7 Days of BakitWhy Love: The Harana/Kundiman
Image by Sir Mervs
Sappy love songs aren't only applicable to this season: they've been instilled in Pilipino culture for years. The harana and kundiman are considered OG "slow jams" of the Philippines, influence by Spanish and Mexican culture. The lyrics of these songs draw from romantic themes, such as love, passion, or sadness. Some harana and kundiman works base the music on a love story. Almost all traditional Philippine love songs in this genre are portrayed with poetic emotion.
Harana at Kundiman Playlist on Imeem
From the Harana Men's Chorus:
“Harana” or serenade, a folk tradition in the Philippines, is singing done by aspiring suitors to woo a maiden – often under the stars, the muse peering through the window.
The Kundiman came to the fore as an art song at the end of the nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth, when Filipino composers such as Francisco Santiago and Nicanor Abelardo (born February 7, 1893, death March 21, 1934 ), formalized the musical structure and sought poetry for their lyrics, blending verse and music in equal parts.
We're by no means experts on this topic, so if you have any of your favorite harana or kundiman songs, let us know!