A tuna is a group of university students in traditional university dress who play traditional instruments and sing serenades. The tradition originated in Spain and Portugal in the 13th century as a means of students to earn money or food. Nowadays students don't belong to a "tuna" for money nor food, but seeking to keep a tradition alive, for fun, to travel a lot and to meet new people from other universities. A member of a tuna is a "tunante", but is usually known simply as a "tuno". "Sopista" was the name given in the earlier times of the "tunas" but is still accepted as well.
The name TUNA may come from French roi de Thunes, "king of Tunis", a title used by leaders of vagabonds. But there is also a legend of a real King of Tunis, known for his love to music and party that usually liked to walk around the streets at night playing and singing. That explains why the term roi de Thunes was applied.
In the old times (medieval days) the Sopistas would use their musical talents to entertain people in exchange for a coin and a bowl of soup (sopa, in Portuguese and Spanish, hence the name sopistas). They would also play their music under the windows of the ladies they wished to court.
From its origins to the present day, from and through of the Tunas have continued the cultivation of popular instruments such as the bandurria, lute, guitar and tambourine, instruments which are named in the Spanish book Libro del Buen Amor by Juan Ruiz (c. 1283 - c. 1350).
For these occupations, they took their guitars and bandurrias and sang popular songs. The tunos or sopistas also showed abilities for music, and in courting ladies that they had been wooing to. The sopistas were poor students that with their music, friendly personality and craftiness scoured for cheap eats for a few coins in the eating-houses, convents, streets and squares.
Expansion into the Netherlands
In 1964, in Eindhoven, a number of students at the Eindhoven University of Technology came up with a new hazing prank: they had some incoming freshmen learn some Spanish songs and serenade a society lady in Eindhoven (possibly the lady in question was Mrs. Tromp, wife of the then-director of Philips). The serenading group was a hit and in 1964 the students founded Tuna Ciudad de Luz (Tuna of the City of Light, in reference to the importance of Philips Lighting to Eindhoven). Starting in 1965 Tuna Ciudad de Luz was invited to Madrid regularly for certamina by several Spanish tunas; in order to return the favor, Ciudad de Luz started inviting the Spanish tunas to Eindhoven in 1986 (their 1986 certamen was the first ever held outside Spain).
Since then the tuna tradition has spread to several other universities in the Netherlands. There are currently five tunas in the Netherlands: Tuna Ciudad de Luz in Eindhoven, Tuna de la Ciudad Jarrera in Tilburg, Tuna Universitaria de Maastricht in Maastricht, Cuarentuna de Holanda (former students of Ciudad de Luz) and Tuna Veterana de La Haya (former student in The Hague). There are also two tunas for female students: La Tuniña in Eindhoven and Tuna Femenina Universitaria de Leiden in Leiden.
The clothing of the Tuna is derived from that of Iberian students of the 16th and 17th centuries. It is called a grillo in Spanish (meaning "cricket") or traje in Portuguese (meaning "clothing", in a traditional sense) and consists of a cloak, doublet, beca, shirt, stockings, baggy trousers or gregüescos and shoes or boots.
- The doublet is a tight-fitting jacket which is worn over a white shirt with big cuffs and collar, commonly finished at the corners.
- The shirt is always white with a generous collar and
- The pants are petticoat breeches or gregüescos normally short and wide, fitted at middle thigh, and tight Spanish breeches fitted under the knee.
- The shoes and tights are garments which cover the foot and the legs to waist.
- The beca is the band with a color identifying the university from which the wearer comes. It is worn on the breast and shoulder, over the doublet. The seal of the university is embroidered on the beca, which colour identifies the school, faculty or university of the Tuno. The Beca is a distinction received from the tuno's partners when they considered that the aspirant has reached a sufficient grade of experience.
- One important garment of the tuno is the cloak which is long and loose, without sleeves, open in front and it is worn over the clothes. Over the cloak are displayed seals and shields of the cities and countries that the tuno collected from all over the world. Likewise multicolored ribbons and shreds are worn on the cloak in a sign of affection, expressing feelings or love. These can be presents from their sweethearts, mothers or friends.
Que cada cinta que adorna mi capa (Every ribbon that decorates my cloak)
Guarda un trocito de corazón. (saves a piece of heart.)— "Tuna Compostelana", D. Martinez Pinto & M. Menéndez Vigo
This applies to Spanish tunas. Portuguese tunas have more standard trajes: black trousers, jacket, cape and shoes, white shirt and black tie. Exceptions are the traje from the Universities of Algarve (blue instead of black and with a distinct hat, a nod to Henry the Navigator), Minho (which is more like the Spanish tunas' clothing described above) and Madeira (somewhat similar to Minho's).
As far as the music is concerned, there are two basic instruments. One is the guitar which comes with the tuno and his melody. The melody is created by voices and singing. Musical instruments like lute and bandurria are also used. (Portuguese tunas usually play instruments like mandolin instead of bandurria and lute). The other important instrument which characterized the student music was the tambourine.
Besides these basic instruments, the use of others instruments gives the tuno's music a very special richness. These elements were blended thanks to the different cultures and people where tunos perform. Among the distinguished instruments are the timple canario and charango. It uses, moreover, the Puerto Rican cuatro, accordion and double bass to increase the variety of sonority.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to University Tuna.|
- A collection of songs and music Tuna
- History of the music group Tuna
Film and TUNA
Links of different Tunas in the world
- Web Portal Tuna Universitaria
- Tuna Universitaria de la Universidad de Chile, from Universidad de Chile, Chile
- Tuna Universitária do Porto, TUP, from Universidade do Porto, Portugal
- Azeituna, from University of Minho, Portugal
- Inoportuna - Tuna Académica da Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa from Portugal
- Tuna da Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto - Javardémica from Portugal
- Hinoportuna, from Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo Portugal
- Castra Leuca - Tuna do Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco from Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco Portugal
- Tuna Académica da Universidade de Coimbra, from Portugal
- Estudantina Universitária de Coimbra from University of Coimbra Portugal
- Tuna de Ciencias from University of Alicante Spain
- Tuna de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto from University of Porto Portugal
- University Tuna UPLA from Los Andes Peruvian University
- Tuna University Madrid - San Pablo CEU from Spain-España
- Tuna of the University of San Martín de Porres from Lima-Perú
- Tuna Universitária de Aveiro from Portugal
- Tuna Académica da Escola Superior de Comunicação Social de Lisboa from Portugal
- Afonsina - Tuna de Engenharia da Universidade do Minho from Portugal
- TUIST - Tuna Universitária do Instituto Superior Técnico from Lisbon
- Estudiantina de la Universidad de Guanajuato from México
- Tuna Universitária do Minho, from University of Minho, from Portugal
- Literatuna - Tuna de Letras da Universidade do Minho, from Portugal
- Tuna Javeriana http://www.dnslat.net/~diazjuan/tunajaveriana/
- La Tuniña Eindhoven from the Netherlands
- Tuna de Ciencias de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid from Spain
- Tuna Bardos UPR from Puerto Rico
- Segreles, Puerto Rico
- Tuna de Alcalá de Henares from University of Alcalá de Henares from Spain
- Tuna de la universidad EAN from University EAN from Colombia
- Estudiantina de la Universidad de Querétaro from México
- http://www.tunasabana.com/ Tuna Universidad de la Sabana, from Colombia
- VicenTuna - Tuna de Faculdade de Ciência da Universidade de Lisboa from Portugal
- Luso-Can Tuna from Canada
- Tuna de Distrito de Pau from France
- TAUA - Tuna Academica da Universidade dos Açores from Portugal
- Tuna Universitaria de San Marcos from Peru
- TMIST - Tuna Mista do Instituto Superior Técnico from Lisbon
- ForTuna - Tuna Académica da Nova School of Business and Economics from Portugal
- Tuna Musicatta Contractile - Tuna da Faculdade de Desporto da Universidade do Porto from Portugal
- Scalabituna - Tuna do Instituto Politécnico de Santarém from Portugal
- www.vivalatuna.com - Turismo y Finanzas de Sevilla 637817933 from Spain
- VenusMonti - Tuna Académica da Faculdade de Direito de Lisboa from Portugal
- Sirigaitas - Tuna Feminina da Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade do Porto from Portugal
- TFP - Tuna da Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade do Porto from Portugal
- Tuno in the Diccionario de la Real Academia Española.
- "Libro del Buen Amor" Juan Ruiz (c. 1283 - c. 1350), Retrieved on 2007-06-23 (in spanish)
- "Tuna" Tuna - Wikipedia in Spanish, Retrieved on 2007-06-23 (in Spanish)
- "Historia de la Tuna" Tuna History, Retrieved on 2007-06-23 (in Spanish)
- "Geschiedenis". History of Tuna Ciudad de Luz (in Dutch). Ciudad de Luz. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
- Wouter Dielesen (September 1997). "Vier dagen Spaans temperament in Eindhoven". Overview article about the Eindhoven Certamen of 1997 in the university newspaper The Cursor (in Dutch). Eindhoven University of Technology. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
- "Tuna Compostelana" D. Martinez Pinto, M. Menéndez Vigo, Retrieved on 2007-06-23 (in spanish)