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Living the Filipino Music Today

In: Film and Music

Submitted By nabielijah17
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Living the Filipino Music Today
A Reflection of the Filipino-ness in Lucio San Pedo’s Music

Lucio San Pedro has been known to be one of the historical figures of Philippine music. Being dubbed as the creative nationalist, his philosophy in music paved the way for his memorable career as an artist. Conferred with the National Artist Award for Music in 1991, his contributions have indeed made a mark in defining the “Filipino-ness” in music. With the onset of the Original Pilipino Music in the 70’s, Lucio San Pedro’s works have imparted a great amount of influence to the artists that soon followed suit. With his undeniably most famous work which is Sa Ugoy ng Duyan, every student of an Art Appreciation class in the Philippines would remember the great artist because of this wonderful musical piece.

The maestro’s main concern during his time was what will make Filipino music distinct and different. Given his educational attainment and experiences abroad, he was able to harness his talent and skill in music which allowed him to discover the great potential of the Filipino artist. Integrating the cultural dynamism and inherent nationalism of Filipinos, he was able to infuse the rich influence of the different folk songs of the Filipino culture into the music he has crafted so beautifully and innovatively. With his creative nationalism philosophy, he was able to encourage artists to express nationalism through the creative use of folk songs. As Lucio San Pedro would put it, "The composer should squeeze from the folk material the essence, style, atmosphere, and common touch that is Filipino and express it in terms of his personality, style, and temperament.”

So how has the distinct Filipino-ness of Lucio San Pedro’s music lived today? The Filipino music over the years has reflected the current conditions being experienced by Filipinos. Whether it is mainstream, independent, or folk music, there is a distinct touch in the kind of music artists produce because of the cultural connection it possesses. Despite the varying foreign influences in the pervasive music today, the collective experience we all have as Filipinos reflect the kind of music we produce. Recreating folksongs not in its entirety but fragmentarily should be the guiding philosophy of the Filipino artist of today. However underperforming OPM has seemed the past years, I am still hopeful that the creative nationalism of the Filipino artist of today will be rekindled and will constantly be nurtured. As we take pride in the Filipino-ness of our music, let us not forget the legacies made by our great music icons such as Maestro Lucio San Pedro in creating the Filipino music of tomorrow.

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