Nicanor Abelardo: Tagapagbunsod ng Modernismo sa Sining Musika sa Pilipinas

  • Ramon P. Santos


The twentieth century has borne witness to some of the great changes in the musical art of Europe and the West. The historical events of the past century in economics and education, the speedy spread of intellectualization and the achievements in science all contributed to the creation of new perspectives in culture and the arts. These perspectives, which were reactions to the aesthetics of the time and to the accepted styles of expression, led to a major movement called "modernism." The various directions and views which formed the major characteristics of modernism in music came together under the aegis of freedom, freedom from the old ways. This freedom was seen as a departure from emotion and sentimentalism as well as emancipation from the long imprisonment in the system of tonal harmony, which in turn suppressed emotional breadth and human thought. While studying in America, Nicanor Abelardo embraced contemporary philosophy and techniques. This brought about a modern quality to his works during his last years. This article is an initial study of this rapid and dramatic metamorphosis in the art of NIcanor Abelardo.