior, it passes through the syrinx, which is situated between
the bronchial and the trachea, causing vibration of this organ's
membranes. These vibrating organs are called, in birds, tympaniforms
membranes and are equivalent to our vocal chords. In the production
of sound, a very important role is played by the sternum-tracheal
(sterno-trachealis) muscle, and a group of five to seven pairs of
tiny internal muscles that make possible the elongation and contraction
of the syrinx, permitting the variation of frequency or tone of
the sound. It is as important the role of the inter-clavicular air
sac which provide the appropriate external pressure needed to the
tympaniforms membranes be tensed, and so, making possible
the sound. The esophagus acts as a resonance box and cause the sound
to be amplified.
The syrinx produces the basic sound, but in order to understand
the final results that we hear, we must take into account the part
that the oral cavity (beak and tongue) plays where the definitive
articulation of the sounds are produced. Some researchers noted
that there are two types of sound articulation in the canary: the
guttural (dominant in the continuous rhythm tours) and the lingual.
This would explain the richness and the complexity of the consonant
sounds our canaries can emit.
We can see that the song apparatus of the canary is extremely complex
and that all their parts play a determinate role in the production
This concept means the formation of words in imitation of natural
sounds. When speaking about song canary we use onomatopoeias to
assimilate the sounds that are emitted by the canary to vowels and
consonants of the different human alphabets, so that in this form
we make it much easier to interpret this sounds. That way we say,
for example, that the canary emits a short "e", it exaggerates the
"r", or it is singing "clok clok clock".
In our case, after onomatopoeiaticly translating the sounds emitted
by the canary into vowels and consonants, we assimilate this concept
into grammar as "articulated sound or sounds that constitute a phonetic
nuclei." We thus say that the canary emits sounds that form, for
example the following syllables: "ri", "ro", "bu," "un," "ti," "lo,"
"long," "clak," "tu," "glu," "glui," "fiu," etc.
As in the above case using the concept of the syllable, now after
we have onomatopoeiaticly translated the sounds emitted by the canary
into vowels, we can define this concepts by grammatical assimilation
as: "two vowels that together form part of only one syllable." This
way we say that the canary emits sounds that form, for example,
the following diphthongs included in the syllables indicated: "ui"
in the syllables "tui" and "glui," "oi" in the syllable "toi", and
"ou" in the syllable "glou", and so forth.
As in the concept of the syllables, in this case, after having
translated onomatopoeiaticly the sounds emitted by the canary in
vowels, we define this concept by grammatical assimilation as: "the
union of three vowels to pronounce only one syllable." Thus we say
that a canary emits sounds that form, for example, the following
triphthongs: "oui" in the syllables "bloui," and "iau" in the syllable
In our case, we will assimilate this concept to the concept of
word in grammar, in the sense that, as is in words, the notes formed
by the joining of syllables express a definite idea in a code, which
in this case is in the Song Codes.
In the same manner that words can be formed by one or many syllables,
we classify the notes in attendance to their composition as monosyllabic,
if they are formed by a single syllable, or polysyllabic if they
are formed by more than one syllable.
Examples of monosyllabic notes, are the following: "ri", "re",
"ro", "ru", "bu", "un", "clak", "clok", "lu", "fui", "piau", etc.
Examples of the polysyllabic notes are the following: "tu-li" "to-li"
"ti-long", "pi-yo", "ti-ro-ri", etc.
17. Tour or Variation
We will define a tour or variation as a set of notes emitted by
the canary, linked one to another, that share syllabic and rhythmic
characteristics of composition which are defined in a code. In one
sense of the word, we could assimilate this concept to the grammatical
term of "phrase" or the musical term of "passage" or "tour."
The tours, according with the notes that form them, will be classified
as tours of limited phonetic text, and tours of unlimited phonetic
- Tours of limited phonetic text will be those notes that are
formed by specific consonants and vowels. For example, the consonants
"L" and "N" and the vowel "E" in the jingle bell tour (lenlenlen
or the consonants "C", "L", and "K" in the castanet tour (clakclakclak
and so forth.
- Tours with unlimited phonetic text will be those notes formed
by any consonant and vowel. We find this tour for example in flourish,
slow flourish and in the conjoined variations.
In our case diction is the quality of sounds emitted by the canary
that allow us to identify and onomatopoeiaticly translate them according
to the rules set forth in the song code. If the form of emission
permits us to clearly translate those sounds, then we will say that
the diction is good, while on the contrary we say it has a bad or
The song is the conjunction of a group of joined tours, one after
the other sung by the canary in a given period of time.
Repertoire is the set of the different songs that can sing a canary.
A section of the song sung by the canary made up of several tours.
Trill is the rapid and alternated succession of two distinct notes
of equal duration.
23. - Modulated tours
-Ascending tour is the tour whose modulated intensity goes from
less volume to more, or, whose modulation of tone goes from less
to more treble, or from more to less bass.
-Descending tour is the tour whose modulated intensity goes from
more volume to less, or, whose modulated tone goes form more treble
to less, or from less bass to more.
- Undulated tour will be said of the tour produced by the combination
of both ascending and descending tours.
- Horizontal or flat tour will be the tour that neither has intensity
modulation or tonal modulation.
24. Watery Sounds
In our case, sounds emitted by the canary that assimilate the sound
of a babbling brook, or the sound of drops of water falling from
a certain height are known as water like or Watery notes. When translating
onomatopoeiaticly, we consider water like sounds those in which
the combination of the consonants "GL", or "BL" (or in some other
languages they are expressed with a "WL") with the vowels "E", "O"
and "U" and their respective diphthongs and triphthongs. These syllables
give origin to he notes that forms the watery tours that can be
classified, according to the emission rhytmh, as slow waters and
25. Graze Sounds
Sound emitted by the canary with a melodic imbalance with the perception
of the consonant "R" above the vowels, causing the tour in question
to be somewhat harsh and lacking in melodious softness. If this
disequilibrium of the consonant "R" is very noticeable we will have
another concept called "Screechy or Scratchy" that is defined later
on in the Code.
II. THE SPANISH TIMBRADO SONG CANARY
The origin of our breed of canary goes back to the moment the wild
canary was brought to Spain, specifically to Castilla, between the
ending of the XIV and the beginnings of the XV century. The principal
attraction of the wild canary was its song and in this aspect we
suppose that selective breeding was practiced from the very beginning
of its captive breeding.
We have very little information about those first domestic canaries
but, with time, and we suppose, with a selection of better singers,
man was able to come up with a very valuable song canary that became
known as the Spanish Canary. There were some areas of Spain that
were much better known for their breeding, among these are Andalusia,
Asturias and Catalonia. Especially famous were the canaries from
the locality of Vich in Catalonia, of whom were given the description:
"those whose song merit was appreciated outside of our borders because
they sang no unpleasant note and, not only that but they also had
a multitude of greatly sang variations with good vocalization and
modulation, in a repertoire of diverse contrasting tones, in which
) they expressed complete strophes of the song of the Nightingale
sung with discreet sound and delicate vocal tone."
The Spanish Canary was at the point of extinction due to a series
of causes, principal ones being:
1st) The appearance in Spain of the first imported frilled
canaries that were crossed with the Spanish Canary in order to get
the anatomical characteristics they held, especially the size.
2nd) The boom obtained for the Roller Canary caused
those few Spanish Canaries that were left to be crossed.
3rd) The Spanish Civil War and its disastrous effects.
4th) For some authors the success of the "red factor"
also caused the demise of the Spanish Canary.
In the forties a group of fanciers from Madrid proposed the recuperation
of the old breed of Spanish Canary. As fruit of their labour, it
was in 1950 that the first song code was designed, based on the
existing one for the Roller canary. In 1954 the Association of Spanish
Canary Breeders (ACE) confectioned, the new song code and named
the breed with the name of Spanish Timbrado.
The following steep was to apply for the international recognition
of the breed, which was realized on 1956 at the "IV World Championship
of the C.I.C." in Barcelona. The results could not have been more
deceiving: the commission in charge of the valuation of the new
race disesteem the international recognition by considering it a
non depurated fruit of crosses with the Roller Canary.
It was in Brussels, in 1962, during the "X World Championship of
the C.O.M.", and at the petition of the A.C.E., when at last the
Spanish Timbrado was internationally recognised.
There have been great advances since then and many upgrades to
the Song Code and score sheets for judging. Thus showing an unequivocal
interest in the establishment and awakening of the canary fancier
in Spain for the Spanish Timbrado Song Canary.
THE SPANISH TIMBRADO CANARY
In the technical concept of the Spanish Timbrado'song that is set
forth in this Code, we show what is to be the base of this type
of song, what it is that makes it different to other song type breeds,
and in general, the technical characteristics. Not only from the
point of view of the principal qualities of the sounds that should
be formed by the tours and notes, but also the musical characteristics
of the song that said tours and notes should compose.
This definition must be used for the judges as a reference point
when facing any doubt that they may have in a show in order to appraise
the quality of the birds coming from different lines of the Spanish
The tours sung by the "Spanish Timbrado Song Canary" should have
the following fundamental characteristics:
The general tone of the canaries should be of a wide tonal registry,
not necessarily the canary having to specialise in a determined
type of tone as occurs in other varieties of presently existing
song canaries. Giving attention here we state emphatically that
we will not consider as a first category birds those singing a song
that is completely immersed in "water like tones" or who generally
only sing inmersed in bass tones, due to the fact that these are
specific characteristics of other song breeds.
The intensity of voice in the tours sung should be of such a quality
that permits the clear audition of vowels and consonants that comprise
said tours, and that with out stridency, in such a way that the
joyous musical character of this type of song is set forth.
The timbre of the tours that are sung, like we indicated about
the tone, should take in a wide spectrum as long as it is not of
the same characteristics of other recognised breeds of song canaries.
As to the characteristics of the song that is made up by the tours,
it must be principally based on:
- Slow rhythm that permit the clearest possible diction. Thus we
consider principal tours in this breed those of slow or semi-slow
rhythm, without depreciating the faster rhythms as they equally
contribute to the richness and variety of this type of song, but
the song should not rest upon faster rhythms because they are a
specialised characteristic of an already officially recognised song
- Melodies with a lot of variation, and thus should be comprised
of tours of all types of rhythm of emission, but in which there
is a predomination of the slow and semi-slow tours, in such a way
that the changes of rhythm that are produced are clear and without
brusqueness. We note here that we do not give the consideration
of first class to those canaries which monotonously repeat of only
a determined kind of tours as the song should be varied.
To sum up, the Spanish Timbrado song should be of slow rhythm,
with good diction, and very varied.
Since the "Spanish Timbrado" is a type of song, it can be sung
by many types of canaries. Such canaries will be considered within
this variety, as long as: the song sung has the characteristics
gathered in the conceptual definition of this Code; the tours can
be classified within the show Score Sheet and also classified in
the corresponding definition in the Code; and if and when it is
not based on tours or characteristics of another variety of officially
recognised song canary.
Since the Spanish Timbrado song canary is neither a canary of color
or posture, it is up to the breeder to be free to adjust the phenotypic
characteristics of his birds according to the evolution of the wild
canary. Neither red factor nor frilled feathered birds will be admitted
as purebred Timbrados.
III. Song Evaluation
1. Key questions on song evaluation.
The first step to be taken by the judge when the canary starts
to sing and, once he is sure that the bird is into his song (having
the proper intonation, an defining the different tours and variations),
and as a previous requirement to a correct evaluation, is to analyse
the canarys song in relation with the characteristics of its
musical and sound qualities.
Lets' go to remind them:
1.1 Sound qualities.
1. Tone: The fact that the Spanish Timbrado is the breed that sings
in an elevated tone and is considered the tenor of the canaries
(being baritone the Malinois and bass the Roller) does not mean
that its song should be screechy, strained or disagreeable to the
ear, but all the opposite. The tonal registry of the Spanish Timbrado
has to be as ampler as possible, and that way, through the most
beautiful and complicated vocal modulations, put into play its
unsurpassable musical talents. There should not be harsh changes
of tone that could lead to the braking of the line of melody of
the song, either by excess (stridency) or by defect (excessively
poor tonal quality).
2. Intensity: The intensity of the song should always be the adequate.
The canary should play with the power or strength of its voice,
so it is reached a set of musical tinges that extremely beautifies
the song. It must avoid both singing a song in a degree of intensity
excessively high because it sounds strident, and a degree of poor
3. Timbre: We already know that the timbre is the quality that
personalises the sound and allow us to identify its emitter. In
the song of every canary we find passages that principally are of
three types of timbre or sonority: metallic, hollow, and water like.
Among the breeds of song canaries we find a kind of specialisation
with the clear relationship to the tonal registry they possess:
MALINOIS OR WATERSLAGGER
As we can see, the timbre of the Spanish Timbrado
Song Canary is, by definition, brilliant and metallic, although
we will find some parts with a timbre or sonority hollow, or water
like. The more the variety and contrast, the more attractive will
result the song.
1.2 Qualities of the music.
1. Rhythm: the rhythm of emission by the song of the Spanish Timbrado
should be very slow, the slower the better.
2. Melody: as a succession of sounds joined in a musical sense,
it must be rich and varied.
3. Harmony: as the harmony is one of the concepts that appear within
the score sheet, we will deal with this later.
2. Three questions that need answered.
To begin the analysis and evaluation of the different tours that
the canary expresses in its song, we should answer three questions:
1. What tour does the canary say?
2. How does it say the tour?
3. Where does it say the tour?
3. Evaluating the tours
1) IDENTIFYCATION OF THE TOUR: This answer the first question.
a) We analyse the phonetic text (consonants and vowels) to determine
which is being sung from the distinct variations of the song of
our canary. We will use for this work a classification of the tours
giving attention to composition of the phonetic text (being limited
or unlimited). Within the tours of limited phonetic text, we will
make the identification by the vowels and consonants that configure
b) We study the rhythm of emission (continuous, semi-continuous
or discontinuous), because there are tours that share the same consonants
and vowels and can only be distinguished by paying attention to
the cadence of emission. In this sense we must consider:
- Tours of continuous rhythm: those in which one have the sensation
that are being emitted continually, since the human ear is not
able to discern the different syllables that produce the canary
because of the phenomena known as sensorial persistence (our brain
thinks that it is listening to the same continuous sound).
- Tours of semi-continuous rhythm: in these, human ears can distinguish
the syllables that conform the tour in spite of them being sung
very close together.
- Tours of discontinuous rhythm: The separations of the different
syllables or words in the tour are even more marked (we call words
those different sounds that make up the tour or variation and
are formed by two or more intertwined syllables).
This classification should not be considered with strictness, because
the same type of tours may be emitted with different rhythms. For
example, and as exceptions that confirm this rule, are the clucks,
as well as the flourishes, that may be emitted or sung with semi-continuous
or discontinuous rhythm.
2) ANALYZING THE TOUR: Response to questions two and three.
A. PURITY OF DICTION:
- Faulty: barely are distinguished the consonants that intervene
in the tour.
- Regular: the sounds of the consonants preponderate the vowels.
- Good: equilibrium in the pronunciation of both consonants and
- Very Good: the consonants are clearly heard before the sound
of the vowel, causing the resulting sound to be soft and pleasant.
B. FORM OF EMISSION:
- Paying attention to the tone: it can be flat or modulated (ascending,
descending or undulated). It will be considered the modulated tours
most valuable, being from most to least value as follows: a) undulated
modulation; b) descending modulation; c) ascending modulation.
- Paying attention to intensity: (musical tinges or modulation
in intensities, consisting in the capacity of the canary to play
with the intensity of the tours sound; for example the crescendo,
in decendo, forte, fortissimo, piano, pianissimo, etc.)
- Paying attention to rhythm: the capacity of the individual of
altering the musical rhythm of the tour emission (for example by
increasing or diminishes the emission cadency)
- Phonetic complexity of the tour (giving attention to the consonants
and vowels that make the tours up).
- Duration of the tour: the duration of the tour may not be too
long or too short.
c. BEAUTY: INTRINSIC MUSICALITY (of the tour itself), and EXTRINSIC
MUSICALITY (of the tour within the song or melody that the canary
4. Applying the points.
Being that all the corresponding points of the different tours
or passages of the Score Card are three or multiple of three, we
must consider as a practical technique during the judgements the
1. When various ways to sing the same type of tours were found,
the valorization must be done in the most objective way, giving
attendance to their medium quality. We must avoid being benevolent
because of the presence of extremely valuable tours along with mediocre
or defective tours, on the other hand, we must as well avoid being
extremely severe by considering the defects over the virtues.
2. Points will only be given to tours that have, as a minimum,
an acceptable or at least sufficient quality. The faulty or deficient
tours, when having no motive to cause a penalty, will not be taken
into consideration for points, except to make some small corrections
to the scores already gathered by the canary within the same kind
of variations in the Score Sheet.
3. The scale point for the different tours are clasified into three
a) The first third of the point scale is assigned to regular, sufficient
or acceptable tours.
b) The second third of the point scale is assigned to those tours
that are considered to be good.
c) The third third of the point scale is assigned to those tours
that are considered very good, excellent or superior.
4. The purity of diction and the form of emission of the tour will
determine the scale or third of the score.
5. The beauty or musicality of the tour will help us in order to
figure out the final appraisal.
A sketch for the application of points is as follows:
Up to 9 points
No points given
1 to 3 points
4 to 6 points
7 to 9 points
Up to 18 points
No points given
1 to 6 points
7 to 12 points
13 to 18 points
Up to 27 points
No points given
1 to 9 points
10 to 18 points
19 to 27 points
IV. JUDGMENT SHEET
1. POSITIVE TOURS
The Timbres are tours of continuous rhythm and of metallic sonority,
formed by the consonants "R" and the vowel "I" (ex: riririririririri...).
POSITIVE VALUE: Up to 9 Points.
CONSONANTS AND VOWELS
Vowel I (short)
Up to 9 POINTS
1.2 Rolled Variations
The Rolled Variations are tours of continuous rhythm, of hollow
sonority as well as of limited phonetic text in which appear the
consonant "R" and the vowels "E", "O" and "U" (ex: rororororo rururururururu....).
In these tours the cadence of the syllables emitted are much greater
than the "timbres" of continuous rhythm, reason for which the sensation
given of continuousness and rolling sound is more perfect. The duration
and presence of this type of tour in the song of the Spanish Timbrado
must be prudential in that the abuse in the emission of the sounds
of the hollow and rolling notes can cause disqualification according
to the rules established at the present Code.
POSITIVE VALUE: Up to 18 Points.
CONSONANTS AND VOWELS
Consonant R Vowels E, O,
Up to 18 POINTS
1.3 Water Like Timbre
The Water Like Timbre is a semi-continuous tour, with a watery
timbre or sonority, and of limited phonetic text formed by the consonants
"B" or "G" united with the consonants "L" and "W" and to the "I"
sound (ex; blibliblibli
). In spite of having a semi-continuous
emission, an adequate cadence will be one in which you can perceive
clearly the consonants and vowels typical to the tour. In the opposite
case the diction is undone and loses the water like sound. The water
like sonority is that sound which gives proper personality to the
tour and justifies such specialized timbre.
POSITIVE VALUE: UP TO 9 POINTS.
CONSONANTS & VOWELS
WATER LIKE TIMBRE
Consonants B, G, L, W
Vocal I (short)
UP TO 9 POINTS
1.4 Jingle bell
The Jingle bell is a tour of semi continuous rhythm, and metallic
timbre or sonority, with a limited phonetic text being comprised
of the consonants "L" and "N" and the vowel t "I" (ex: linlinlinlin...).
As the water like timbre this tour is another specialized timbre.
The own personality of this tour is given by the metallic sounding
- sleigh bell like -, that causes us to immediately think about
the small instrument from which the tour takes its name, or think
about small bells. The special bell sonority is given by ending
with the consonant "N".
POSITIVE VALUE: Up to 9 Points.
CONSONANTS & VOWELS
Consonants L N
UP TO 9 POINTS
The Flourishes are tours performed in a semi continuos rhythm,
with mainly metallic or hollow sonority, having an unlimited phonetic
text, that is to say, they can be made up with all the consonants
and vowels. It represents an all-purpose concept due to the fact
that all the variations that a canary may perform which are not
clearly defined as such in the different cells of the Score Sheet
are considered flourishes. By this fact, in the beginning, this
cell of the Score Sheet was like a "taylor's box" where you can
find anything, and included many tours that nowadays have its own
place in the Score Sheet, and that have not place in the former
Song Codes due to its limitations. It can be say, without any exaggeration
that the Flourishes that can be performed by the Spanish Timbrado
Song Canary are unlimited.
POSITIVE POINT VALUE: up to 27 Points.
CONSONANTS & VOWELS
METALIC OR HOLLOW
All vowels & consonants
Lu lu lu...
Ti ti ti ...
Tui tui tui...
UP TO 27 POINTS
1.6 Slow Flourishes:
For this set we can use the same statement established from the
previous tour. The only difference is related to the emission rhythm.
In the case of the "slow flourishes" the emission rhythm must be
discontinuous. These "slow flourishes" constitute by far the most
beautiful and musical part of our canary's songs, up to that point
that we can say this is the king of the tours of the Spanish Timbrado
POSITIVE POINT VALUE: UP TO 27 POINTS.
METALIC OR HOLLOW
All vowels and consonants can be included
in the tour
Tuii tuii tuii
Fliorio fliorio Taa taa taa Dooili dooili Cueli cueli Etc.,etc.
Up to 27 POINTS
The Bell is a tour of discontinuous rhythm, of metallic timbre
or sonority (sound of the instruments we know as "bell") and a phonetic
text relatively limited to endings of "N," "NK," "NG." The ending
consonant of "N" causes the bell like sound in this tour. We consider
more adequate the ending of "NK" in place of "NG" because the bell
tour, due to its special sound characteristics, it is the one more
prone to produce slurred or nasal sounds and the presence of the
"G" even makes it worse.
POSITIVE POINT VALUE: UP TO 9 POINTS
CONSONANTS & VOWELS
This tour is only limited
by the necessity of the bell sound, which require in order
to accomplish such sound to end with "N',"NK"or "NG"
Tan tan tan
Tlonk tlonk Tonk tonk
Up to 9 POINTS
Clucks are tours that can be emitted in discontinuous as well as
in semi-continuous rhythm. The discontinuous ones are those that
most nearly assimilate the characteristic of the sound of the hen
calling her chicks, for which it takes the name, and thus, are of
the most merit. They have a hollow timbre or sonority, and a limited
phonetic text with the intervention of the consonants "C," "L,"
"K," and the vowels "O" and "U" (ex: clo,clo,clo; clok clok clok
POSITIVE VALUE: Up to 18 points.
CONSONANTS & VOWELS
Vowels O & U
Clo clo clo
Clu clu ..
Up to 18 POINTS
Castanets is a tour of semi continuous rhythm, of a hollow timbre
or sonority, and a limited phonetic text made up of the consonants,
"C", "L", "K" (NEVER "CH"), and the vowel "A" (ex: clakclakclak
The structure in this variation coincides with the "clucks." The
castanets are emitted with a semi-continuous rhythm, in general
with a cadence faster than the "clucks", and having in its phonetic
text an intervening "A" in place of the "O" or the "U". As in other
tours which take its names from musical instruments, this one takes
its name from its semblance to the sound of castanets, the traditional
musical instrument from the Spainish folklore.
POSITIVE VALUE: UP TO 9 POINTS
CONSONANTS & VOWELS
Consonants C, L, K.
UP TO 9 POINTS
1.10 Conjoined Variations
The Conjoined Variation are the simultaneous perception of two
or more tours from the repertoire of the Spanish Timbrado Song Canary.
These Conjoined Variations can be scored into all cells corresponding
the tours that make them up. It is left to the good criterion of
the Judge the fact of not over evaluate them at the different cells
of the score sheet.
POSITIVE VALUE: UP TO 27 POINTS
1.11 Slow water
The slow water is a discontinuous rhythm tour with water like timbre
or sonority. The phonetic text is limited to the presence of the
consonants "B", "G", "L", and "W", even may end with "D", and the
vowels "A", "I", "O", and "U". The best example is the dripping
of water into a pail that is half full of water. In all the tours
it is necessary a good diction, but in the case of tours with watery
sonority this statement is even more important due to the fact that
if the consonants forming part in the phonetic structure are not
emited in a clear and pure way, it is produced a distorted sound
which will cause the song to lose a great deal of its beauty and
POSITIVE VALUE: UP TO 18 POINTS
CONSONANTS & VOWELS
Consonants B, G, L, W, possibly ending in
D. Vowels A, I, O & U
Up to 18 POINTS
1.12 Semi bound Water:
The Semi-bound Water is a tour of semi continuous rhythm, of watery
sonority or timbre, and of a phonetic text limited to the presence
of the consonants "B, "G", "L", and "W" as well as the possibility
of "D" endings and the vowels "A", "O", and "U." The only difference
in the "slow water" tour is the rhythm of emission and that in this
tour the vowel "I" is strictly forbidden, due to the fact that with
the semi continuous rhythm of emission of the semi boud water tour
it would be a water like timbre.
POSITIVE VALUE: UP TO 9 POINTS.
CONSONANTS & VOWELS
Semi Bound Water
Consonants B, G, L, W, possibly ending in
Vowels A, O & U
Up to 9 POINTS
2. NEGATIVE TOURS
The scratching sounds are a defect that generally is given in the
continuous rhythm tours as well as in certain types of flourishes.
It is a consequence of the over bearing sound of the consonant "R"
over the vowel, resulting in a very unpleasant sound for our ears.
As in the other negative tours, the penalty will be assessed depending
on the gravity of the defect and on how much this negative tours
negatively affects the rest of the canary song.
NEGATIVE VALUE: UP TO 3 POINTS
Stridences are a defect consisting of a sudden and brusque elevation
in the tone or in the intensity of the sounds in a tour, producing
a high sound that breaks the musicality of the song.
NEGATIVE VALUE: UP TO 3 POINTS
The Nasal sound is a defect consisting of the production of imperfect
voice similar to those emitted by a person suffering a respiratory
sickness. That is why the term "Nasality." They are produced when
there is insufficient diction in the vowels that intervene in the
phonetic text of the tour or due to the presence of certain consonants
(for example "G") that, due to its sonority, it is predisposed to
this defect. Also, emitting such sounds may be caused by respiratory
problems in the bird.
NEGATIVE VALUE: UP TO 3 POINTS
NOTE: Any canary with a negative point could not reach 90 points.
3. OTHER CONCEPTS
In the score of this part of the Score Sheet all we will follow
the same mathematical system, due to the fact that we consider the
subjective impression has already shaped in all points given in
the Score Sheet. This epigraph is a complimentary addition for those
birds that are lacking negative points on their score sheet. The
following rules must be applied:
1) One point will be added to the birds whose score is between
72 and 80 positive points, both figures inclusive, and that have
not negative points. In the case that a negative point is on the
score sheet, that birds will loose this point of impression.
2) Two points will be added to the birds whose score is between
81and 89 points, both inclusive, and have not any negative points.
In the case that it has negative points, this negative points will
be substracted from the points of impression, even until its total
loss. (For example, a bird with 2 points of impression and 3 negative
points, will loss of all the impression points achived.)
3) There will be three points given for impression to the birds
whose sum of points is 90 or more positive points without having
any negative points. In the case of there being negative points
in the song, there will be discounted one point of impression for
every negative point on the score sheet up to the total loss of
points of impression. (Example: a bird with three points of impression,
and with two negative points, will achive only one point in the
4) Under 70 points the song of a Spanish Timbrado is considered
Harmony is the art of combining different sounds emitted simultaneously.
In this case, we are speaking of the conjunction or combination
of the songs of four canaries that form a team. It will be taken
into account that the four canaries have sang together during the
time they has been evaluated, and that their song were compatible
from a musical point of view, there must be harmony.
Depending on the degree of harmony reached by the canary songs
from the team, from one to four positive points will be given to
The application of points has nothing to do with the individual
quality of each team members song, because, as an example,
we can have four canaries with a maximum of four harmony points
and with the value of each individual quality is mediocre. What
is judged here is the conjunction of the songs sang by the four
4. MOTIVES FOR DISQUALIFICATION.
4.1. Motives for disqualification are derived from the art. 16
E) of the Regulations of the C.N.J./F.O.C.D.E..
A. Those birds having no band (we are assuming that the band
is the regulated by F.O.C.D.E).
B. Having a band of improper diameter so as to be able to remove
it from the leg without harm to the bird.
C. Having any sign that can show the identity of the owner
of the bird.
D. Have more than one band.
4.2. Reasons for disqualification derived from the Song Code.
It will be motive of disqualification, in addition to all those
stated in the Regulations of the National College of Judges of the
F.O.C.D.E., art. 16. 1), any character in the phenotype of the bird
that would lead the judges to believe that this bird is a product
of a cross with another variety or breed. The following are considered
identification marks of another variety or breed.
a. The phenotype having frilled or curled feathers that would be
evidence of the possible cross with the frilled type canary.
b. Feathers with Red Factor.
c. That the emision of the song or the composition of the song
presents excessive characteristics of other breeds of song canary.
d. Any other reason set forth by the General Assembly of the Technical
5. RULES FOR TIE BREAKING.
5.1. Individual tie breaking.
1st. By the sum of negative points
2nd. By the sum of the points in tours of 9 points (27)
3rd. By the sum of the points in tours of 6 points (18)
4th. By the observations or written notes of the judge.
5th. In the case that there still remains a tie, it
will be up to the judge.
5.2. Tie breaking for teams.
1st. The sum of negative points
2nd. The points for harmony
3rd. The sum of points in the tours of 9 points (27)
4th. The sum of points in the tours of 6 points (18)
5th. The observations or written notes of the judge.
6th. In case that there is still a tie, it is up to
It is established that the maximum number of points that a Spanish
Timbrado may obtain are 100 positive points, divided according to
the following categories:
From 90 to 100 points
From 82 to 89 points
From 70 to 81 points
Up to 69 points
Under 70 points, the judge will state in the score
sheet the qualification of "insufficient" in the area marked as
observations, and it is up to the judge criteria to valorise and
punctuate the different tours in the appropriate cells of the score
sheet, or write the word Insufficient in the appropriate cell.
V. GENERAL RULES FOR JUDGING CONTESTS
1. Before the judging
Before beginning the show, there are a series of things that you
need to have in mind, due to the fact that the success of the show
depends on them for a normal unfolding or, on the contrary, it will
be a complete disaster.
In the first place, we must take note of the number of canaries
registered so that the proper distribution of judging can be done
within the days allotted for the show. Remember that a good amount
of birds to judge in a single day is 100, giving notice to the organisation
of the need for additional judges or for the limiting of the number
of entries, in the case the judge not being able to remain at the
contest's location. Experience has taught us that for a judge to
try to judge more than 100 canaries in a single day is to diminish
the quality of judgement, because the judge will give few time to
each group of birds, as well as due to the tiredness caused by the
great amount of hours put in by judge paying attention to the song
sung by the canaries.
Once the number of entries is confirmed, the judge must inspect
the place where the canaries will be judged, in order check that
it fulfill a minimum number of qualities that will be beneficial
to the show. These guarantees should be:
1st. Temperature of the room: we must strive to have
a temperature of approximately 20║ C (68║ F) and always somewhat
higher degree than has the place where the canaries await judgement.
2nd. Lighting: The lighting of the show area must be
constant and artificial.
3rd. Acoustics of the room of judgement: it must be
avoided rooms that would interfere the perception of the true quality
of the song, and thus cause changes in the final score of the canaries.
In this way, it must be avoided, while possible, the use of very
large judging rooms as well as those that are empty, were reverberations
and echoing sounds can be produced, that will give a distorted perception
of the songs emitted by the canaries. Similar reasons could be given
for very small rooms, where the proximity of the walls, if not made
of sound absorbent material, will cause a rebound effect that will
produce reverberations and prevent the properly hearing of the birds.
In order to avoid these situations that are not desirable, is to
hang behind the canary judging table, or on the surrounding walls,
wooden or cardboard boxes that are good for absorbing sound in the
judging areas, preventing echoes, reverberations, or resonating
sounds. The judging cabins, used by the majority of the associations,
help to eliminate the majority of the problems we have described.
These cabins must have adequate characteristics for the judgement,
especially that the window glass, if there is any, does not reflect
any image, not of the birds or of the people present. It is also
advisable that we assure that the lighting does not produce reflexes
or dazzles that could bother the canaries.
4th. Situation of the location: We must avoid any kind
of circumstance in the locations that would cause the birds to be
nervous or stressed, such as could be exterior windows, through
which can be seen people or animals passing by; avoid places where
loud sounds could disturb, such as machinery, others conversations
in the judging areas, etc. Any type of these adverse conditions
that not match with the graveness of the judgement must be addressed
and judging should not continue until said situation has been resolved.
2. During Judging
With open door judging, those who are participating in the show
can enter in the judgement rooms, and in this way observe the performance
of their birds and contrast it with the performance of others participants.
Audience must hold the strictest and most upright standards of behavior
at all times while in the judging area, keeping silent and without
sudden movement at all times and never making comment or signs that
the birds that are present are yours or anothers. There can
no comment be made as to the good or bad quality of a bird being
judged. It is either forbidden to leave or enter in the judging
area while the session is going on. It is important underline that
in case some of the above mentioned disturbance happened, the Organisation
Committee of the show has to be informed, so that they adopt the
proper measures to guarantee the good development of the contest.
If the adverse circumstances persisted, it can be decided to expel
the perturbing people from were the contest was taking place.
In addition to those things already presented in the Code, we will
take into account the following considerations
In the case that the judge found a sick bird on the judging table,
the Organisation must be notified so that can it be removed as soon
as possible and proper steps be taken. If a canary that seems to
be healthy is showing signs of voice problems such as aphonia, the
judge will note this on the score sheet. If the song is affected
in such a degree that it does not allow to properly appreciate the
value of the song, the judge will abstain from judging it, reflecting
this contingence, depending upon the gravity of the situation, through
the formulas of "loss of voice" or "aphonia".
It is advisable to the judges not get in a hurry to write down
the point score for tours the bird sings, in order that the bird
to settle in and get comfortable and get into his true tone and
composition of its entire song. In the mean time judge should take
note, mentally of what the canary is singing, in order to rate and
score afterwards, only after the birds had given all of themselves
The canaries will be presented in teams, that is, lots of four,
or can be presented as individuals judged in lots of no more than
three individual owned by the same person. It is not correct to
judge four or more canaries at the same time as individuals due
to the difficulty that such task involve; being that it is extremely
difficult determine the distinct sound or vocal qualities when the
four are singing to their utmost.
The time established for judging each lot will be from fifteen
to twenty minutes per lot, depending on the number of entries. There
will be the same time for each lot and it must be announced prior
It is of great interest that the points for the Score Sheet be
properly filled out, in the proper boxes, and that there be no erasures,
scratches or changes after written. They must be clearly written
and clearly readable! Any changes, erasures, scratch outs, or otherwise
after thought point changes will cause the Score Card to be void
and are strictly prohibited.
When filling out the information on the Score Sheet, you must strictly
adhere to the Code, especially in entering the point value of the
various tours and in application of the points for impression.
3. Final Results and other questions to keep in mind
Once the judgement has finished, the judge will proceed to determine
the awards given by the Show Organisation Committee and, with attention
being paid to the number of trophies and minimum number of points
demanded for such.
Another action demanded of the judges is to proceed with the tie
braking of those birds, with have option to a prize, in the strict
adherence to the standards set forth in this Code.
It is very desirable that the Associations and corresponding organisation
committees schedule informal talks and conferences, advertising
them widely among the hobbyist. In order that the presiding judge
have a chance to speak of and set forth his criteria of judging,
his evaluation of the show, and be able to put to rest all doubts,
problems and state the advances that are observed in the raising
of our song canary.
Once the tie braking is done, judge has to compliment the acts
as set forth by the Rules and Regulations of the National School
of Judges, of which he must, of course, have perfect knowledge.
For that is where the duties and rights of the judges come from
as well as where we many questions and actions can be clarified.
As for ethics, judges must abstain from, before, during and after
the judging, to do any kind of transaction that could be judged
as inappropriate or questionable.
Judges should never be made ironic or non-respectable remarks about
the quality of the canaries they are judging.
Those aspirants who are working in judging the show should not
be allowed to have birds judged in that show. This should be made
clear before the show.
To answer questions in the most pertinent way and with courtesy
is a must to the judges, at the same time, all arguments and discussions
must be avoided.
The judge cannot under any circumstance act as transporter of the
birds that he will be judging.
Technical Commission of Spanish Timbrado Song