HomeIDEYA: Journal of Humanitiesvol. 2 no. 2 (2001)

Defining the Nationalist Tradition in Philippine Music

Antonio C. Hila

Discipline: Literature, Humanities



Nationalism as a tradition in the western context refers to that great romantic movement in music which happened in the nineteenth century, from 1825 to 1900, a period in which the people were "engulfed in the cataclysmic wind of liberation that started whirling toward the end of the eighteenth century." This, indeed, was an age when the people sought freedom in self-expression not only in politics but also in artistic pursuits such as the musical arts. The political act of liberation, of ending the people's bondage to a colonial power, such as the American Revolution of 1776, or to a political despot, such as the French Revolution of I789, was likewise manifested in the musical arts, when composers started rebelling against imposed models, and started composing music utilizing "themes, legends, and folk music indigenous to a particular country."