The Philippines underwent dramatic changes during the 1850s to the 1920s. Nationalism flourished and eventually erupted into a full-blown revolution that unyoked the Spanish rule in 1898. As the idea of nationalism progressed, Philippine society drifted towards secularisation. It was also at this time that the American rule started in the archipelago.

These developments had a huge impact on Philippine culture, especially its music. Yet, little research has been done on how original Filipino composers created their music amidst the waning Spanish era, the developing American influence, and the strengthening of the nationalistic spirit. The few musical studies pertaining to this era only focused on the Catholic church as the main patron of music;  the contributions of the middle-class or civil society have been largely ignored.

To address this research gap, Dr. Jose Buenconsejo of the College of Music of the University of the Philippines Diliman is currently conducting a study that traces the growth of Philippine music from the mid-19th century to the early 1920s.

Dr. Buenconsejo aims to find out how Philippine music changed under the evolving Philippine market and progressive Philippine civil society through a careful analysis of music scores stored at the Philippine National Library. Historical contextual data such as newspapers, programmes and reviews that document the production and performance of the works will be reviewed to learn more about the story of these music scores.


For further information contact:

Dr. Jose S.  Buenconsejo
College of Music
University of the Philippines Diliman