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Filipino Traditional Music Essay

Main Article: Filipino folk music Philippine gong music can be divided into two types: the flat gong commonly known as gangsa and played by the groups in the Cordillera region of the bossed gongs played among the Islam and animist groups in the Southern Philippines. Kulintang refers to a racked gong chime instrument played in the southern islands of the Philippines, along with its varied accompanying ensembles. Different groups have different ways of playing the kulintang. Two major groups seem to stand-out in kulintang music.

These are the Maguindanaon and the Maranaw. The kulintang instrument itself could be traced to either the introduction of gongs to Southeast Asia from China from before the 10th century CE, or more likely, to the introduction of bossed gong chimes from Java in the 15th century. Nevertheless the kulintang ensemble is the most advanced form of music from before the late 16th century and the legacy of hispanization in the Philippine archipelago. The tradition of kulintang ensemble music itself is a regional one, predating the establishing of borders between the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia.

It transcends religion, with animist and Christian ethnic groups in Borneo, Flores and Sulawesi playing kulintangan; and Muslim groups playing the same genre of music in Mindanao, Palawan and the Sulu archipelago. It is distantly related to the Gamelan music orchestras of Java and Bali, as well as the musical forms in Mainland Southeast Asia, mainly because of the usage for the same bossed racked gong chimes that play both melodical and percussive. Notable folk song composers include the National Artist for Music Lucio San Pedro, who composed the famous “Sa Ugoy ng Duyan” that recalls about the loving touch of mother to her child. Another great composer who’s known as patriotic composer, Alfredo Buenaventura.

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Harana and Kundiman

The Harana and Kundiman are lyrical songs popular in the Philippine Islands dating back to the Spanish period. Harana are traditional courtship songs in the Mexican-Spanish tradition based on the habanera rhythm while the Kundiman, which has pre-colonial origins from the Tagalog region, uses triple meter rhythm. Kundiman is also characterized by a minor key at the beginning and shifts to a major key in the second half. Its lyrics depict a romantic theme, usually portraying love, passion, or sadness. In the 1920s Harana and Kundiman became more mainstream musical styles led by performers such as Atang de la Rama, Jovita Fuentes, Conching Rosal, Sylvia La Torre and Ruben Tagalog.

Tinikling

The Tinikling is a Philippine dance which involves two individual performers hitting bamboo poles, using them to beat, tap, and slide on the ground, and fartand against each other in co-ordination with one or more dancers who steps over, and in between poles.

Cariñosa

The Cariñosa (meaning loving or affectionate one), is a Philippine national dance from the María Clara suite of Philippine folk dances, where the fan, and handkerchief plays an instrument role as it places the couple in romance scenario. The dance is similar to the Jarabe Tapatío. The Cariñosa is accompanied with Hispanic music, and language. It is also related to Kuracha, Amenudo and Kuradang in the Visayas and Mindanao Area.

Rondalla

The Rondalla is performed on ensembles comprising mandolin instruments of various sizes called banduria composed on the Iberian tradition. Other instruments including guitars, is also performed.It is original to Spain.

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