On January 31, 1917, Jose M. Maceda, pianist, ethnomusicologist, and National Artist for Music (1997), was born in Manila.
Maceda graduated with a music diploma at the Academy of Music of Manila in 1935 before he was sent to Paris, France where he studied piano.
He also studied musicology at Columbia University, anthropology at Northwestern University, and ethnomusicology at University of California.
Maceda embarked on a life-long dedication to the understanding and popularization of Filipino traditional music. He had done research resulting in the collection of an immense number of recorded music taken from the remotest mountain villages and farthest island communities.
He also visited many places in the Philippines, Sarawak, Thailand, Kalimantan, Africa, and Brazil.
He wrote papers that enlightened Filipino and foreign scholars about the nature of Philippine traditional and ethnic music. His experimentation also freed Filipino musical expression from a strictly Eurocentric mold.
Usually performed as a communal ritual, his compositions like Ugma-ugma (1963), Pagsamba (1968), and Udlot-udlot (1975), are monuments to his unflagging commitment to Philippine music. His other major works include Agungan, Kubing, Pagsamba, Ugnayan, Ading, Aroding, Siasid, Suling-suling.
Maceda was professor emeritus at the University of the Philippines (UP) and a specialist in both Indonesian and Filipino music. He taught piano and ethnomusicology at the UP College of Music from 1952 to 1990.
He died on May 5, 2004 at the age of 87.
Reference: Philippine News Agency