Good news for students, bamboo musical instrument makers, and bamboo plantation owners!
The Department of Science and Technology-Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) has launched the Bamboo Musical Instruments (BMI) website which will serve as a repository of BMI photos and videos, and list of bamboo species used in making BMIs.
The virtual launch was held on Nov. 25 as part of the DOST’s celebration of the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW).
DOST-FPRDI Director Dr. Romulo T. Aggangan said the outputs of the Institute’s BMI Innovation Research and Development Program are contained in the website.
Launched in 2019, the program aims to provide solutions to the following issues faced by the BMI industry: durability, bamboo species, changing traditions, and timbre/tonal quality, poor playability, inaccurate tuning.
“Once touted as a “poor man’s timber”, bamboo is now recognized as an ideal alternative to timber for its versatility, fast growth and excellent properties,” Aggangan said, describing that wood is another promising alternative to wood.
He said in 2019, the FPDRI embarked on a research and development program to improve BMIs in the country.
“Through the application of science, researchers behind this initiative developed technologies to help better the process and hasten the production of BMIs.”
The major features of the website include the Overview of the Program, Philippine BMI, List of Commercial Makers and Indigenous Peoples who are producing or making BMI, Bamboo species used, Value Chain or maker, Different Processing technologies, BMI Processing Center, and Publications such as monograph, coffee table, compendium, and teaching module.
Aggangan said the stories of indigenous communities and local craftsmen who engaged in BMI production can be found at phbmi.com.
Also featured in the website are FPRDI-developed processing technologies and the technical services being offered by the Institute.
“With the information made accessible to the public, we hope that local entrepreneurs and start-up businesses will venture into BMI production,” the FPRDI chief said.
He said they also encouraged schools to use the content of the website as an additional learning material for K-12 students. “Our program partner, the UP Center for Ethnomusicology, has prepared teaching modules that are for everyone’s use,” he added.
The BMI website is also expected to benefit BMI makers, music enthusiasts; bamboo plantation owners or suppliers; and the general public.