Rendering the Popular as "Tradition": The Music of Virgilio "Pirot" Petcheller and the Panay Bukidnon Banda Music Practice in Panay Island, Philippines
In recent years, the popular music of Virgilio “Pirot” Petcheller had been included in the banda (ensemble) musical repertoire, practice and identity of several indigenous cultural communities in Panay Island located in Western Visayas, Philippines. Pirot’s music, particularly renderings of folk music genres, such as harana (serenade) and komposo (ballad), had been in mainstream broadcast media and were widely produced by the recording industry in the 1970s. Because of the parallels between his music and West Visayan folk practice, folk musicians categorically ascribe and recognise his music as dinuma-an (tradition and traditional) to refer to a standard folk canon with an associated pastoral imagery. Later, Pirot’s music had become emblematic of a regional folk, cultural and/or ethnic identity. This paper investigates the problematic fluidity of boundaries between traditional and popular music categories and its implications in the construction of identity in the Western Visayan context. I examine, on the one hand, how the popular music of Pirot are rendered as “tradition” notably through a discussion on musical aesthetics, lyricism and imagery and the complex socio-cultural and historical context musicians occupy. On the other hand, this paper also proffers a discussion on how this rendering or “traditionalisation” plays a role in the construction of identity among the Panay Bukidnon banda musicians. On this, I recognise the central role of cultural praxis and individual agency in the process and argue that musical categories, particularly the notion of ‘tradition’ and ‘traditional’, are self-conscious devices defined by, and are constitutive of practice.
Bauman, Z. (1999). Culture as praxis. Sage.
Ben-Amos, D. (1984). Tradition and identity: The seven strands of tradition: Varieties in its meaning in American folklore studies. Journal of Folklore Research 21, (2/3), 97-131.
Bohlman, P. (1988). The study of folk music in the modern world. Indiana University Press.
Brandellero, A., Janssen, J., Cohen, S. & Roberts, L. (2014). Popular music heritage, cultural memory and cultural identity. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 20 (3), 219-223.
Bronner, S. (2016). Toward a definition of folklore in practice. Cultural Analysis, 15 (1), 6-27.
Buenconsejo, J. (2019). Songs for the masses: Humor in Max Surban's folk urban ballads. Paper read at Kritika Kultura.: Ateneo de Manila University.
Cainglet, E. C. (1981). Hispanic influences on the West Visayan folk song tradition of the Philippines, 2 volumes (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Adelaide, Australia.
Canave-Dioquino, C., Santos, R. & Maceda, J. (2008). The Philippines. In T. Miller & S. Williams (Eds.), The Garland Handbook of Southeast Asian Music (pp.415-445). Routledge.
Colon, J. C. (n.d.). Tubungan: A history (1938-2013) (Manuscript). Tubungan LGU.
Doromal, G. (1988). The traditional music of Iloilo. UP Visayas Studies Program.
Dorson, R. M. (1978). Folklore in the modern world. In R. M. Dorson (Ed.), Folklore in the modern world. Mouton Publishers.
Fajardo, L. (1961). Visayan folk dances, vol. 1. National Bookstore, Inc.
Fernandez, D. (1978). The Iloilo Zarzuela, 1903-1930. Ateneo de Manila University Press.
Gelbart, M. (2007). The invention of ‘folk music’ and ‘art music’: Emerging categories from Ossian to Wagner (New Perspectives in Music History and Criticism). Cambridge University Press.
Georges, R. & Jones, M. O. (1999). Folkloristics: An introduction. Indiana University Press.
Gowey, D. (2016). Palawod, Pa-iraya: A synthesis of Panay Bukidnon inland migration models. https://www.academia.edu/29928804/Palawod_Pa_iraya_A_Synthesis_of_Panay_Bukidnon_Inland_Migration_Models
Guzman-Bravo, J. A. (1978). Mexico, home of the first musical instrument workshops in America. Early Music, 6 (3), 350–355.
Hila, A. (1998). Lucio D. San Pedro: The creative nationalist. In The national artists of the Philippines (pp. 307-318). Cultural Center of the Philippines and Anvil Publishing.
Hopper, J. (1910). Banjo Nell. Collier's 44 (23), 15-16, 26-27.
Hobsbawm, E. J. & Ranger, T., (Eds.). (1992). The invention of tradition. Cambridge University Press.
Hymes, D. (1975). Folklore's nature and the sun's myth. Journal of American Folklore, 88, 345-369.
Irving, D. R. M. (2010). Colonial counterpoint: Music in early modern Manila. Oxford University Press.
Jocano, F. L. (1968). Sulod society: A study in the kinship system and social organization of a mountain people of Central Panay. University of the Philippines Press.
Kaufmann, J. (1934). Visayan-English Dictionary. La Editorial.
Keppy, P. (2019). Tales of Southeast Asia’s Jazz Age: Filipinos, Indonesians and popular culture, 1920-1936. National University of Singapore Press.
Linnekin, J. S. (1983). Defining tradition: variations on the Hawaiian identity. American Ethnologist, 10, 241-252.
Magos, A. (1996). The Sugidanon of Central Panay. Edukasyon: Harnessing Indigenous Knowledge for Education, 117-140. Education Resource Program Monograph.
Mercado, L. (1972). Reflections on buut-loob-nakem. Philippine Studies, 20 (4), 577-602.
Monteclaro, P. (1950). Maragtas (E. Abiera, Trans.). Chicago, Illinois: s.n. (Original work published 1907).
Muyco, M. C. (2016). Sibod:Ideology and expressivity in Binanog dance, music, and folkways of the Panay Bukidnon. Ateneo de Manila University Press.
Onderdonk, J. (2009). Review on Matthew Gelbart’s The invention of “folk music” and “art music”: Emerging Categories from Ossian to Wagner. Current Musicology, 87, 207-217.
Pfeiffer, W. R. (1975). Music in the Philippines. Diliman Music Foundation, Inc.
Reily, S. A. (2007). Folk music, art music, popular music: What do these categories mean today? https://www.academia.edu/178279/Folk_Music_Art_Music_Popular_Music_What_do_these_categories_mean_today
Rubio, H. (1977). A brief survey of band development in the Philippines. In A. C. Bataclan (Ed.), Philippine Bands (pp. 4-5). National Band Association of the Philippines.
Santarén, T. (1954). Bisayan accounts of early Bornean settlements in the Philippines recorded by Father Santaren (E. Fox, Trans.). Philippine Studies Program, University of Chicago.
Schippers, H. (2006). Tradition, authenticity and context: the case for a dynamic approach. British Journal of Music Education, 23 (3), 333–349.
Shils, E. (1971). Tradition. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 13 (2), 122-159.
Smith, L. (2006). Uses of heritage. Taylor & Francis.
Singer, M. (1972). When a great tradition modernizes. Praeger.
Stevenson, R. M. (1971). Music in Mexico. Thomas Y. Crowell.
Suarez, P. (1971). Ilonggo folk dances. Central Philippine University.
Szabolcsi, B. (1964). Folk music, art music, history of music. Notes, Second Series, 21 (4), 503-510.
Tan, A. J. (1981). A study of the Hiligaynon ballad or composo (Unpublished Master’s thesis). Ateneo de Manila University.
Talusan, M. (2009). Gendering the Philippine brass band: Women of the Ligaya Band and National University Band, 1920s-1930s. Musika Jornal, 5, 33-47.
Taton, J. Jr. (2019). Lanton kag kuskos kang balatyagon: The traditional music of the Tubungan Bukidnon Banda in Iloilo (Research Manuscript). National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
Villan, V. C. (2013). Lawas, buut, patugsiling, ‘ag dungan: Isang pag-unawa sa papel ng kinagisnang sikolohiya sa kasaysayang kolonyal at himagsikang Pilipino sa Panay, 1896-1898. Daluyan: Journal ng Wikang Filipino, 19 (2), 73-110.
Williams, R. (1961). The long revolution. Chatto & Windus.