the rondalla

While attending elementary and high schools at the University of the Philippines Integrated School, I lived with my maternal grandmother, a former school teacher who encouraged my interest in joining school plays, choirs, and rondalla groups.

the banduriaI played the banduria in high school rondalla, a string ensemble utilizing the guitar, bass, lute, octavina, and banduria. The latter two are 14-stringed instruments that the Filipinos adopted from Spanish colonizers. The octavina resembles a small guitar, while the banduria is a gentle-toned instrument with conical strings evoking the timbre of the mandolin and the South American charango. The banduria is the rondalla's mainstay, since it carries the main melody of the song.

With roots in Spain, the rondalla has acquired different versions around the world. The Spanish rondalla has violins and vocals, while the Filipino repertoire is purely instrumental. The Mexican rondalla, on the other hand, utilizes an all-guitar line-up with one bass. The rondalla is best known for providing music for Philippine folk dances, feasts, weddings, and other civic and social functions.

Listen to the banduria in ”Pandanggo ni Bobby“ using Windows Media® Player. Performed by Bobby Banduria from the CD Shiny Silver Jeepney. Running time 0:40 min.



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