Experiential Education

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  • Topic: Ilocos Norte, Ilocano people, Music
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  • Published : December 3, 2012
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Importance of Music in
Ilocos Norte's Culture and Traditions
(An Exposition)

In partial fulfillment in the
Subject
Oriental Philosophy

By

Mark Bernard T. Duerme

Introduction

Music and culture cannot be separated because how can a culture survive without music? Music makes a traditions and practice meaningful. Music has always been an integral part of Ilocano way of life. In this exposition I will connect my research paper in Confucius’ wisdom especially in his own concept about Music. In which, I will try to connect this concept of Confucius in the importance of music in the culture and traditions in our province (Ilocos Norte). Music for Confucius is that:

“Music rises from the human heart when the human heart is touched by the external world. When touched by the external world, the heart is moved, and therefore finds its expression in sounds. These sounds echo, or combine with, one another and produce a rich variety, we have rhythm”.[1]

Music was come from our hearts in which we expressed our emotions through music by listening to music or playing the musical instruments so that we can express our emotions. If we are happy we express our emotions through a happy kind of music and if we are feeling sad we express our sorrow through a melodious or a sad music. As Confucius stated that I recently quote that Music rises from the heart. We can create music through what we feel and the emotions that we experience. “Music is connected with the principles of human conduct.”[2] In which people make music to express what they feel and experience. The communality of all cultures is they used music through their rituals or festal gathering. “Music gathers them; through the union the people come to be friendly toward one another, and through differentiation the people cone to respect to one another.”[3] Music and Folk

“When there is bad luck in the community the people decide to have atang, a food offering for the dead to appease the spirits when they are offended or to drive away evil spirits. The food is placed at the center of the table, along with lighted candles. An old woman dances around the table to the accompaniment of a kutibeng or a guitar, drinks wine then goes into a trance. She makes an invocation to the spirits, inviting them to feast, and the voice of the departed speaks through her. The atang can be also being performed on especial occasions or for thanksgiving purposes.”[4] Music for the Life and Death

Birthdays almost always call fore a celebration. It is a practice among the Ilocano to kill a chicken or animal for food whenever there is a celebration of an anniversary. In a birthday celebration, after everybody has eaten and had shared his fun, the birthday song “Padapadacam” is sung. Its singing on this occasion has become a must. The celebrant sits on a chair in the middle of the sala as everybody sings Padapadacam. Each stanza denotes acts to be done by those present, to show their love and affection, like the laying of a crown of ferns and flowers on the celebrant’s head and the offering of a the bouquet. Finally, with the singing of the familiar song “Happy Birthday,” handfuls of rice grains are showed to the celebrant that symbolizes prosperity and luck for the birthday celebrant. The singing of Ilocano love songs, like Dungdungoenkan to, a duayya a kind of a lullaby for lovers follows.

The dallot is a duel of words between two groups who si,g alternately, answering each other, to the accompaniment of the Kutibeng, the five-stringed guitar, and the pito, the Ilocano flute, so called because it has seven holes. This is a favorite among the barrio people.[5] The dallot is of many kinds and its singing is not strictly confined to wedding occasions. Any occasion where there is a gathering or where there is group action can be excuse for the dallot. The dallot can be sung when there is a...
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