The Sounds of KP
The rondalla instruments are the bandurria, the laud, the octavina, the guitar and the bass-guitar (bajo de uñas). Of these instruments, the bandurria is the mainstay of the group. It has the biggest number of players in the family of instruments. In the eight-member rondalla, it is advisable to have four bandurrias, one laud, one octavina, one guitar and one bass.
No Spanish or Rural dance would be complete without the melodic accompaniment of the traditional Philippine Rondalla.
The Rondalla instruments are:
- Double bass (bajo de uñas)
The guitar brought into the Philippines by the Spaniards have inspired the development of the Rondalla in the Philippines. Filipino ingenuity produced several other instruments modeled after it and these instruments joined the guitar in the group that was to develop into the Rondalla.
The Filipino Rondalla has a wide repertoire ranging from the simple folk songs to the modern and contemporary tunes as well as Filipino and foreign classics. The most commonly played are folk tunes like the balitaw, kundiman, balse, danza, marches and lullabies. Modern Rondalla repertoire includes ragtime, love songs, and Broadway music. The Rondalla also plays dance crazes like the mambo, the cha-cha, the rock-n-roll, the calypso and the jerk. It provides music for radio plays. It plays during baptisms, mass celebration, weddings, funerals and fiestas. It also renders accompaniment to vocal, violin, and other instrumental solos and to choral ensembles. Rondalla music brings cheer to everyone, Filipinos and non-Filipinos.
The Rondalla has become an institution in Philippine music. It is a distinct contribution to the musical culture of the nation.
The KP Rondalla was formed in 1998. While most of the musicians have some sort of musical background, they are all largely self-taught.