Koro Leyteño Ngan Iba Pa
Choral Arrangements of Songs in Eastern Visayas
Dr. Stephen Q. Lagarde
The need to assert one’s identity, history, and culture is a never-ending process of accommodation, appropriation, reinvention, and resistance. Most especially in today’s global community, the need to rise above transitional forces and influences that are believed to marginalize, contradict, and relegate indigenous traditional culture is an incessant struggle that should be anchored on a strong collective and belligerent cultural and political will.
Consisting of choral arrangements with varying degrees of ease and difficulty, this publication project is primarily designed to promote and propagate the musical heritage of Eastern Visayas under the auspices of the Leyte Samar Heritage Center (LSHC) of UP Visayas Tacloban College. It is meant to help enrich choral literature by providing intermediate and/or developing choirs with culturally sensitive learning materials that can be used for various types of non-commercial performances within and beyond Region VIII. Alongside the development of basic or fundamental musical skills, this publication project is, more importantly, aimed at inculcating a strong sense of awareness, appreciation, understanding, and pride in the musical culture of Eastern Visayas and contribute to the continued growth and development of music education and choral singing in the region.
In order to achieve these meaningful purposes, this publication presents a collection of choral arrangements that are both traditional and contemporary. It presents these choral materials as musical experiences that allow performers and audiences alike to explore, learn, and understand the nuances, requisites, and context of indigenous music in Eastern Visayas. It motivates both the performers and their listeners to take stock of who they truly are as members of a particular Filipino community.
Each choral arrangement is preceded with a brief description or background of a specific musical selection. As a way of facilitating the teaching of these songs in accordance to the challenges and demands of today’s educational system, brief descriptions are followed by a simplified version of the song – with chords – to guide music teachers and students alike in using these musical selections for classroom purposes. English translations are also provided in order to allow performers to fully understand what the songs are all about. By doing so, these choral arrangements may indeed be used for a variety of public performances as well as for academic or instructional purposes.