10 August 2011

The Bikol Folk Song

             Folk Song, is defined as music passed down among the generations that doesn't necessarily have a specific author that it is attributed to. The Bicol folk songs are the music that is shared by Bikolano people in their culture. Bicol folk songs are fairly well-known amongst enthusiasts for their unique aspects of composition and meaning.
            The folk songs are often made from impromptu verses and improvised melodies, and follow a common rhyme scheme with a regular set of rhyming patterns. Strongly tied into the Bicolano culture, the songs are classified into one of a variety of groups depending on their lyrics and meaning:
  • Kundimans (love songs)
  • Kulintangs (songs of disenchantment)
  • Sinalampati (wedding songs)
  • Panayoknok (lullabies)
  • Panambitan or Tagulaylay (funeral songs or eulogies)
  • Kulang-Kulang (any long ballad, epic, or religious chant)
  • Horasa (commemoration of catastrophic event)
  • Abyahi (happy song)
  • Angoy (sad song)
  • Kunigrat (triumphant song)

Composition of Bicol Folk Song
         Bicol folk songs can be quite the feat, especially those that are indeed composed and improvised on the spot:
  • It's a classic form of entertainment to watch a skilled folk songster come up with one of these ballads in the midst of a public performance, and this has been a traditional method of celebration among the culture for generations.
  • The songs are also well known for their sense of humor, which can sometimes border on vulgar to those with sensitive ears.
  • Sly wordplay, self-deprecation, and old-fashioned puns and double-entendres are designed to lighten the mood at festivals and provide a laugh, while paying homage to centuries of culture.

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