About this Recording

Popular Guitar Music of the Philippines


The music of the Philippines is quite diverse as the indigenous people are spread across hundreds of islands and among 140 ethnic groups. It has also been influenced by the colonial legacies of Spain and the United States, Western rock and roll, and pop music, as well as the Indonesian gamelan (Muslim gong music) and other Asian influences.

For well over three centuries (1521-1898), Spanish colonizers left their musical mark on the Philippines, introducing Christianity and its corresponding religious music. The guitar and other instruments, as well as Zarzuela(a form of operetta) were popular, and soon incorporated traditional elements.

The musical heritage of the United States became of greater significance in the Philippines after 1898 in the form of American blues and folk music. Half a century later, Rhythm and Blues, Rock and Roll, and Jazz became popular. Filipino musicians adapted some traditional songs to Western styling, resulting in popular ballad songs called kundiman.

Ric Ickard


All the pieces in this recording, except Track 1 and 14, are arranged by Ric Ickard.

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