Uggayam is a traditional vocal music among the Cordillerans. Likewise, this, according the Laory (2006) is an individual song for all Tingguian social gathering. It is used for comfort when people are working or resting or traveling on foot. When performed during social gatherings, it is done after a tadek dance or when one is appointed by the Mantinidor.
The Tingguian respondents claimed that Uggayam is the most popular of all the ethnic melodies of the Cordillera. This song, as found out by Brillantes (1987) could be classified as a multi-purpose song together with Ading, Ballagoyos and many Salidummays. They don’t have fixed lyrics but they could be supplied or extemporaneously composed by the singer according to the occasion.
An Uggayam could be sung in all occasions except during funeral rites, but it may be sung during Lay-ug or Daliis, a ceremony after the burial.
Uggayam as claimed could espouse great debates among the different participants during festivals, bodong, pre-marital arrangements, weddings, palanos and others. Its significant features lie primarily on its poetic form wherein the endings of the verses rhyme.
The text or words of the Uggayam could be traced to the Inlaud Tribe (one of the six tribes of Abra) , hence this song influenced much the other tribes. In other words, an Uggayam singer uses the Inlaud’s dialect even he comes from another tribe.
With Abra as the principal province to have adapted and still greatly practice singing the Uggayam, other Cordilleran provinces like Kalinga, Apayao, Mt. Province and Benguet have long way singing the same melody for different occasions.
Oggayam ma Oggayam ( No Literal Meaning)
God, the Creator whom everybody should remember
Respected audience of my message
My turn now comes in this occasion.
For here’s one thing I have thought of
Which I would like to refer to you
About our culture which is almost neglected
Because the young people of today
Don’t mind much about it
They don’t have much interest.
That’s why I say there might be a time
That our own culture would vanish
If we don’t remedy anymore
To induce these, our children
To treasure and preserve the traditions
Which are a legacy from our ancestors.
That’s why I say of you that we will advice and remind our children
So that they will soon learn
To treasure and respect our own customs.
Ay gayamen pay Oggayam ( No literal meaning)
It might be the reason
That our unity as relatives be strengthened
For if I recall my youth
There seems no end to the maintenance of our culture
Because the Itnegs or the so-called Tingguians
They all treasure and preserve our customs and traditions.
In the analysis made by Brillantes, she pointed out that Uggayam as a melody has a six-tone scale with the key signature at G major and the key tone is sol.
The melodic range is D1 to D2 covering an octave. It shows and average range.
The melodic intervals are hereby enumerated with the following frequencies:
Perfect prime: 20
Second minor: 2
Major second: 45
Minor third: 19
Major third: 3
Perfect forth: 8
Perfect fifth: 5 and
Major sixth: 1
The most frequent intervals are seconds indicating that the melody progresses in stepwise motion. The frequency counts of the thirds and the fourths reveal narrow skips in the melody. The primes show some repeated tones, and the fifths and the sixths manifest minimal occurrences of leaps.
The melody flows in an alternating ascending-descending pattern.
Single acciacaturas, downward and upward glides are embellishments used by the singer.
The rhythm of the song Uggayam has a non-metric time signature or free rhythm. Its tempo is moderate.
Uggayam’s form as a song is strophic, with irregular phrasing.
On the aspect of Harmony, Uggayam has only one voice or monophonic. It does not have any musical accompaniment.
The melody is a combination of syllable, neumatic and melismatic settings.
According to the respondents as affirmed by Brillantes’ findings, the singing of the Uggayam during social gatherings and its eventual preservation serve as a point of identity and unity among the Tingguians. Open lines of communication are established. In other words, this is an excellent avenue to foster personal, interpersonal and social relationships. Likewise, this serves as a parental opportunity to elders in giving pieces of advice to newly wed couples, those found to have trespassed others, among others.
In the Uggayam translated into English (Melody No. 32) indicates and exhorts young Tingguians to love their own customs and traditions. That they should not be ashamed but to greatly cherish their identity. One of their worst fears is the eventual disappearance of their culture, hence, everyone is persuaded to partake in their preservation efforts. In here, learning to sing the Uggayam is encouraged.
One’s native song is the sweetest melody to one’s ear. It is pleasing and appealing. Hence, the conduct of Uggayam would spell out the song’s unique characteristics as compared to other folk songs.
Since Uggayam has a melody has a common time signature, and easy to follow, this could be a nice music lesson especially on rhythmic pattern drills.
The song’s embodiment of the customs and traditions of the people could be a legacy by itself. The more frequent they sing Uggayam means the prouder they become and better understand their culture.#