Mayo-Butocan, MAGUINDANAO KULINTANG, Tao Music, 1995
Maguindanaoan Kulintang master from Simuay, Sultan Kudarat, Cotabato,
Southern Mindanao, Philippines, Aga Mayo Butocan has devoted more
than twenty years of her life to teaching and performing the Kulintang.
She devised a system of number notation, to facilitate the teaching
of the instrument to non-Maguindanaons. She authored the first Kulintang
textbook: "Palabuni-bunyan" (Manila: Philippine Women's
University Press, 1987). With academic backgrounds in Education
and Ethnomusicology, she currently teaches at the University of
the Philippines College of Music, and at the Asian Institute of
Liturgy and Music. As a performer and Kulintang spokesperson, she
has toured Japan, Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, Taiwan, and
the United States, to represent the Philippines in music festivals
and conferences on indigenous cultures.
as presented in this recording is based on its traditional practice
by Maguindanaoans of Maguindanao province, Southern Mindanao, Philippines.
Among the Maguindanaoans
and other Philippine Islamic groups, as well as in certain highland
tribes in Southern Mindanao, the most commonly enjoyed music is
that of the Kulintang.
is a set of eight knobbed gongs in graduated sizes, layed-out horizontally
on a wooden frame. Made from either brass, wood, bamboo, or metal
plates, it is played with a pair of wooden sticks.
Kulintang, the album, is devoted to the music of the Kulintang as
a solo instrument, it is important to note that the Kulintang is
the main melodic instrument of the Palabuni-bunyan or Basalen ensemble
and is accompanied by the Debakan, a single-headed, goblet-shaped
skin drum played with a pair of bamboo sticks; the Agong, a big
kettle-shaped, wide-rimmed gong suspended from a wooden frame and
played with rubber-padded sticks; the Gandingan, or two pairs of
large, narrow-rimmed gongs with shallow bosses, arranged in slightly
graduated sizes, suspended from a wooden frame, and played with
rubber-padded sticks; and the Babendir which is a small thin-rimmed
gong with a shallow boss and usually hung beside the Gandingan.
Kulintang pieces fall under four categories, classified according
to their characteristic rhythmic patterns, tempo, social function,
and emotion conveyed during performance. Binalig, Sinulog, and Tidtu
pieces are heard in various kinds of festivities; but Tagunggo is
exclusively played for rituals. Binalig is played to express feelings
of anger, love, joy. Sinulog, to relay sadness. Tidtu pieces are
played to display one's virtuosity, and are often heard in musical
There are two
styles of playing the Kulintang among Maguindanaoans. A Minuna refers
to the traditional way, characterized by a slower tempo, with the
aim of achieving clarity in each gong sound. A Bago, on the other
hand, has a relatively faster pace, aimed to showcase the player's
skill, specially in executing melodic and rhythmic ornamentations.
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