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College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Lamont School of Music, Musicology and Ethnomusicology


Music, Kundiman, Politics, Filipino nationalism


Kundiman is a Filipino art song where Filipino poetry, often about courtship and love, is set into music. Like its Western counterpart, the German Lieder, the music in Kundiman seeks to reflect the words and the context of each phrase as true as possible. For centuries, Filipinos have used kundiman to express their dissent against oppression and colonization. It is quite common for Filipino composers and poets to express their nationalism in the subject of “courtship” since censorship was highly implemented throughout history.

Years later, we see the same patterns of revolutionary tactics and expression of nationalism. But what happens when Nationalism becomes a mask for political agenda? This paper seeks to discover the role of Kundiman in the Marcos regime both in the opposition and by the Marcoses.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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