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October 09, 2012
Kalutang Playing Workshops in Marinduque
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The Marinduque Kalutang School of Living Traditions and the Marinduque Tourism Council, in cooperation with the NCCA and the Department of Education Division of Marinduque, held a Kalutang Workshop, a series of 12 Saturday only workshops on kalutang playing, which started in June and ended in October 2012.

The objective of the workshop is to transfer the knowledge of kalutang construction and playing from Tirso Serdenna of Gasan to the teachers and MAPEH students of Boac. The output of the series of workshops is the development of actual kalutang instruments from wood samples by the participants as well the proficiency to play the kalutang instruments as a group by elementary teachers and MAPEH majors of Marinduque State College.

There were a total of 36 participants from the Department of Education elementary schools, Marinduque State College and Marinduque Provincial Tourism Office. The Division of Marinduque through its supertintendent supported the project by requiring the first batch of elementary teachers to attend Saturday sessions starting last July 21, 2012. The culminating activity of the workshop is scheduled this October 2012.

Every Saturday from 9 am, the teachers and MAPEH students have been gathered to learn kalutang construction and playing from Tirso Serdenna. The Saturday workshops were divided into three phases: kalutang making from varied available wooden samples brought in by the teachers from their areas, learning to play Philippine folksongs from chart notation on the kalutang instruments, mastery and coordinating the three groups of kalutang sticks per ensemble while playing, rehearsals for the culminating activity/giving of kwatingan saplings to the teachers by the organizers for feeder trees.

Kalutang playing involves an identical pair of wooden stick (from the "kwatingan" tree found in the island) instruments that are struck on selected points along their length and at specific striking angles that produces notes of definite pitches and of tonal quality that remotely resembles the sound cross of an unsustained marimba and castanets. As such, the kalutang belongs to the class of musical instrument that is generally classified as concussion idiophones. These instruments range in size from about ten inches in length and an inch in diameter for the soprano section to 4 feet and a diameter of 6 inches for the bass.

The NCCA's establishment of Schools of Living Traditions (SLTs) is in response to UNESCO's call for the preservation of cultural heritage by preserving it in a living form, ensuring its transmission to the next generations.

For information on the Kalutang workshop, please get in touch with Marinduque Tourism officer Dindo Asuncion at tel. no. 042 753 0201.

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