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The Research

August 4th, 2013 pvfont13

I’ve been in the Philippines for a nearly a month and I can say that my research is firing on all cylinders.  I am pleased with what I’ve found at the University of the Philippines, an institution dedicated to preserving, performing, and creating new works of the Filipino musical literature.

The process has consisted of looking at scores of composers who share different opinions regarding how to write a culturally informed brand of  Filipino music.  In other words, I am in the search for what makes a  musical composition Filipino.  It harkens back to my senior thesis when I was faced with answering what makes certain composers’ compositions American.  Filipino music has tropes of non-western musics and sounds that sound foreign to the ear of a non-Filipino.  Particular composers reflect this in their music through a variety of 20th century compositional techniques including sound mass composition and graphic notation.  These are all subjects that I have explored explicitly in relation to a western, avant-garde environment.  I am now encountering in an Asian philosophical environment.  This is guaranteed to be a fascinating next series of months.

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Paul Fontelo '13

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Former Blogger