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Similarities between cordillera and mindoro

There are different varieties of music that be used for a number of reasons. It is based on rituals, customs, and it can vary based on the cultures of those who are playing the music. In many small regions of Asia, there are so many music types that are native to one area, giving that music is embedded into that area's daily lives. Two types of native music types come from the indigenous areas of the Philippines known as Cordillera and Mindoro music.

What is Cordillera Music?

Coming out of the Cordillera mountain range of Luzon is one of the most isolated populations of native people. This area is completely landlocked unlike other areas in the Philippines. For the culture that has grown in this area, music is central to their everyday life. Instruments are used to perform the music and can include every member of the community is performing. This style of music is passed through from one generation to the next.


What is Mindoro Music?

Also found in the Philippines just north of Luzon is the Island of Mindoro. There are several groups of people living on this island, with some being Mangyan, a nomadic and ethnic group that has lived on the island for many years. The Mindoro music is a folk music style, singing songs about experiences, people, and telling stories that are passed down from one generation to the next.

What Do Cordillera and Mindoro Music Have In Common?

There are some similarities to keep in mind about these two types of music and how they relate.


Same Country

While the two ethnic groups have a different culture, they are both from the Philippines, but their history dates back to the Pre-Colonial area before the Philippines became a colony. Oddly enough, they are only less than 100 miles apart geographically, despite having a very different culture from the other.

Use of Instruments

Both the Cordillera and Mindoro music do take advantage of instruments to add their flair of sound to their music and embellish it through the community. Both use a version of a mouth harp in their music. The Cordillera music has the Diwdiw-as with at least 5 pieces of bamboo that has a gradual decline in size and are wrapped together. Minodoro's version of the mouth harp is known as the Kinaban and just a bit smaller in size.


Use in Daily Life

Both of these types of music, the Cordillera and Mindoro music use their songs to get through their daily lives. They can be heard at community celebrations when they come together or throughout the day for different practices from the time they get up to they find their way back to their beds.

Difference Between Cordillera and Mindoro Music

When you think about these different varieties of music, while they do share a few similarities there are some major differences to consider.

Cordillera Melodies

Any song or harmony played in Cordillera music will almost always be in a pentatonic melody 6. It is often meant to be a communal song, with a group singing and participating instead of a single person. While one person may start off the song, it is expected that anyone nearby will start to join them.

Many of the natives who truly play Mindoro music are often in a nomadic lifestyle, so most community engagement for these songs is at large events or gatherings.

Teaching vs. Daily Life

The songs in Mindoro are meant to teach others about the past, give encouragement and provide guidance. They are essentially stories in songs. For the Cordillera, however, they use their music as a part of every aspect of their lives. Because they have a different religion from those living on the island of Mindoro, they use songs to sing to their gods and as a form of invocation when necessary.

Passion in the Songs

Whether you are listening to Cordillera and Mindoro music, you will hear the passion and the history from those singing. They provide a unique sound with their instruments and style that while so close can be so different. No matter what the similarities or difference between Cordillera and Mindoro music, they both share passion and community among their songs and their culture to those listening and gaining an understanding of the people singing.

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