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Jose Rizal – The Novelist But Not The Musician

Dr. Jose P. Rizal – Philippines national hero, known for his literary works like Noli Me Tangere and El Felibusterismo He was a poet, an essayist, and a novelist. His works inspired reformists and revolutionists to fight for the freedom of the Filipinos.

The Voice of Jose Rizal

Musik, Maestro?

Rizal as a Musician? Music took a crucial component in all Filipino get-togethers in Europe, from Barcelona to Paris, and other urban centers of the English community. Filipinos are remarkably talented, they can sing well and even play an instrument.

In the Luna Studio and in the home of Pardo de Taveras, every get-together came to life with playing instruments or singing the kundiman and other melodies from the Philippines. Rizal admitted that he had no natural love for music but he pursued music because his schoolmates in Ateneo de Manila took music lessons. (source: Jose Rizal: Life, Works, And Writings by Gregorio F Zaide)

Jose Rizal did not sing well but he can definitely play the piano, flute, and solfeggio. Like many people today can play the guitar as one of the basic instruments in music, Rizal surprisingly cannot pluck or strum a guitar.

Rizal and His Musical Inclination

While Rizal was not so adept in music, he is found excellent in the field of science and medicine, literature, and art (among others).

A remark from Mrs. Asuncion Bantug (Rizal’s grand-niece) quotes “among the all the arts, Rizal’s first love was music.” But, music hardly embraced his love. His colleague, Dr. Galicano Apacible, remembered “Rizal even had a hard time to whistle or hum a very simple tune. When he tried it, the melody he produce turned out to be out of tune.” Yet motivated to stand out in music, Rizal learned to play the flute. He practiced hard until he almost perfected it. He also learned the solfeggio, the piano, and enlisted in voice culture.

Read also: The Importance of Music in Education

Rizal had not been considered as an outstanding flutist or maybe vocalist nonetheless he proceeded with his musical preferences by writing his very own songs. Almost all of the songs had been his poems which were set to have musical beats. His famous novels, “Noli Me Tangere” and “El Filibusterismo” likewise included a number of paragraphs and sources regarding music.

Amongst his noted compositions are Alin Mang Lahi, Kundiman ni Rizal, and Leonor.