Music In The Philippine Culture

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The Philippines has always had a rich musical history. It takes its roots from the indigenous tribes of the Philippines, who used it as a way to pass on epics and stories about gods and heroes, a way to celebrate good harvests, festivals, weddings and births, a way to mourn the dead, to court women, and a way to praise the gods. This music was then enriched by the Philippines’ western colonizers. The Spaniards imparted the zarzuela (called sarswela in the Philippines) and the rondalla, adding more Spanish touches to Filipino folk songs. The Americans, on the other hand, influenced the Philippine music scene by introducing pop and rock, eventually leading to the creation of “Pinoy pop”, which included a wide variety of forms like dance tunes, ballads, rock n’ roll, disco, jazz, and rap. From this, it can be said that to Filipinos, music is more than just a means of entertainment; it is a way to communicate emotions, to tell stories, and to express feelings. This is especially the case in times of crisis, the most significant instance being during the Martial Law period in the 1970s. This dissertation aims to discuss the role of music during this period. In particular, how was music used as a vehicle to supplement change in this period? What were its effects on Filipino society and how did their music help them achieve their goal? First, it is necessary to look into the historical context of the period. The Philippines then was led by President Ferdinand Marcos, who was
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