WHAT IS A RONDALLA?
Rondalla refers to the native string ensemble indigenous to the Philippines. Of Spanish origin, the rondalla's functions, repertoire, and instrumentation prove distinctly Filipino. The Filipino people not only modified the appearance and acoustical design of the European models, but also developed the instruments to have a wider range, versatility, and more resonance.
The rondalla consists of several plectrum instruments:
Bandurria is pear-shaped and has a round sound hole. It is the mainstay of the group, usually carrying the main melody; may be divided into first, second, and third.
Laud is bigger than the bandurria and has a longer neck and two f sound holes.
Octavina is smaller than the guitar and has a shorter neck and round sound hole. Both instruments play the lower notes and counterparts in unison with the bass.
Guitarra has six strings and long-fretted neck. Plays the accompaniments and provides the permanent rhythm for the group using chordal and arpeggio accompaniments.
Double Bass is the largest instrument of the rondalla and has four strings with two sound holes. It provides the fundamental tone and reinforces the rhythm.
Musical Converge II, Union County Coll, Cranford, NJ. with Mexican Folklorico, April 21, 2001
Bayani in rehearsal with cast of Mga Sugatang Perlas, 1992
Below are select performances and arrangements:
Mga Himig Pilipino (Philippine Airs)
The following select rondalla arrangements, all by Bayani Mendoza de Leon, are included in the CD entitled "Mga Himig Pilipino" as rendered by the Paaralang Pilipino Rondalla.
Alaala (Philippine Memories)
The following select rondalla arrangements, all by Bayani Mendoza de Leon, are included in the CD entitled "Alaala" as rendered by the Paaralang Pilipino Rondalla.