The University’s long and rich tradition of celebrating while studying the arts has allowed its sons and daughters to carve out their niche across art forms. UP has made its mark in mainstream and popular music, but it is also in these spaces where countrerculture has thrived. One of these emerging forms is rap battle, the modern Filipino balagtasan.
A UP composer’s musical history is a reflection of modern Philippine protest music, covering its rise from the kundiman toward more indigenously-grounded forms.
“It’s not really music. Not in the strictest sense,” says National Artist for Music, composer, ethnomusicologist, and UP University Professor Emeritus Ramon Pagayon Santos. He’s referring to his area of research—non-Western indigenous expressive traditions included in the genre called “ethnic music.”
How did scenes in the film Heneral Luna rekindle our patriotic and nationalistic sensibilities? Or how did a line in the song “Bituing Walang Ningning” draw the Filipino audience to that showdown moment between Dorina and Lavinia in the movie of the same title? Most moviegoers probably don’t know it, but it’s the music that gives depth to cinematic storytelling.
Not resting on its laurels, UP invites and attracts world-class musicians, exposing the public to the best, and inspiring UP’s own.
Now on its 40th year, the UP Jazz Ensemble continues to swing as a band which does not only perform great jazz but also promotes the genre through its performances and collaborations with other organizations. Nearing his retirement from the university, the group’s bandleader, Prof. Rayben Maigue, looks back with fondness at what the ensemble has become in four decades.
There’s nothing more culturally devastating than having traditions slowly fade from practice into the vestiges of memory. Music, especially those deeply rooted in specific events and experiences, belongs to those traditions. This is why the UP Center for Ethnomusicology is such a high-value resource.
UP’s newest National Artist for Music shares his childhood memories of UP, what he learned from the UP College of Music, and what UP can do to promote a love for original Pilipino music (OPM).
From world-class choirs to musicians who help put the country on the international choral music map, UP has contributed to the creation of a country that sings in harmony.
There are few, if any, symbols of the loyalty and honor of UP’s graduates that are quite like the UP Carillon. But how many of us know exactly how it makes music? Find out here.