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Music of Mindanao


 -Mindanao is one of the largest islands in the

Philippines. It is surrounded by four seas, namely: Sulu
Sea to the west, Philippine Sea to the east, Celebes
Sea to the south, and Mindanao Sea to the north. It is
home to some famous mountains and volcanoes like
the Mt. Apo, which attracts tourism.
 -Mindanao consists of people with different
languages, tribes, and races. It is also consists of the
Moro and the Lumad who resisted the Spanish
 Mindanao’s ethnic music is based on two
musical and cultural traditions namely, the
Islamic and non-lslamic ethnic cultures. Islamic
cultures and traditions are observed among
the Maguindanaon, Maranao, Yakan, Samal,
and Tausug. On the other hand, non-lslamic
traditions are practiced by the Manobo,
Bagobo, Subanon, Bilaan. Tiruray and T'boli.
What is Mindanao music in relation to
indigenous practices?

Music is an important part of the lives

of Mindanao’s ethnic groups. It
became part of their daily routines
such as birth, work, entertainment,
courtship, wedding, death, and
religious activities.
Sacred rituals and practices are
accompanied by music both for Muslims
and non-Muslims. With music, these
rituals became more meaningful,
colorful and symbolic.
What is the vocal music of Muslim

 The vocal music is considered the oldest form of music since it

only needs the human voice.
 It does not need any musical accompaniment. The vocal
music of Mindanao is known to be highly artistic and
technically excellent.
 Other special characteristics of the vocal music of Mindanao
are the following: long melodic phrases, presence of a group
of notes sung to one syllable of the text (melisma), and
utilization of a tremolo or a wavering effect in a musical tone.
The vocal music of Mindanao has two types:

1. music for religious activities such as the

Iughu, performed by the Tausugs during
Ramadan; and
2. music for entertainment such as love
songs, lullabies, legends, chants, and

Chanting is making melodic

sounds using only the voice.
 Thereare epics in Mindanao transferred from
generation to generation through their oral tradition
that uses chanting. These folk epics are the Darangen
of the Maranao and the Rajah lndarapatra of the
Maguindanao. There are also religious chants, like the
Tarawe, which is chanted during the Ramadan or the
Salathuljuma or Friday prayer chant.
Examples of Chants:

 Themiminsad is a dance song that is also

chanted as people walk before the altar.
The wedding feast is another celebration
where music plays an important role. Most of
the Muslim groups play music using small and
large kettledrums to accompany dances.
 Darangen is an epic song, which includes a
wealth of knowledge about the Maranao
people living in the Lake Lanao region of
Mindanao. The elders refer to the time-honored
text in the administration of customary law
meaning ”to narrate a song” in Maranao
language. It is not frequently performed because
of the present lifestyle of the people of
 Ulaging is the most important type of vocal
music. It recalls the adventure of the main hero
Agyu and his siblings. This is sung at nighttime
for some hours and in some cases, for several
nights and in some cases, for several nights.
What are the instrumental music of
Muslim Mindanao?

A kulintang is a modern term for an instrumental form

of music on a row of small, horizontally-laid gong
kettles or knobbed gongs that are played melodically,
accompanied by larger suspended gongs and drums.
As part of the gong-chime culture in Southeast Asia,
kulintang music ensembles have been played for
centuries in regions of the southern Philippines, Eastern
Indonesia, Eastern Malaysia, Brunei, and Timor.
 Kulintang is an ensemble composed of a set of eight
graduated size-gongs arranged in a row. It also has a
set of suspended gongs known as gandingan, a
suspended bossed gong that plays the pulse of music
called agung, a tubular drum made from a hollow
trunk of a tree and covered with animal skin called
dabakan, and a gong that is slightly bigger than the
smallest kulintang called babandil.
 A KULINTANG is considered a woman’s instruments, it is associated with
graceful, slow, frail, and relaxed movements that showed elegance and
decorum common among females.
 GANDINGAN is a set of four large hanging gongs which is played as part
of the kulintang ensemble of Maguindanao.
 AGUNG is one of the two suspended gong/s.
 DABAKAN is a single-headed Philippine drum that looks like a goblet used
by Maranaos/
 BABANDIL is a single, narrow-rimmed Philippine gong used as the
timekeeper of the Maguindanao kulintang ensemble.
Bamboo Musical Instrument of

 The kubing is held horizontally with the bamboo tongue in

front of the opened mouth. It can be played in solo or in an
ensemble. (aerophone)
 The suling is also called the ring flute. It is the smallest
bamboo flute of Maguindanao. The sound is produced
when the air passes through the bottom hole while the pitch
is controlled through the five hanger holes at the top and
one fmger hole located at the bottom. (aerophone)
 The palendag is a lip-valley flute and one of
the most common aerophones of the
 The kagul is a Maguindanao bamboo scraper
gong or slit drum with a jagged edge on one
What are other musical instruments
used by some tribes of Mindanao?

 Musical instruments of the Tausug tribe consists

of the kulintangan ensembIe that includes the

 1. gadding-drums
 2. tungalIan- large gongs
 3. duwahan-set of two paired gongs