Chapter 4 Staging Modernity, Auditioning the Republic: Music Theatre and the Soni of the Nation
This chapter follows modernity’s trajectory towards a consolidation of a national identity in the Philippines. The chapter traces two strains of musical nationalism as it was articulated in the first Asian republic. First, the case of the first Tagalog opera—Pedro Paterno and Ladislao Bonus’s Sangdugong Panaguinip—and the complex polyphonic interaction in the contestations of the Philippine autonomy. The second case study focuses on the indigenised vernacular sarswela. By paying attention to sarswela’s resounding commercial success across the archipelago during its golden age (1900–1930) this chapter examines how the sarswela formed an incipient national public sphere. The chapter argues how the sarswela formed the national ‘acousteme’ within the dynamics of Manila as a US colonial capital city and the incipient Philippine’s commercial urban capital.