Sunday, September 27, 2015

Music from the South: Maguindanaon Traditional Music (SketchUp+Audio Presentation)

The social nature of Filipinos as being communal is evident in different musical traditions. This idea is generally reflected in Maguindanaon music culture which involves such constant social interaction through ensemble playing. Thus, being able to interact with other people provides a sense of belonging which in turn increases self-fulfillment and self-satisfaction through music making.

The Maguindanaon instruments are typically crafted from wood and metal in a combination of geometric-curves, linear and arc form patterns. These patterns exhibit the Maguindanaon culture. In Maguindanao for instance, the kulintang instrumental frame can be decorated with highly ornamental designs commonly known as okir or okkil motif (intricate Islamic art form.) 

In order to depict the intricacy and detailed art work of Maguindaon culture manifested in their musical instruments, I made some 3-D visualizations of Kulintang instrumental ensemble as well as kudyapi (solo instrument.) The visualizations were rendered in Non-photorealistic style using Sketchup, Photoshop and Picasa.

Kulintangan Instruments

1. Kulintang Ensemble

Perhaps the most widely performed instruments of the Maguindanaon are those which comprise of gong ensemble called palabunibunyan. This ensemble consists of the kulintang, a set of eight small gongs of graduated sizes, gandingan a set of four narrow-rimmed gongs, one or two agongs which are large gongs with wide rims, a drum called dabakan and a babandil which is usually a narrow-rimmed gong with shallow boss.

The musical pieces of the palabunibunyan are usually played in sets of three following prescribed sequence of binalig, sinulog and tidtu. A fourth piece called tangunggo is traditionally performed at rituals.

Kulintangan Musical Instruments

2. Kulintang a Tamlang

Bamboo version of kulintangan musical instruments.

A Tamlang

A Tamlang

3. Saronay (kulintang a tiniok)

Saronay is a type of Philippine metalophone with eight tuned knobbed metal plates strung together via string atop a wooden antangan (rack). Kulintang a tiniok is a Maguindanaon term meaning “kulintang with string” but they also could call them kulintang a putao, meaning “kulintang of metal.”


4. Maguindanaon Solo Music (Kudyapi)

The kutyapi or kudyapi is a two-stringed lute with eight movable frets.


Kulintang Music: Sample Audio/ Video