How important is music of Cordillera in terms of culture and history? A. It is important because very much part of life and living and other components of their culture are transferred from generation to generation.
Music can raise someone’s mood, get them excited, or make them calm and relaxed. Music also – and this is important – allows us to feel nearly or possibly all emotions that we experience in our lives. The possibilities are endless.
Music of Cordillera is not greatly influenced by colonizers while music from the Lowlands of Luzon is highly influenced by Spanish culture. Music from the Lowlands of Luzon is written to represent their culture in courting a woman while music of Cordillera and Mindoro is written to depict their environment.
Music is an essential element of culture. Sharing music from one culture to another gives people an insight into another way of life. This is even more crucial during times of conflict when other methods of interaction are rendered impractical.
At the core of our everyday experience with music, we use it to relax, express ourselves, come to terms with our emotions, and generally improve our well-being. It has evolved into a tool for healing and self-expression, often dictating how we, as individuals, take steps to impact society.
Not only has indigenous music been preserved, but it has also helped enrich contemporary Philippine music, fusing the old with the new, the original with the borrowed, the indigenous with the foreign. What we now regard as popular or folk music is a product of such fusion.
Cordillera instrumental music is distinctively made up of two sound characteristics based on their respective materials. The first one is made of bamboo (flutes and percussion instruments), while the second is made of metal (gongs). These traditions however, are on their way to extinction due to several factors.
Philippine Music is divided into four eras or traditions, namely the Ethnic, Spanish Colonial, American Colonial and Contemporary tradition. The majority of Philippine Music revolves around cultural influences from the West, due primarily to the Spanish and American rule for over three centuries.