Music of the Philippines

Topics: Music, Musical form, Musical instrument Pages: 9 (3159 words) Published: August 1, 2012
Group 1, 4M Anupol, Cayabyab, Chua, Luarca, Shimamoto, Torio, Yumol

Music, 3rd Term

I. YEAR AND HISTORICAL BACKGROUND Philippine Music is divided into four eras or traditions, namely Ethnic, Spanish Colonial, American Colonial and Contemporary traditions. Majority of Philippine Music really revolves around cultural influence from the West, due primarily to the Spanish and American rule for over 3 centuries. Oriental (ethnic) musical backgrounds are still alive, but mainly thrive in highland and lowland barrios where there is little Western influence. II. THE ERAS ETHNIC TRADITION (9th to early 16th century) Philippine ethnic musical traditions are diverse in nature, although there are many common instruments and life-cycle functions. They differ and vary mainly in form and structure, performance media, style, aesthetics, and theoretical properties (temperaments, scales, modes, and terminologies). The diversity of ethnic musical traditions arises from several significant historical accidents. The Philippines had proto-Malays as the first inhabitants, followed by settlers from mainland and insular Southeast Asia. In essence, the separate regional settlements in the country were a result of this wave of migration. Chinese, Malay, Indonesian and Arab merchants started dynamic trading with the people of Ma-i (now Mindoro). With the trading, the merchants not only traded goods but also religious and social ideas. Indian culture was very much evident and had a strong imprint in the culture then. Islam was introduced in the 14th century in the island of Sulu. Various communities adopted this new religion, which very much influenced their culture and music. Indigenous music can be instrumental or vocal. This musical tradition may mark rites of passage and life-cycle events for the early Filipinos. Also, in celebrations, instrumental playing is common. Playing the instrument solo is done for courting or entertaining one’s self. Islamic music tradition, which is part of ethnic tradition, is largely based on the practices of the pre-Islamic cultures of the southern part of the Philippines.

Musical Characteristics: Ethnic music in the Philippines was started by different groups before. The indulgent of Philippine ethnic music is premised on an admiration of native instruments which are used in the various ritual and worldly activities of these peoples and which are generally grouped into the aerophones or wind instruments; chordophones or stringed instruments; idiophones or percussion instruments struck with a hammer, or against each other, or against another object like the hand; and membranophones or percussion instruments using animal skins or membranes. Nevertheless, the ethnic music was not only made by playing instruments. Different pieces were also made by using the voices of the people. In addition of the instrumental music that was made by the groups before, vocal music was also established. Like the instruments, vocal music expresses and transmits in a concrete and vivid manner a great variety of the thoughts, beliefs, society, lifestyles, character and way of life of the native peoples. Singing is really a big component of life among the people before. People before sang in solo or in groups according to the composition of the song and the may sing with accompaniment or without; with or without the benefit of word. In singing also, there are certain patterns that the people before followed. One of which is the improvisation in singing the music. The better quality of music that the singer/s blows out, the greater ability in music they have exemplified. Another, there is generally a low and limited range of notes (more or less an octave) and given this range there is a great number of uncertain pitches. In summary, Ethnic music was focused to their rituals and lifestyles. Music was made even in a very little knowledge of the theory of music. Musical Form: Three main forms were exemplified by the...
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