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History of Music Education in the Philippines

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  History of Music Education in the Philippines  LETICIA G. DEL VALLE Music education is the dissemination of music knowledge, skills and appreciation. The process may occur in the structured setting of a school or in a more informal manner. Music permeates the daily lives of indigenous culture groups. it is used in connection with life-cycle events such as birth, courtship, marriage and death. Occupational activities such as planting, harvesting, hunting and fishing and functions such as peace pacts and victory celebrations are occasions for music making. Lullabies are sung to put babies to sleep, instruments are played to drive away evil spirits and songs and chants accompany the playing of children. In these communities, singing of songs and playing of instruments are naturally learned through participation. Formal ways of learning are however practiced among many culture groups. A Maranao lad who wishes to specialize in singing certain types of the extensive Maranao vocal repertoire studies with a professional singer in a kasombak   (apprenticeship) system. He stays with the goro  (teacher) and does daily chores for free instruction, board and lodging. The training of the morit   (student) begin with the learning of songs by rote, gradually progressing to creating improvisations and variations and ends with the student singing in his own style songs prepared by the teacher. Training includes learning the vocabulary and grammar of specific song languages, and other aspects of performance (Cadar, 1981). Among the Tausug highly formalized systems of instruction are practiced in the study of the purely vocal tradition, mixed vocal-instrumental genres such as the  paggabang , and solo instruments such as the tata gabbang  (solo gabbang) and tata biyula  (solo biyula. Trimillos, 1972). The Spanish colonizers who arrived in the 1500's brought with them missionaries who established churches, convents and schools in different parts of the islands. Among them were church musicians and music teachers who composed and performed liturgical music, wrote books on music and taught young Filipino boys to sing the Gregorian chant and play instruments for church services. Among the schools established was a Franciscan seminary in Lumban, Laguna in 1606 where 400 boys were trained in singing and playing of instruments. Many years later, the Colegio de los Niños Tiples de la Santa Iglesia Cathedral, a school noted for its excellent training of boy's, choirs, offered classes in solfeggio, vocalization, composition and the playing of organ and other stringed instruments. Graduates of the school included musicians such as Salvador Pinon, Fulgencio Tolentino, Antonio Garcia, and Simplicio Solis. Founded in 1742, the Colegio existed until the outbreak of the Second World War (Banas, 1969). In the 1800's a rich musical life developed in the urban areas particularly in Manila and the more affluent provinces. This was brought about by a large number of visiting foreign musicians, singers and opera companies who performed in the theaters and concert halls of Manila and in some cities in the South. These musical events contributed greatly to the music education of the Filipinos along secular forms of Western music. (Guevara, 1971). The American colonial government established public schools all over the islands. The first teachers were American soldiers who were later replaced by the Thomasites. Curricula of these schools included music in the elementary level. Music instruction concentrated based on the Progressive Music Series, a graded foreign collection of songs, and a Philippine edition of the same series by Norberto Romualdez. Similar materials which were used much later were the 6 volumes of the Bureau of Public School Series which consisted of basic songs (the Philippine National Anthem and other patriotic songs) folk songs of the Philippines and other countries, works of Filipino and foreign composers and suggestions for  the teaching of rondalla  and rhythm band. (Yamson, 1972). In 1966, the Philippine Congress passed Republic Act No. 4723 popularly known as the Music Law which provided for the teaching of music and art as a separate subject in the elementary level and the teaching of music once a week for one hour in the secondary level (Yamzon, 1972). The New Elementary School Curriculum of 1982 however, required the teaching of music as a separate subject only from grades III to VI and its integration with other subjects in Grades I & II. In the high school, music was made a part of a subject area, PEHM, which includes Physical Education and Health. Content of instruction consists of a study of Philippine, Asian and Western music. The Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA) is a special secondary school established by the government in 1977 which provides training in music, dance and the visual arts. Here, music scholars are given instruction in performance, theory and literature as well as academic subjects. In the tertiary level, schools of education offer PEHM specialization and 6 units of music for students studying for a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education degree. Colleges and universities offer undergraduate and graduate courses in music. Various courses range from a Diploma in Music, Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Performance (major in piano, voice, strings, winds, or percussion) Composition, Musicology, Conducting and Music Education, to a Diploma or Certificate in Performance. The University of the Philippines (UP) College of Music is one of the leading schools of music in the country. Originally a conservatory patterned after European and American music schools, the College today has strong multicultural thrust reflected in the integration of non-western music courses of studies in the fabric of its over-all curriculum program. Other schools with strong departments offering music degrees are: the University of Sto Tomas (UST), St. Scholastica's College, Philippine Women's University, St. Paul's College, Sta. Isabel College, Centro Escolar University, Asian Institute of Liturgy and Silliman University. Music instruction are also being provided by tutors, numerous private studios teaching art and popular music, and music organizations that hold seminars and workshops to improve the quality of instruction in their specific fields of specialization. The Philippines Society for Music Education (PSME) founded in 1971 is the main organization in the country actively engaged in upgrading the standards of classroom music teaching in the elementary and secondary schools today. It took over the work begun by the Philippine National Society of Music Education (PNSME), which was founded in the early 1960's and was active until 1970. Other music organizations are the Piano Teachers Guild of the Philippines, Kodaly Society of the Philippines, Aschero Society of the Philippines, the Philippine Federation of Choral Music, and the National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA) Foundation. History of Arts in the Philippines The Art History program is focused on the study of the concepts and processes in the visual arts through the ages. The work of art is contextualized within its historical and aesthetic framework. Studio training provides the student technical knowledge of the artist’s tools and materials. Research documentation and critical analysis are the focus of the program.   Paintings  Artistic paintings were introduced to the Filipinos in the 16th century when the Spaniards arrived in the Philippines. During this time, the Spaniards used paintings as religious propaganda to spread Catholicism throughout the Philippines. These paintings, appearing mostly on church walls, featured  religious figures appearing in Catholic teachings. Due to the Church's supervision of Filipino art and Spanish occupation of the Philippines, the purpose of most paintings from the 16th-19th century were to aid the Catholic Church. [1]  In the early 19th century, wealthier, educated Filipinos introduced more secular Filipino art, causing art in the Philippines to deviate from religious motifs. The use of watercolor paintings increased and the subject matter of paintings began to include landscapes, Filipino inhabitants, Philippine fashion, and government officials. Portrait paintings featured the painters themselves, Filipino jewelry, and native furniture. The subject of landscape paintings featured artists' names painted ornately as well as day-to-day scenes of average Filipinos partaking in their daily tasks. These paintings were done on canvas, wood, and a variety of metals.  [1]  During World War II, some painters focused their artwork on the effects of war, including battle scenes, destruction, and the suffering of the Filipino people. Dance There are many different types of Filipino dances varying in influence and region. Types of Filipino dance include Cordillera, Muslim, tribal, rural, and Spanish style dances. Within the cordillera dances, there is Banga, Bendayan, Lumagen/Tachok, Manmanok, Ragragsakan, Salisid, Talip, Tarektek, and Uyaoy/Uyauy. The Banga dance illustrates the grace and strength of women in the Kalinga tribe. Women performing the Banga balance heavy pots on their heads while dancing to beat of wind chimes. This mimics Kalinga women collecting and transporting water. Another dance, called Lumagen or Tachok, is performed to celebrate happy occasions. When Lumagen is performed, it is meant to symbolize flying birds and is musically-paired to the beat of gongs. Another cordillera dance, Salisid, is the dance to show courtship. In the Salisid dance, a male and a female performer represent a rooster attempting to attract a hen. Tribal dances include Malakas at Maganda, Kadal Blelah, Kadal Tahaw, Binaylan, Bagobo Rice Cycle, and Dugso. Malakas at Maganda is a national folklore dance. It tells the story of the srcin of the Filipino people on the islands. Another dance, called the Binaylan dance, tells the story of a hen, the hen's baby, and a hawk. In this dance, the hawk is said to control a tribe's well-being, and is killed by hunters after attempting to harm the hen's baby. [3]  Two examples of traditional Filipino dances are Tinikling and Binasuan and many more. Filipinos have unique folk dances like tinikling where assistants take two long bamboo sticks rapidly and in rhythm, clap sticks for dancers to artistically and daringly try to avoid getting their feet caught between them. Also in the southern part of the Philippines, there is another dance called singkil using long bamboo poles found in tinikling; however, it is primarily a dance showing off lavish Muslim royalty. In this dance, there are four bamboo sticks arranged in a tic-tac-toe pattern in which the dancers exploit every position of these clashing sticks. Dancers can be found trying to avoid all 4 bamboo sticks all together in the middle. They can also try to dance an entire rotation around the middle avoiding all sticks. Usually these stick dances performed in teamwork fashion not solo. The Singkil dance is identifiable with the use of umbrellas and silk clothing. [4]    Weaving Philippine weaving involves many threads being measured, cut, and mounted on a wooden platform. The threads are dyed and weaved on a loom. [5]    Before Spanish colonization, native Filipinos weaved using fibers from abaca, pineapple, cotton, and bark cloth. Textiles, clothes, rugs, and hats were weaved. Baskets were also weaved and used as vessels of transport and storage, and for hunting. These baskets were used to transport grain, store food, and catching fish. [6]  They also used weaving to make just about all of the clothing that was worn. They weaved rugs that they used for quilts and bedding. The quality of the quilt/bedding was based on how soft, how tight together, and the clean pattern. The patterns were usually thick stripes with different colors and with a nice pattern. However, during Spanish colonization, Filipinos used fabric called nipis to weave white clothing. These were weaved with decorative, flower designs. [6]   Pottery Traditional pot-making in certain areas of the Philippines would use clay found near the Sibalom River. Molding the clay required the use of wooden paddles, and the clay had to be kept away from sunlight. [7]  Native Filipinos created pottery since 3500. [7]  They used these ceramic jars to hold the deceased. [8]  Other pottery used to hold remains of the deceased were decorated with anthropomorphic designs. These anthropomorphic earthenware pots date back to 5 BC. - 225 A.D and had pot covers shaped like human heads.  [8]  Filipino pottery had other uses as well. During the Neolithic period of the Philippines, pottery was made for water vessels, plates, cups, and for many other uses. [9]   Other Art Forms   Tanaga is a type of Filipino poetry. Kut-kut is an art technique used between the 15th and 18th centuries. The technique was a combination of European and Oriental style and process mastered by indigenous tribes of Samar island. Past Filipino Artists Past notable Filipino artists include Juan Luna, Fernando Amorsolo,  Augusto Arbizo, Félix Hidalgo,  and David Cortés Medalla. Present-day Filipino artists featuring Filipino culture include  Anita Magsaysay- Ho, Fred DeAsis, Daniel Coquilla,  Ang Kiukok, Lito Mayo, Mauro Malang Santos, Santiago Bosé, Francisco Viri Rey Paz Contreras, and Nunelucio Alvarado. [10]  The Arts or Paintings by Zóbel,  Amorsolo and many more could be seen in most of the art museums in the Philippines. Zobel's paintings can be seen in the Ayala museum.
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