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canario timbrado

Translated by David Elias Cummings
Edited by Marianella Carreyo
Final versión by Eloy Parra

Code of the Spanish Timbrado Song Canary




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 bird’s 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

1. Exposition

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 man’s 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 harmony.

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.

7. Modulation

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.

9. Harmonics

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 canary’s 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 blood.

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 of sound.

12. Onomatopoeia

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".

13. Syllable

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.

14. Diphthong

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.

15. Triphthong

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 "piau…"

16. Note

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 text:

- 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.

18. Diction

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 confused diction.

19. Song

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.

20. Repertoire

Repertoire is the set of the different songs that can sing a canary.

21. Strophe

A section of the song sung by the canary made up of several tours.

22. Trill

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 semi-ligate waters.

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.







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.


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 Timbrado canaries.

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 breed.

- 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 canary’s 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 it’s 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 intensity.

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:













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 each tour.

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.


- 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 vowels.

- Very Good: the consonants are clearly heard before the sound of the vowel, causing the resulting sound to be soft and pleasant.


- 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 tour’s 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 perform).

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 following details:

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 different grades:

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




1.1 Timbres

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.












Consonant R

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.












Consonant R Vowels E, O, U

Rorororo.. Rurururu..

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.













Consonants B, G, L, W

Vocal I (short)





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 L N

Vocal I(short)




1.5 Flourishes

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.












All vowels & consonants are allowed

Lu lu lu...
Ti ti ti ...
Tui tui tui...



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 Song.














All vowels and consonants can be included in the tour

Tuii tuii tuii
Tuio tuio
Fliorio fliorio Taa taa taa Dooili dooili Cueli cueli Etc.,etc.

Up to 27 POINTS

1.7 BELL

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.













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
Tlan tlan
Tlonk tlonk Tonk tonk
Tang tang

Up to 9 POINTS


1.8 Clucks

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 C,L,K.

Vowels O & U

Clo clo clo
Clok clok..
Clu clu ..
Cluk cluk

Up to 18 POINTS


1.9 Castanets

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.













Consonants C, L, K.

Vowels A




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.


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 musicality.













Consonants B, G, L, W, possibly ending in D. Vowels A, I, O & U

Biob blob
Blou blou
Bloui bloui
Glub glub

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.









Semi Bound Water




Consonants B, G, L, W, possibly ending in D
Vowels A, O & U

Blablablabla.,. Bloblobloblo..Blublublublu...

Up to 9 POINTS



2.1. Scratches

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.


2.2. Stridence

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.


2.3. Nasality

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.


NOTE: Any canary with a negative point could not reach 90 points.


3.1. Impression

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 impression.)

4) Under 70 points the song of a Spanish Timbrado is considered as INSUFFICIENT.

3.2 Harmony.

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 team.

The application of points has nothing to do with the individual quality of each team member’s 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 canaries.


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 Commission.


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 the judge.


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.



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 another’s. 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 possible.

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 the show.

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



Timbrado cantando


canarios de canto
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