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Master of Filipino 2-string lute dies

/ 12:27 AM May 22, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—Manlilikha ng Bayan Samaon Sulaiman, master of the Maguindanaon musical instrument kutyapi, died yesterday morning, the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) has announced. He was born in 1957.

The kutyapi, a two-stringed plucked lute, is one of the most technically demanding and difficult to master among Filipino musical instruments.

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“With his creative gifts in enriching the playing techniques, styles, sonic and melodic repertoire of the instrument, [Sulaiman’s] crowd-drawing performances here and in foreign lands, and his dedication in imparting his skills to the Maguindanaon youth, he has immensely enhanced the appreciation of his chosen instrument and contributed in no small measure to the strengthening of Filipino musical heritage,” the NCCA said in a statement.

NCCA Chair Felipe de Leon Jr. said Samaon was “a great loss to the country.”

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“He was truly one of the shining lights in the non-Western musical heritage of old Philippines. It will be hard to develop another one like him,” De Leon said.

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TAGS: Death notices, kutyapi, Music, National Commission on Culture and the Arts, NCCA, Obituaries, Samaon Sulaiman
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