In 1973 I was assigned as an ONV volunteer to a
project in Manila, the Philippines. My wife, Elly Hemmes, and I
travelled all over the country and soon became interested in the
cultures of the national minorities (click
here to read more). We visited several groups in North Luzon
and in Mindanao. I became interested in the
music cultures of these groups and started to collect their music
instruments. The result was a small collection that gave a good
overall view of the various instruments. Also I made lots of photographs.
I met dr. José Maceda, ethnomusicologist
and composer of the Department of Music, University of the Philippines.
He asked me to make a trip entirely dedicated to making photographs
of musicians and instrument makers of five ethnic groups in SE Mindanao.
The trip was sponsored by the Philippine Council for Living Traditions.
We returned to the Netherlands in 1975. There I
tried to find a way of presenting the instruments and the pictures
to the public. In 1977 they were exhibited in the Municipal Museum
of The Hague in an exposition called Ugnayan, music in the Philippines.
In 1978 this exposition was presented in the Rotterdam Ethnological
museum. Then the instruments were stored in
the depot of the The Hague Municipal Museum.
In 1987 I was invited to make another photo shooting
trip for dr. José Maceda, this time to Northern Luzon. This
trip was again sponsored by the Philippine Council for Living
Traditions. The majority of the photographs of these two trips
for dr. José Maceda are published in his book Gongs
and Bamboo, a panorama of Philippine music instruments (University
of the Philippines Press, 1998) and in Philippine
ethnic musical instruments by the author of this website
Fekke de Jager (publ. Ethnographic Art Books, National Museum of
Ethnology, Leyden, 2018)
My collection of music instruments stayed in the
depot of the The Hague Municipal Museum. I thought it a pity that
they could not be seen any more by the public and decided to show
them on the Internet. On my request, in 2004 the instruments were
returned to me. I photographed and described them. The following
pages are the result.Unfortunately there are no sound examples available
(yet). The recordings I have are copyrighted by the Department of
Music of the University of the Philippines and by the Philippine
Council for Living Traditions. I will however give titles of
records that are (or used to be) available.
Since 27 september 2011 the music instruments are
in permanent loan to the:
tel. +32 2 545 01 30
fax +32 2 545 01 77
The instruments are available for study and exhibitions.
The contact is the curator for Asia and the Philippines, ms. Claire
Chantrenne. Those of you who are interested: please contact ms.
Chantrenne or contact me.
Fekke de Jager
January 2005 / 2011