Thank You, Russell!!!!
Kundiman is a genre of traditional Filipino love songs. The lyrics of the Kundiman are written in Tagalog. The melody is characterized by a smooth, flowing and gentle rhythm with dramatic intervals. Kundiman was the traditional means of serenade in the Philippines.
The Kundiman came around to be an art song at the end of the nineteenth century and by the early part of the twentieth century, its musical structure was formalised by Filipino composers such as Nicanor Abelardo (February 7, 1893-March 21, 1934); which sought poetry for their lyrics, blending verse and music in equal parts.
Scholars and historians believed that the Kundiman originated from the Visayas region. Dr. Francisco Santiago(1889–1947), the "Father of the Kundiman Art Song", briefly explains in his scholarly work "The Development of Music in the Philippines" the reason why this Tagalog song is called Kundiman is because the first stanza of this song begun thus:
(Written and composed by: Nicanor Abelardo 1924)
Bituing marikit sa gabi ng buhay
Ang bawat kislap mo'y ligaya ang taglay
Yaring aking palad iyong patnubayan
At kahit na sinag, ako'y bahaginan
Natanim sa puso ko yaong isang pag-ibig
Napinakasasamba sa loob ng dibdib
Sa iyong luningning, laging nasasabik
Ikaw ang pangarap, Bituing marikit
Lapitan mo ako, halina Bituin
At ating pag-isahin ang mga damdamin
Ang sabik kong diwa'y huwag mong uhawin
Sa batis na iyong wagas na paggiliw….
Mutya Nang Pasig
During the US Commonwealth Period
Date of Composition:
About the Song:
This kumintang was inspired by a carnival along the Pasig in 1926. The celebration moved Nicanor Abelardo who made an allusion to the mythical past with its bygone splendor. In the song, the mutya (mythical lady of the river) speaks, in the light of the full moon, lamenting her kingdom and love that was lost, symbolizing the freedom lost by the country to the Americans, thus making this a seditious propaganda song during that period. This song was arranged by Abelardo for full orchestra, then it was also arranged by Elsa O‘Farrel for chamber music orchestra in 1941.
Kung gabing ang buwan
sa langit ay nakadungaw;
Tila ginigising ng habagat
sa kanyang pagtulog sa tubig;
Ang isang larawang puti at busilak,
Na lugay ang buhok na animo'y agos;
Ito ang Mutya ng Pasig,
Ito ang Mutya ng Pasig.
Sa kanyang pagsiklot
sa maputing bula,
Kasabay ang awit,
kasabay ang tula;
Dati akong Paraluman,
Sa Kaharian ng pag-ibig,
Ang pag-ibig ng mamatay,
Naglaho rin ang kaharian.
Ang lakas ko ay nalipat,
Sa puso't dibdib ng lahat;
Kung nais ninyong akoy mabuhay,
Pag-ibig ko'y inyong ibigay.
*these songs are sang with the accompaniment of an ordinary makeshift guitar by native young men serenading the maidens of their barrios ….if the candle light is lit on that window where they are singing=the young men are invited in to have some ginger drink and rice cakes made by the maiden herself….or suffer the darkness of the night if they are out of favor.
Sadly, there were no records of the guitar chords written for posterity….the young men of those era did not play by reading chords but by merely listening to the music and accompany it by ear.