Concert to showcase bamboo musical instruments

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Attention ethnic music enthusiasts. The rich diversity of the country’s bamboo musical instruments will be put on full display in a Virtual Concert happening on November 24.

Sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology’s Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI), the event will showcase a wide range of bamboo musical instruments which will be played by six groups of performing artists from all over the Philippines.

These include indigenous peoples’ representatives from the Cordillera; the Dipolog Community Rondalla; the “Huni Ukulele” group; the Pangkat Kawayan Orchestra; a concert organist for the Las Piñas Bamboo Organ; and the Karatong Festival Street Performers.

According to DOST-FPRDI’s Aralyn L. Quintos, “We are doing this virtual concert as part of the Institute’s Bamboo Musical Instruments Program.”

“Our project’s main goal is to provide the country’s bamboo musical instrument makers with science-based solutions for their problems about their products’ sound quality, playability, tuning and durability.

“We are now on our second year and working to develop processing techniques that will make bamboo more durable without damaging the musical instruments’ sound quality.

“We also plan to standardize the processing of selected instruments; come up with sample designs; study raw material sources and existing markets; and set-up a bamboo musical instruments’ processing facility.”

The program is assisted by experts from the University of the Philippines-Center for Ethnomusicology and the Philippine Normal University, funded by the DOST Grants-in-Aid, and is being monitored by the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technologies Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD).

Quintos added, “Through the concert, we hope to raise public awareness for the country’s diverse array of ethnic instruments. By doing so, we not only help build pride for our heritage, we also help create markets for quality bamboo products.”

Among many others, the musical instruments which will be featured in the concert include the bungkaka, which creates a buzzing sound, the guitar-like kollitong, the nose flute tongali, the koratong bamboo tubes, percussion instruments, such as tambi, patatag, marimba and tongatong, as well as banduria, ukulele, and an organ all made of bamboo.

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