Bamboo and Music Composition in the Philippines: Disquietudes on the Ascendancy of a “Cultural Object”

Jonas Baes


The twanging of mouth harps, buzzers and zithers, the percussive sounds of tubes, and the rasping of scrapers are put against the backdrop of what could be labeled as Philippine modernity. These counter-hegemonic sound impulses challenge an ever-dominating soundscape created by commercial industry. This paper presents critical views on the ascendancy of what was before a marginalized object of culture: that of bamboo musical instruments. It gazes upon the appropriation of bamboo in various modes of production in musical composition and attempts to analyze its place within an emerging Philippine cultural imaginary.


Bamboo musical instruments, contemporary/avantgarde music, cultural appropriation, cultural politics

ISSN: 2012-0788