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Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands

Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands
View of Mainland Marinduque from Tres Reyes Islands-Click on Photo to link to Marinduque Awaits You

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Kalutang versus Kulintang Music Ensembles

Have you heard of the words Kalutang and Kulintang? Although these two words sounds and is spelled very similarly and are associated to musical instruments, these two words are a world apart. Kalutang is made of wood and Kulintang is made of metal. Kalutang is associated with Marinduque and Kulintang with the Muslims of Mindanao. Kulintang Ensemble from Mindanao

The Kalutang, a pair of wooden bars that create four basic notes when struck together. Each person carry a pair of softwood bars made from kwatingan trees. Each set ranges in length and width to create truly unique musical performances. As far as I knew, this type of music is only known in Marinduque and originated in the town of Gasan. Kalutang playing is unique to Marinduque. Originally used as auditory signal by farmers, it later came to be associated with the Moriones in the town of Gasan according to Eli Obligacion, Marinduque's well-known blogger. In the 70's Tirso Serdena, a farmer, developed a series of kalutang pairs and used them together with other players to play popular folk melodies. It is now considered part of the town's - and Marinduque's - cultural treasures. The National Commission for Culture & the Arts (NCCA), municipal government of Gasan, Gasan DepEd and Serdena organized a project to teach the art of kalutang playing to elementary and high school students in Gasan town. All recognize the importance of handing down this skill to the next generation.

The Kulintang is different as seen in the two videos below



Kulintang is a modern term for an ancient instrumental form of music composed on a row of small, horizontally-laid gongs that function melodically, accompanied by larger, suspended gongs and drums. As part of the larger gong-chime culture of Southeast Asia, kulintang music ensembles have been playing for many centuries in regions of the Eastern Malay Archipelago — the Southern Philippines, Eastern Indonesia, Eastern Malaysia, Brunei and Timor, although this posting is focus on the Philippine Kulintang traditions of the Maranao and Maguindanao peoples in particular. Kulintang evolved from a simple native signaling tradition, and developed into its present form with the incorporation of knobbed gongs from Sunda, Indonesia.

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