Effects Of Patronizing Korean Pop (K-pop) Songs In The Philippine Music Industry

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Philippine music, with its famous OPM and other genres of music brought by the influence of the westerners have been affected when foreign music like Korean pop songs became famous to the Filipinos. It has been affected in a sense that only a few of large population in the Philippines are patronizing our own songs. In fact, some would say if they were to choose between the two genres, they would choose K-pop despite the language difference and even though they would need first the help of google translate to identify the meaning of the lyrics. This paper focuses on how the patronization of foreign music like Korean pop songs have affected the music industry here in the Philippines. What influenced them to like this genre and how it emerged in our country.

Define Music As A Whole

Music is a concept of an organized sound. It differs from sound like animal sounds, human speech and machine-made sound because they don’t follow a certain organization of notes. In short, it is still called sound but with order and unified composition. A music has the quality tonality such pitch and rhythm. The earliest forms of music are drum-based, percussion instruments and the most accessible things that could produce this sound are rocks and sticks. These kinds of music have emerged from the music of the South American Indians and African Natives who still cling to some of the ancient religious practices. By the time of 4000BCE, the Egyptians have created harps and flutes, and by 3500 BCE lyres and double-reeded clarinets had been developed. In Denmark, by 2500 BCE an early form of the trumpet called “natural trumpet” was made. It is valveless and depends completely on manipulation of the lips to change pitch. In fact, one of the most used instruments of today was made during the 1500 BCE and it was the guitar which later became a base to the emergence of violin and harpsichord. In 800 BCE the first recovered piece of recorded music was found. It was written in cuneiform even though cuneiform was not a type of musical notation and was a religious hymn. And by the time of 700 BCE, existed the records of songs that include vocal with instrumentals. This is when the new dimension of music has risen.

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As the music upgrade through time different types of it are made. A few of these were the musical theatre, jazz, classical music, folk music, rock, blues, country music, popular music and many more. Music is said to be organized, yes but it doesn’t mean it has to be pleasant to hear always. It is where music has become a conveyer of emotions, experiences that is in the form of notes. people make music because according to Gordon Allport and Abraham Maslow – humanist psychologist, it may be one among other means toward self-fulfillment, integration, self-actualization; for easthetic existentialists such as the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre yet it is another crucial department of choice and freedom.

Music all in all, was not plain unnecessary sound and it can never be defined that way because it creates tone, melody that has aesthetic beauty even underlying message in it expressed by the who composed to make his side b heard through it. Music also creates the mood around you, in a way that it may uplift it or make it gloomy depending upon its type.

Define KPOP

Korean popular music or commonly known as K-pop is a type of music which originally emerged in Korea specifically in Southern part of it. It is a music genre that consist of electronic, hip-hop, rock and R&B music. The contemporary form of K-pop emerged during the 1990’s, the advent of this phenomenon goes way back. Moder- day K-pop has been the result of a decade- long cultural belnding that started in the 1950s. Music was introduced and influenced to them by the westerners, the Americans and African people. These influencers are enthusiast and artist at the time of the Korean War. In the decades that followed, South Korea picked up from the greatest musicians of all times such as Marilyn Monroe and the other popular names in American pop culture. The initial concept began with the formation of girl groups, which is again an idea borrowed by the South Koreans from the legendary Andrew Sisters and the Ronettes. In short, the history of K-pop doesn’t originally exist from them but because of the influences and inspirations brought by the leading names in the global music industry specially the American pop culture.it is not only composed of boy band groups but also girl groups and individual groups. In 1992, modern K-pop was ushered in with the formation of Seo Taiji & Boys, whose successful experimentation with different music styles had sparked a paradigm shift in the music industry of South Korea. As a result, the integration of foreign musical elements in song production has become a common practice in the K-pop industry.

K-pop in the modern day, is nothing less than and audio-visual treat for teenagers, young adults and young at heart music enthusiasts. Due to technology and internet, the music genre has gained gigantic number of fans supporting them from across the globe and still continues up until this present time despite of the differences mainly the language. A proof to this was South Korea has been recognized by Time Magazine as “South Korea’s Greatest Export”in the first half of 2012 wherein it gaimed nearly US$3.4 billion. Back in the late 1990’ it gained popularity in East Asia, it entered the Japanese music market towards the turn of the 21st century. In the late 2000’s, it grew from a musical genre into a subculture among teenagers and young adult of East and Southeast Asia. The current visible spread of K-pop is mostly seen in some parts of Northeast India, the Middle East, Latin America, and North Africa.

Philippine Music & Its Present

The Philippine music is the showcase of Filipino culture, belief and traits through music. Just like other countries’ music. Philippines has different varieties of music too, some are brought by the influence of the Spanish period just like the harana and kundiman that became famous in the Spanish era. Harana is a courtship song based on Spanish- Mexican culture while kundiman is a form of romantic tagalog song also based on Spanish structures. We also have our own indigenous music just like the gong music which comes in two types; the falt and bossed gongs. We have gong chime or commonly known as Kulintang. It was believed to have been introduced by India to Southeast Asia in the late 10th century or the introduction of bossed gongs of Java through India in the 15th century. Yet we also have our own Filipino pop song or better known as “OPM” which stands for Original Pinoy Music. The Philippine pop singers were made famous in the year 1970’s by artist such as Basil Valldez and Freddie Aguilar. Contemporary Philippine music just like OPM became a reference to the music compositions of the Filipino ancestors. Majority of the OPM is originated in Manila and most of them are in Tagalog language yet right now we could observe that other Filipino dialect songs have emerged in the industry just like Bisaya songs.

Aside form this there are still other genres of Filpino music just like rock, hip-hop reggae, jazz and more. In terms of global competition Philippine music is also in for the trend. Filipino artist produces MV (music videos) showcasing the Asian Pop in television channels like MTV and MYX.

What is the current situation of Philippine music industry nowadays? According to the article written by Bjorn M. Biel there are different factors affecting the current state of the Philippine Music industry nowadays. We are all aware that the world is changes through time. We cannot deny the fact that we need to adapt to the changes brought by the society for us to survive. A best example of this is the evolution of music streaming. Back in 1990’s we hear music in the form of playing the cassette tapes, recording CD’s but then as time passed by they were being replaced by the new idea of technology which is online streaming. It brought big impact specially to the deny in the sales of marketing of Philippine music. Thus, it has become the reason why Filipino People have become more exposed to foreign music.

Influence And Emergence Of KPOP In The Philippine Music

The emergence of Korean pop in the Philippine music or what they normally call as the “hallyu”s meaning Korean wave brought great impact in Philippine music industry. Filipinos adored Korean pop songs more Original Filipino Music which is a little bit disappointing because even though we share same culture practices and traditions yet we don’t share common interest. It should be because we are Filipinos then we must patronize our own music first before adoring the work of the foreigns. Since, the earliest appearance and trend of Kpop here in our country in 2008, many studies and observations have proved how our people adored and will choose Kpop over OPM. A statistical data done by(Cruz, A.K), showed that the most number of population who indulged themselves to Korean music more than their own are the youngsters age ranging from 12-21 years old. Imagine how it will greatly affect in the neglection of listening to OPM. It has now become less entertained and its sad for the part of our own artist because they can’t see their fellow Filipino people promoting for their own tune. A study conducted by (Cruz, A.K), states that there are certain factors that affects popularity of K-pop in the Philippines and these are the internet, mass media and peers. The generation now are much inclined to internet than the previous generation and when we say internet in just a few clicks you could find anything you wish to find. K-pop being one of the grossing topic in the internet captured the interest of the youngsters. The mass media includes the social media, 60% of the respondent in the survey said that they became aware of the K-pop through seeing them in social media hence, this showed that they were being influenced by the social media. And lastly, there are also respondents who answered that they knew K-pop because of the peer influence.

Thus, this means that the existence of K-pop fever in our country can’t be contained anymore and are growing as time goes by. One way or another there are many ways in which they would still be able to identify them if ever they don’t have knowledge about them by now.

Patronising K-POP Instead Of OPM

Patronizing Korean pop songs affected the music industry in the Philippines in a way that it has become a choice of most people making our own songs less valued. Why is it that they don’t understand their language unless they’ve learned about it or they’ve translated the lyrics of the song yet many are so infatuated in it. Some will say that they had formed an emotional attachment to the artist because they could fell the emotions in their songs. For example, the death of a prominent idol in Korea, Jonghyun who had been a singer for almost ten years. To his fans, his songs were inspiring and catchy as well as how dedicated he is to his job they somehow had the feeling of attachment to that person through his music even though they’ve only seen him in Social media and internet. And by the time he died, his fans from across the country grieve in his honor.

To support my stand in this paper I conducted a mini survey in through social media and one on one interview to few Filipinos who’s a fan of Korean pop songs. First, I asked them why do they like K-pop songs and my second question is what do they think is the effect of patronizing K-pop songs to the music industry of the Philippines? The persons I have interviewed are mostly teens and young adults since they compose the greatest number of those who likes K-pop songs in our country. The respondents answer are as follows:

“It’s because I like their upbeat music and playful dances. Also, they are very talented, and I like how they sing” -anonymous k-pop fan

“Even though I don’t understand the lyrics but because for me their song is catchy it makes me wanna dance along.” – anonymous k-pop fan

Because they have unique style and Kpop song could fulfill the characteristics of music that I like that I can’t find in OPM songs and other genre. Also, it has good beat and rhythm. It suits my kind of genre the RNB and pop music. – anonymous k-pop fan

“I liked Kpop songs because they don’t sound baduy to me. They don’t repeat their concepts though some are but in making music they have their way on how to make their music unique.” – anonymous k-pop fan

“I like k-pop because their songs were nice plus they produce nice MV’s also most of them are good-looking”

From all the answers of the respondent’s majority of them like K-pop song because of the quality of the music but not its message. Other reasons are obviously nothing related to music but were just a few factors that contributed to their interest in Korean pop songs.

For the second question about what they think is the effect of patronizing K-pop songs to the music industry of the Philippines? the responds are;

“Of course, only a few will patronize the Philippine music and they will lose interest in it because they have invested their interest in another. Now, I am starting to like it again because of the appearance of new bands with good songs just like Ben and Ben.” – anonymous k-pop fan

“Patronizing k-pop music in our country affects the Philippines music industry in such a way that people in this generation somehow losses interest in our own music and some do not appreciate OPM.” – anonymous k-pop fan

The effect of patronizing kpop music to Philippine music industry is that many Filipinos will embrace more prior to the culture of korean and the original Filipino Music will be least appreciated by many Filipino citizen especially the current generation which is prone to foreign culture.”

The effects have pros and cons. Pros are it can be because of their techniques and styles. For example the new boy band called SB 19 who are pure Filipinos but they are trained in Korea and perform in a Korean style of performance that is why they are now adored by most Filipinos. In this case since many Filipinos specially the teens and young adults are fond of K-pop then if we assimilate their techniques into ours chances are, they will now be fond of OPM. The cons are if we try to assimilate their technique, then there’s a big possibility that time will come we will forget the true nature of our own Music also it can be inferred that they only patronized our music again bot because of its true nature but because of its adaptation. – anonymous k-pop fan

“The effects would of course have a positive and negative side. The positive side is the Philippine music industry would be challenged to improve their standards or basis of what is the aesthetic of music. Deny it or not they need to adjust to the demands of the people in order to cope up with the trends and survive in the music industry. While the negative one is, the original way of music won’t be preserved anymore. It’s like saying, we’re just copycat to other and we just prove to our people that we cannot make our own distinction from others. We need to make Filipino people see and believe that we can do songs that is something to be proud of.” – anonymous k-pop fan

From all the answers above we could say that the effects of patronizing Korean pop songs have brought positive and negative impact into the music industry of the Philippines. For me, patronizing others work isn’t bad, it just simply shows that you have the sense of appreciation but in this case wherein a fellow Filipino ignores the songs of his fellow citizen to patronize and idolize a foreign song would greatly affect the Philippine music industry.

Hence, to summarize it all the condition of Philippine music right now isn’t that good. Yes, there maybe some who would still stick to adoring their own Filipino songs yet what about others? We all have this saying that “Love yourself before you love others, if you can’t love yourself then you cannot love others”. This saying is similar to us as a whole Filipinos who should learn to love our own not just in music but in other Filipino aspects before we embrace others culture, aspects and work. We should be proud of what we have, there is nothing to be ashamed of because our music is just one the distinctions of what a true Filipino is.


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