Asian Traditional Music Conference and Concert

This project is made possible by the generous support of the University of the Philippines Office of International Linkages and the Kunggi Hyang Je Jul Pung Ru, Inc.

The Kunggi Hyang Je Jul Pung Ru, Inc. is an association of musicologists and master musicians in South Korea aiming for the preservation of traditional strings chamber music in the Kunggi province. Originally, the strings chamber music was enjoyed by royal families and the aristocratic class in early Joseon dynasty, but it was spread out all over the country later. Due to the idiosyncratic local flavor of the music, the organization was formed in 2010 with the aims of preserving and retaining the music. An Asian Traditional Music Conference and Concert was proposed by the Kunggi Hyang Je Jul Pung Ru, Inc., with its Executive Director Dr. Deok Seok Kil, seeking to partner with the UP Center for Ethnomusicology and the UP College of Music. In last quarter of 2014, the Office of the Dean of the UP College of Music received communication from the Kunggi HyangJe Jul Pung Ru Inc., expressing the latter’s desire to co-organize a conference and concert on Asian traditional music here in UP. Seeing that the proposed conference theme matched the Center’s objectives, UPCE accepted the responsibility establishing the conference secretariat, co-organizing the conference panels, providing the venue as well as publicizing the event to targeted participants.

The conference was entitled RESTORATION OF ASIAN UNITY: A Search for New Developments in Traditional Asian Music. Its purpose was to provide awareness of the identity and history of several groups in Asia. Guided by this awareness, it was envisioned for each one to understand the history and present status of the traditional music of each representative country, with the conference serving as a venue to brainstorm on possible ways in preserving and enhancing the traditions and disseminating the information through education. The conference started at 9 am with a welcome address delivered by National Artist and UP Professor Emeriotus Dr. Ramon P. Santos. This was followed by the opening address by Duk Suk Kil, Executive Director of Kunggi HyangJe Jul Pung Run Inc. Prof Jocelyn Guadalupe, Chair of the Department of Music Education, UP College of Music served as conference moderator.

IMG_0787The entire conference comprised of three sessions, the first of which was on Korean music featuring three Korean scholars along with three discussants, also from Korea. The prominent music scholar Prof Emeritus Oh Sung Kwon of Hanyang University opened the session with his paper entitled Historical Value of Korean Traditional Music: Focusing on Kunggi Hyan Je Jul Pung Ru (Korean traditional instrumental music). Ji Young Woo, a member of the Kunggi Hyang Je Jul Pung Ru Inc served as discussant. The second paper discussed state policies towards the preservation of cultural heritage. Entitled Present State and Prospect on Intangible Cultural Heritage of Korean Traditional Music, the paper was presented by Hae Jin Song (Sook Myung Women’s University with Won Sun Kim of Jun Buk University as discussant. The expert haegum (bowed lute) Jung Lim Kim of the Korea National Gugak Center read the session’s third paper, Structure of Kunggi Hyan Je Jul Pung Ru: Case Study of Haegm with fellow musician Eun Hae Jun leading the discussion.

Cambodia and Vietnam were the focus of the second session which featured Dr. Sam Ang Sam of the Pannasastra University of Cambodia, and Tran Van Phuc and Ngo Tra My of the National University of Thailand. Dr. Sam spoke on Teaching Traditional Music in Asia which dealt with joint efforts among Asian nations towards transmission of traditional music. Ms. Tran and Ms. Ngo shared the state of traditional music education in Vietnam in the presentation The Role of Traditional Music in Vietnamese People’s Life and Traditional Music Education.

The third and final session of the conference featured three papers dealing with different aspects of traditional music in the Philippines. Dr. Jose S. Buenconsejo’s paper entitled The Travel of Balitao and Kundiman from Aurality to Literacy gave an analysis of the transformation of popular music from the pre-Hispanic period to the American colonial era. Dr. Ramon Santos presented data and analysis gleaned from his fieldwork in Mindanao in the paper Modernism in Lumad Music where he illustrates musical innovation and appropriation by native musicians. Finally, the paper Crossing Borders: The Migration of Mindanaon Kulintang by Dr. Verne de la Peña outlined the transmission of kulintang music from Maguindanao and Maranaw to Manila and several cities in the United States. Mr. Arwin Tan, Dr. Jonas Bases and Dean Mauricia Borromeo led the discussion on these papers respectively.

Each of the sessions were followed by lively discussions where the students, teachers and the guest presenters engaged the speakers. If not for the efficient time management of the moderator, Prof Jocelyn Guadalupe, the sessions would have gone overtime. The interaction among the participants continued on through the snack and lunch breaks. The conference ended at 3:00 pm with Dr. Jose S Buenjconsejo, dean of the UP College of Music delivering the closing remarks. Conference certificates where finally presented to the participants by Vice Chancellor Fidel Nemenzo.

IMG_0947The UP College of Music coordinated and provided the venue for a free concert featuring Asian musical traditions which also serves as the conclusion of the conference. The concert was entitled CHAMBERS OF RESONANCE and was held at the Abelardo Hall Auditorium. It featured ensembles from the representative countries such as Bon Young San, Kayageum San Jo, and P’ansori from Korea; Tror So Tauch from Cambodia; Danbau and Dan Tranh duet from Vietnam; and, Music and Dance from Southern Philippines and Music and Dance from Northern Philippines. The performing artists and groups are the Hyang Je Jul Pung Ru Company (Korea), Woo Ji Yong (Korea), Kim Na Rae (Korea), Kim Bo Kyung (Korea), Say Tola (Cambodia), Vi Thi Viet Hong and Ngo Tra My (Vietnam), and the UP Tugtugang Musika Asyatika (Philippines). The audience numbered up to about 200 including members of the diplomatic community, expatriates and students. Also in attendance was UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan who joined the artists and special guests in the reception that followed.

DEOK SEOK KIL, PhD
Executive Director, Kunggi Hyang Je Jul Pung Ru, Inc.

JOSÉ BUENCONSEJO, PhD
Dean, UP College of Music

VERNE DE LA PEÑA, PhD
Officer-in-Charge, UP Center for Ethnomusicology

HANNAH OH
Coordinator between Philippines and Korea

JOCELYN TIMBOL-GUADALUPE
Forum Moderator

GRACE ANN BUENAVENTURA
Logistics Coordinator

SOL MARIS TRINIDAD
Finance Coordinator

DAVID DINO GUADALUPE
Documentation Coordinator

ROAN MAY OPISO
Annotator

Project Assistants:
Allyson Miralles-Hije, Jeffrey Garcia, Jason Pio Gabriel Verzola, Angelina Lunas, Carlito Tolosa, Joenic France Juanite

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