History of Filipino Music Essay Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1812 Words
Date:  2022-11-06


The historical backdrop of Filipino music dates back centuries before the colonization of the Philippines by Spaniards. According to Boer et al., the songs and music are a combination of American, European and indigenous sounds. They add that the original sounds mainly originate from Austronesians and the Indo-Malayan Gamelan. This paper explores the history of Filipino music before Spanish colonization in detail and discusses its evolution after and onto post-American colonization. The various genres and styles of Filipino music are presented.

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Gong Music

Roeder et al. claim two types of Philippine gong music include: the flat gong also referred to as gangsa and the bossed gong. The gangsa is common in the north among native Filipinos of the Cordillera region whereas the bossed gong is familiar in the south among the Muslims and animists. Next, to that, was the Kulintang that according to Volk (137) is a racked gong chime musical instrument commonly played in the Southern Philippine islands.

The kulintang is played differently across different groups with the Maguindanaon and the Maranaw standing-out. According to Beegle and Amy (58), the origin of the kulintang instrument dates back to the period between the 10th and 15th centuries during the introduction of gongs and bossed gong chimes in Southeast Asia from China and Java respectively. Suffices to say, the kulintang ensemble is the most progressive type of music from before the early 16th century and the heritage of hispanization in the Philippines.

Vallier (41) argues that the nature of kulintang ensemble music is local, originating before the border developments between the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia. He adds that it rises above religion, with animist and Christian ethnic gatherings in Borneo, Flores, and Sulawesi playing kulintangan; and Muslim conferences playing a similar type of music in Mindanao, Palawan and the Sulu archipelago (39-49). According to Roeder et al., it is remotely identified with the Gamelan music symphonies of Java and Bali, and also the melodic structures in Mainland Southeast Asia, principally due to the use for the equivalent bossed racked gong tolls that play both melodically and percussive parts.

Harana and Kundiman

During the Spanish regime in the Philippines, the Harana and Kundiman became popular expressive melodies in the Islands. According to Cabales, Harana is customary romance songs in the Mexican-Spanish heritage with the habanera beat while the Kundiman is pre-colonial songs from the Tagalog region with triple meter beats. Cabales adds that the Kundiman begins with a minor key before moving to a primary key in the second half. Its verses delineate a sentimental subject, for the most part depicting affection, enthusiasm, or misery.

Tinikling and Carinosa

Devitt describes the tinikling as a Philippine move which includes two individual entertainers hitting bamboo shafts, utilizing them to beat, tap, and slide on the ground and against one another in alliance with at least one artist who ventures over, and in the middle of posts (112). The Carinosa refers to a loving individual. Trimillos describes it as a Filipino national move from the Maria Clara suite of Philippine society moves, where a fan and hanky assumes an instrument job as they put the couple in sentiment situation (12). The movement is like the Jarabe Tapatio (Trimillos 9). It is characterized by Hispanic music, and dialect.

Rondalla and Philippine Choral Music

According to Harrison (34), the Rondalla is performed on troupes including mandolin instruments of different sizes called bandurria made on the Iberian custom. Different instruments including guitars are likewise shown. The Philippine Madrigal Singers has produced over 200 choral arrangers and composers within its ranks who have added to the abundance of Filipino choral literature (Harrison 38). According to Vallier (41), in 1997, they have crowned champions in the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing, which is mostly regarded as the most prestigious choral competition worldwide, a fete they repeated in 2007. Almost every university, school or church in the Philippines has a choir majority of which have participated and won national and international singing competitions. For instance, Ateneo de Manila College Glee Club, Hail Mary the Queen Children's Choir, and the University of Santo Tomas Singers.

Original Pilipino Music (OPM)

OPM, today commonly referred to as Original Pinoy Music initially played strictly Filipino pop songs. This was after the fall the Manila Sound, in the late 18th century, up until today. During this time, Viesca (115) argues that different famous artists such as Donna Cruz, Janno Gibbs, and Eraserheads led the genre. He adds that the musicians produced singles such as Di Bale Na lang and Urong Sulong, Babaero during this time. The singles became exceedingly popular and enjoyed regular airplay on the radio. Next, to that, on July 25th, 1987, the then sitting president, Corazon Aquino signed into law regulation that required increased airplay of local music in all FM radio stations operating in the country. Favorite radio stations such as DZOO and DWLS moved to produce different OPM music that included pop and dance as well as soothing rhythm and blues. During Christmas, OPM Christmas carols are likewise provided and played. As per Viola (171), post-People Power Revolt songs such as the Handog ng Filipino sa Mundo, Bayan Ko, and Magkaisa are additionally played to deify the occasions resulting from the upheaval.

According to Vallier (44), OPM pop has likewise been consistently displayed in the live band scene. Band groups such as the Third Avenue, Neocolours, and True Faith, propelled music that reflects the nostalgic character of OPM pop. More recently and with the development of numerous various, elective melodic styles in the Philippines, the term OPM now alludes to a piece of music created in the Philippines or made by people out of Filipino plummet, paying little heed to the area. The verses might be in any Philippine dialects or lingo. Nonetheless, specific exemptions exist, in which outside melodies by remote arrangers made explicitly to be performed by Filipino artists are considered OPM too.

Since its introduction, OPM has mostly focused on Manila. Here, the Tagalog and English are the two commonly used languages. As argued by Vallier (47), other ethnolinguistic locals, for example, the Bikol, and Visayan have not been perceived as OPM, notwithstanding influencing music in their local dialects, aside from unusual cases like the Bisrock Visayan Rock music song "Charing" by Davao band 1017.

According to Cabales, multiculturalism supporters and federalists regularly relate this inconsistency to the Tagalog-driven secular authority of the capital city of Manila. Having effectively made a subgenre of Philippine Rock they called Bisrock, the Visayans by a long shot have the most significant accumulation of present-day music in their local dialect, with extraordinary commitments from Visayan groups Phylum, and Missing Filemon (Roeder and Michael Tenzer 101). Nonetheless, a band considered Groupies' Panciteria that hails from Tacloban, a Winaray-talking city, propelled a free downloadable mp3 collection on Soundclick.com in 2009 containing thirteen Tagalog tunes and just a single short one in the Cebuano language (Volk 135). Regardless of the developing clatter for non-Tagalog, and non-English music, and more prominent portrayal of other Philippine dialects, the nearby Philippine music industry, which is focused in Manila, is unforthcoming in wandering ventures to different areas. A portion of their real reasons incorporates the dialect boundary, small market measure, and socio-social accentuation far from regionalism in the Philippines.

According to Harrison (31), Click Music Philippines was formally launched in September 2010 at the New Horizons Hotel, Mandaluyong City, in the presence of journalists, musicians, producers, and heads of different radio stations. Its primary objective was to restore enthusiasm for OPM as an industry leader. As a point of reference, this development plans to unite music writers and radio stations towards a bound together business heading tied down on melodic imagination activities and a more tightly center around copyright assurance and proprietorship, in the esteem chain amid phases of the generation and dissemination of music content (Viola 181).


According to Devitt (121), the U.S. occupied the Philippine islands between 1898 and 1946. During this time, he continues, they introduced rock and roll music, American blues folks, and Rhythm and Blues with the former becoming popular among Filipinos. In the mid-18th century, local entertainers adjusted Tagalog verses for North American rock and roll music (Boer et al.). This resulted in the gradual emergence of Filipino rock. As asserted by Boer et al., the most outstanding accomplishment in Philippine rock during this period was the hit single "Executioner Joe," which pushed the gathering "Rough Fellers" off the American music charts to achieve a record high of number sixteen.

According to Trimillos (18), it was not until the 1970s that favorite rock artists started composing and producing in English. In the mid-1970s, band groups like the Juan Dela Cruz Band began composing rock music utilizing local dialects. Blending Tagalog, and English verses, referred to as Taglish, were likewise prevalently used within the same song, for instance, "Ang Miss Universe Ng Buhay Ko," by the band Hotdogs which improved the Manila sound (Viola 180). As per Boer et al., the blending of the two dialects, while regular in easygoing discourse in the Philippines, was viewed as a stunning move, yet the accomplishment of Taglish in prevalent tunes broke the hindrance always, including Sharon Cuneta's initially hit, "Mr. DJ. "

According to Trimillos (17), Philippine rock artists included society music, and different impacts, prompting the 1978 achievement accomplishment of Freddie Aguilar. According to Boer et al., Aguilar's "Anak," which happens to be his first record label, is the most industrially active Filipino account, and was mainstream all through Asia, and Europe, and has been converted into various dialect by artists around the world. They add that the Asin band likewise broke into the music scene at a similar period, and became famous.

Filipino rock has additionally grown to incorporate some hard rock, overwhelming metal, and Alternative shake, for example, Wolfgang, and the dynamic band Paradigm. A large number of the alleged "underground" groups existed, however, their presentation is restricted to people in general. Naming a couple, The Zombies of Ateneo de Manila, the Kudyapi ni Bandung, the Circle's End of Diliman and the ethnic gathering band of Southern Philippines. The Neo-Traditional sort in Filipino music is likewise picking up fame, with artisans, for example, Joey Ayala, Grace, Cocojam among others procuring relative business achievement while using the customary melodic hints of numerous Indigenous clans in the Philippines. Today, the Philippines has remarkable metal groups, for example, Valley Of Chrome, Imbue No Kudos, among others.


Filipino hip-hop is modern bounce music performed by artists of Filipino drop, both in the Philippines and abroad, particularly by Filipino-Americans. This paper concentrates on both native Filipino hip-hop artists in the country and those who are based overseas, mostly America. As per Boer et al., the Philippines is regarded as the undisputed pioneer of the primary hip-hop music scene in Asia since the mid-1980s, to a great extent because of the nation's chronicled associations with the U.S. where the genre originates. Rap music discharged in the Philippines has shown up in various dialect...

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History of Filipino Music Essay Example. (2022, Nov 06). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/history-of-filipino-music-essay-example

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