Rondalla: Making It Relevant to the Young

Posted in: World Music by richard magbanua on July 23rd, 2008 | 0 Comments

Bringing the rondalla back into the consciousness and interest of the young is a great challenge at this time, when head-banging and hi-tech musical gadgets are the in-thing. The Children’s Rondalla of Hamtic, Antique, Philippines gives hope to music lovers to relive indigenous music and instruments. Thus, a big chance of getting back rondalla into its popularity.

The rondalla is a popular musical group of locally-made stringed instruments. The rondalla is a Spanish folk custom of folk musicians performing in various town or barrio especially during fiestas and other significant occasions. It was brought to the Philippines during the Spanish period but achieved its popularity during the American Period. It was widely known as the native string band, composed of plectrum instruments such as banduria, laud, octavina, guitar and bajo de uñas or the Filipino bass guitar.

Bringing the rondalla back into the consciousness and interest of the young is a challenge at this time, when head-banging and hi-tech musical gadgets are the in-thing. Yet music as a universal means of expression gives hope to music lovers to relive indigenous music and instruments. The rondalla has a big chance of getting back into its popularity. The more challenging role part is where and with whom to start it.

The Paaralang Buhay Ng Igbucagay, a pilot school of the Child-Friendly Program of the UNICEF in the Municipality of Hamtic was the first school where a rondalla was organized in Antique in 2001. The organization of Hamtic Children’s Rondalla aims to enhance the musical talents of the young and budding pupils in playing stringed instruments such as the banduria, octavina, banjo and guitar. Subsequently, the Hamtic Children’s Rondalla has evolved through the efforts of Mrs. Ma. Magdalena Bandiola, a music enthusiast shared her time in training and developing the skills and talents of selected pupils to play stringed instruments during their leisure hours. It’s a great challenge to the trainer in coaching young children to play stringed instruments.

To date, the Hamtic Children’s Rondalla is composed of twenty seven young children, with the aim to set a new trend of expressing folk and contemporary music. Thus, the Hamtic Children’s Rondalla continues its mission to provide the young generation a chance to rediscover music and harness their creative energies and express them artistically through music.

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