Music of the Philippines

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Music of the Philippines are performance arts composed in various genre and styles. The music of the Philippines is a mixture of other Asian, European, Latin American, American, and indigenous influences.

Traditional music[edit]

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.

Harana and Kundiman[edit]

The Harana and Kundiman are lyrical songs popular in the Malaysian 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[edit]

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

Cariñosa[edit]

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[edit]

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.

Modern Filipino music[edit]

OPM (Original Pilipino Music)[edit]

Original Pilipino Music, now more commonly termed Original Pinoy Music, Original Philippine Music or OPM for short, originally referred only to Philippine pop songs, particularly ballads, such as those popular after the collapse of its predecessor, the Manila Sound in the late 1970s, up until the present. In the 1970s, popular OPM artists included Nora Aunor, Pilita Corrales, Eddie Peregrina, Victor Wood and Asin, among others. The more major commercial Philippine pop music artists were Pops Fernandez, Claire dela Fuente, Didith Reyes, Rico Puno, Ryan Cayabyab, Basil Valdez, Celeste Legaspi, Hajji Alejandro, Rey Valera, Freddie Aguilar, Imelda Papin, Eva Eugenio, Nonoy Zuniga and many others.

Between the 1980s and 1990s, OPM was led by artists such as Regine Velasquez, Sharon Cuneta, APO Hiking Society, José Mari Chan, Dingdong Avanzado, Rodel Naval, Janno Gibbs, Ogie Alcasid, Joey Albert, Lilet, Martin Nievera, Manilyn Reynes, Lea Salonga, Vina Morales, Raymond Lauchengco, JoAnne Lorenzana, Francis Magalona and Gary Valenciano, among many others.

In the 1990s, famous artists/bands included Eraserheads, Smokey Mountain, Donna Cruz, Jessa Zaragoza, Ariel Rivera, South Border, AfterImage, Andrew E., Jaya, Lani Misalucha, Rivermaya, Ella May Saison and Roselle Nava, among many others.

Underground bands emerged and along with them were their perceptions of idealism and self-expression. The famous lyricist of Circle's End, Geno Georsua landed on top as the melodramatic expressionist. Bassist Greg Soliman of UST Pendong grasps the title as the best bassist of underground music.

From its inception, OPM has been centered in Manila, where Tagalog and English are the dominant languages. Other ethnolinguistic groups such as Visayan, Bikol and Kapampangan, despite making music in their native languages, have not been recognized as OPM, except in unusual cases like the Bisrock (Visayan rock music) song "Charing" by Davao band, 1017. Multiculturalism advocates and federalists often associate this discrepancy to the Tagalog-centric cultural hegemony of the capital city of Manila. Having successfully created a subgenre of Philippine rock they called Bisrock, the Visayans by far have the biggest collection of modern music in their native language, with great contributions from Visayan bands Phylum and Missing Filemon. However, a band called Groupies' Panciteria that hails from Tacloban, a Winaray-speaking city, launched a free downloadable mp3 album on Soundclick.com in 2009 containing 13 Tagalog songs and only one very short song in the Cebuano language.[1]

Following suit are the Kapampangans. The debut music video of "Oras" ("Time") by Tarlac City-based Kapampangan band Mernuts has penetrated MTV Pilipinas, making it the first ever Kapampangan music video to join the ranks of other mainstream Filipino music videos. RocKapampangan: The Birth of Philippine Kapampangan Rock, an album of modern remakes of Kapampangan folk extemporaneous songs by various Kapampangan bands was also launched last February 2008, which are regularly played via Kapampangan cable channel Infomax-8 and via one of Central Luzon's biggest FM radio stations, GVFM 99.1. Inspired by what the locals call "Kapampangan cultural renaissance", Angeles City-born balladeer Ronnie Liang rendered Kapampangan translations of some of his popular songs such as "Ayli" (Kapampangan version of "Ngiti"), and "Ika" (Kapampangan version of "Ikaw") for his repackaged album.

Despite the growing clamor for non-Tagalog and non-English music and greater representation of other Philippine languages, the local Philippine music industry, which is centered in Manila, is unforthcoming in venturing investments to other locations. Some of their major reasons include the language barrier, small market size, and socio-cultural emphasis away from regionalism in the Philippines.

The country's first songwriting competition, Metro Manila Popular Music Festival, was first established in 1977 and launched by the Popular Music Foundation of the Philippines. The event featured many prominent singers and songwriters during its time. It was held annually for seven years until its discontinuation on 1985. It was later revived in 1996 as the "Metropop Song Festival", running for another seven years before being discontinued in 2003 due to the decline of its popularity.[2] Another variation of the festival had been established called the Himig Handog contest which began in 2000, operated by ABS-CBN Corporation and its subsidiary music label Star Records. Five competitions have been held so far starting in 2000 to 2003 and was eventually revived in 2013. Unlike its predecessors, the contest has different themes which reflect the type of song entries chosen as finalists each year.[3][4] In 2012, the Philippine Popular Music Festival was launched and is said to be inspired by the first songwriting competition.[5]

Pop music[edit]

OPM pop has been regularly showcased in the live band scene. Groups such as Neocolours, Side A, Introvoys, The Teeth, Yano, True Faith, Passage and Freestyle popularized songs that clearly reflect the sentimental character of OPM pop.

Choir music[edit]

Example of choirs in the Philippines:

  • Polytechnic University of the Philippines-Laboratory High School Chorale
  • San Francisco Parish School Glee Club
  • Adventist University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors
  • Adventist University of the Philippines Young Voices
  • De La Salle University Chorale
  • Philippine Normal University Chorale
  • Philippine Madrigal Singers
  • University of Cebu Chorus
  • University of Santo Tomas Singers
  • University of Santo Tomas Coro Tomasino
  • University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors
  • University of the Philippines Concert Chorus
  • University of the Philippines Manila Chorale
  • Ateneo College Glee Club
  • Saint Louis University Glee Club
  • University of the East Chorale
  • University of the Visayas Chorale
  • Muntinlupa Science High School Chorale
  • Mandaue Children and Youth Chorus
  • Miriam College High School Glee Club

Rock and blues[edit]

See also: Pinoy rock

The United States occupied the Islands in 1898 until 1946, and introduced American blues, folk music, R&B and rock & roll which became popular. In the late 1950s, native performers adapted Tagalog lyrics for North American rock & roll music, resulting in the seminal origins of Philippine rock. The most notable achievement in Philippine rock of the 1960s was the hit song "Killer Joe", which propelled the group Rocky Fellers, reaching number 16 on the American radio charts.

Up until the 1970s, popular rock musicians began writing and producing in English. In the early 1970s, rock music began to be written using local languages, with bands like the Juan Dela Cruz Band being among the first popular bands to do so. Mixing Tagalog and English lyrics were also popularly used within the same song, in songs like "Ang Miss Universe Ng Buhay Ko" ("The Miss Universe of My Life") by the band Hotdog which helped innovate the Manila Sound. The mixing of the two languages (known as "Taglish"), while common in casual speech in the Philippines, was seen as a bold move, but the success of Taglish in popular songs, including Sharon Cuneta's first hit, "Mr. DJ", broke the barrier forevermore.

Philippine rock musicians added folk music and other influences, helping to lead to the 1978 breakthrough success of Freddie Aguilar. Aguilar's "Anak" ("Child"), his debut recording, is the most commercially successful Filipino recording, and was popular throughout Asia and Europe, and has been translated into numerous languages by singers worldwide. Asin also broke into the music scene in the same period, and were popular.

Folk rock became the Philippine protest music of the 1980s, and Aguilar's "Bayan Ko" ("My Country") became popular as an anthem during the 1986 EDSA Revolution. At the same time, a counterculture rejected the rise of politically focused lyrics. In Manila, a punk rock scene developed, led by bands like Betrayed, The Jerks, Urban Bandits, and Contras. The influence of new wave was also felt during these years, spearheaded by The Dawn.

The 1990s saw the emergence of Eraserheads, considered by many Philippine nationals as the number one group in the Philippine recording scene. In the wake of their success was the emergence of a string of influential Filipino rock bands such as Yano, Siakol, Parokya ni Edgar and Rivermaya, each of which mixes the influence of a variety of rock subgenres into their style.

Filipino rock has also developed to include some hard rock, heavy metal and alternative rock such as Razorback, Wolfgang, Greyhoundz, Slapshock, Queso, Bamboo, Franco, Urbandub and the progressive bands Paradigm, Fuseboxx, Earthmover and Eternal Now.

Rock festivals have emerged through the recent years and it has been an annual event for some of the rock/metal enthusiasts. One big event is the Pulp Summer Slam wherein local rock/metal bands and international bands such as Lamb of God, Anthrax, Death Angel and Arch Enemy have performed.[6]

The neo-traditional genre in Filipino music is also gaining popularity, with artists such as Joey Ayala, Grace Nono, Bayang Barrios, Cocojam and Pinikpikan reaping relative commercial success while utilizing the traditional musical sounds of many indigenous tribes in the Philippines.

Hip-hop[edit]

Main article: Pinoy hip hop

Filipino hip-hop is hip hop music performed by musicians of Filipino descent, both in the Philippines and overseas, especially by Filipino-Americans. This article focuses first on Filipino hip-hop in the Philippines, and secondly on that in the USA. The Philippines is known to have had the first hip-hop music scene in Asia since the early 1980s, largely due to the country's historical connections with the United States where hip-hop originated. Rap music released in the Philippines has appeared in different languages such as Tagalog, Chavacano, Cebuano, Ilocano and English. In the Philippines, Francis M, Gloc 9 and Andrew E. are cited as the most influential rappers in the country, being the first to release mainstream rap albums.

Program music[edit]

Unlike pure music which has no reference in the real world and no story component, program music is instrumental music that may tell a story with explicit episodes, reveal facets of a character, place or occasion, or imitate the sounds of the world. Sometimes this may take the form of a verbal explanation of the "story" or "program" of the piece. The term was invented by composer Franz Liszt, who understood program music to involve a program external to the music that set the parameters and the form in which the musical piece unfolds.

Other genres[edit]

A number of other genres are growing in popularity in the Philippine music scene, including a number of alternative groups and tribal bands promoting cultural awareness of the Philippine Islands.

Likewise, jazz has experienced a resurgence in popularity. Initial impetus was provided by W.D.O.U.J.I. (Witch Doctors of Underground Jazz Improvisation) with their award-winning independent release "Ground Zero" distributed by the now defunct N/A Records in 2002 and the Tots Tolentino-led Buhay jazz quartet in the year before that. This opened up the way for later attempts most notable of which is the Filipino jazz supergroup Johnny Alegre Affinity, releasing its eponymous debut album in 2005 under London-based Candid Records. Mon David has also made the rounds of the Las Vegas music circuit. Among the female performers, Mishka Adams has been the most prominent. A recent development is the fusion of spoken-word and jazz and also with rock, chiefly attributed to Radioactive Sago Project. Other notable names of late are Bob Aves with his ethno-infused jazz, The Jazz Volunteers and Akasha which have anchored the now legendary underground jazz jams at Freedom Bar for almost half of the 11 years of its existence.

Bossa nova and Latino music has been popular since the 1970s. Performers like Annie Brazil were active in the 1970s, while more recently, Sitti has been earning rave reviews for her bossa nova covers of popular songs.

While there has long been a flourishing underground reggae and ska scene, particularly in Baguio City, it is only recently that the genres have been accepted in the mainstream. Acts like Brownman Revival, Put3Ska, Roots Revival of Cebu and The Brown Outfit Bureau of Tarlac City have been instrumental in popularizing what is called "Island Riddims". There is also a burgeoning mod revival, spearheaded by Juan Pablo Dream and a large indie pop scene.

Electronic music began in the early 2000s in the Manila underground. It became more significant due to the musical popularity of the Korean wave in the country. In 2010, local artists started to create electropop songs themselves. As of now, most electronic songs are used in commercials. The only radio station so far that purely plays electronic music is 107.9 U Radio.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 2009 mp3 album free download of the Tacloban-based band Groupies' Panciteria
  2. ^ John Shepherd, ed. (2005). Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World (1. publ. ed.). London: Continuum. p. 210. ISBN 978-0-8264-7436-0. "This annual songwriting competition was geared toward discovering new Filipino talent in popular music, and produced a rich repertoire of Filipino music ..." 
  3. ^ "Himig Handog". Himig Handog. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  4. ^ Policarpio, Allan (25 February 2013). "Director-composer wins Himig Handog". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "Philpop: About Us". Philpop MusicFest Foundation. Retrieved June 25, 2013. 
  6. ^ [1]

References[edit]

  • Clewley, John. "Pinoy Rockers". 2000. In Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.), World Music, Vol. 2: Latin & North America, Caribbean, India, Asia and Pacific, pp 213–217. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0

Further reading[edit]

  • Barlow, Sanna Morrison. 1952. Mountain Singing: the Story of Gospel Recordings in the Philippines. Hong Kong: Alliance Press.

External links[edit]