Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My World: The Indonesian Music of Keroncong



Acculturized from the Portuguese folk music of fado, keroncong began to develop in some parts of the Indonesian archipelago, especially in the Tugu area of what is now Jakarta and Maluku (the Moluccas), in the 19th century. It has since acquired a distinctively Indonesian flavor and hence been considered as an Indonesian musical heritage.

The root of keroncong is said to have been introduced into the Indonesian archipelago by the Portuguese sailors and officers in the 16th century. The earliest form of keroncong is called Moresco, which is characterized by - among others - the dominant use of chordophonic-percussion musical instruments. In its development, various local musical instruments and elements, such as some instruments of the gamelan, seruling bambu (Javanese and Sundanese bamboo flutes), and musical notes, were introduced into the ensemble, thus giving it a distinctively local flavor.

For your information, a keroncong ensemble typically consists of cordophonic musical instruments such as the violin, the guitar, cello, contra bass, three and four strings ukuleles, plus a flute, and some gamelan instruments.

Keroncong became very popular throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Its popularity began to fade only with the introduction of The Beatles' style of music in the 1960s. The music still survives and has its own fans, however, as is shown by this group of young keroncong musicians performing at the Braga Festival last December. I was happy to see that this performance did not only attract audience from the older generations, but also a lot of young people who seemed to enjoy it as much as their parents and grandparents did.

To see what the performance was like and listen to a sample of what this music is like, please enjoy the following 1 minute 52 seconds video clip which I recorded from their performance. (This video can also with viewed at my other blog BANDUNG DAILY PHOTO'S sister site BANDUNG DAILY VIDEO.)



This post is BANDUNG DAILY PHOTO'S participation in MY WORLD Tuesday meme. To see other participants' posts from around the world, please follow the link.

17 comments:

Clara said...

I wasn't able to play the video. It said it was private. I'm disappointed because I'd really love to hear them play. To American ears it seems an unusual combination of instruments. Thanks for the music lesson!

D Herrod said...

Interesting. The video clip didn't work.

Eki Akhwan said...

Thanks for the visit and info Clara, Herrod. I'm sorry that you could not play the video. I just found out that it was the setting in my U-Tube account. I have corrected it. I hope it works fine this time.

Eki Akhwan said...

Anyone else, please do kindly let me know if it works this time.

M.Kate said...

We have keroncong here but I hardly get to hear them..maybe once in a blue moon. Gamelan is played here too. Too bad most people go for the modern music nowadays.

uncleawang said...

It's was nostalgic to me when listen to keroncong.I love that kind of music..and Hatty Koes Endang is my fav. singer for her few keroncong version.

ramblingwoods.com said...

I was able to see and hear the clip with no problem Eki. I was struck at how it sounded somewhat like american country music to me. Very enjoyable and interesting....

chrome3d said...

That bass player is so cool and the instrument is too.

Virginia said...

Didn't work but I loved the photos and and as always thank you for your fabulous posts and photos.
V

the donG said...

i really like cultural music performances. very very interesting because even if we dont understand it, we get to appreciate it.

Larry Jordan said...

Hi Eki,

The video played just fine for me. I'm glad you put that in you post because, as I read the post, I was thinking "I'd like to hear some of this music" and there it was!

Thanks for sharing!

Arija said...

Interesting and fun music.

Glennis said...

Indonesian music sounds very different specially with the gangelon metallic noise.

Clara said...

Thanks for fixing the video. I really enjoyed it.

antigoni said...

Great post and photos.

JM said...

Hi, Eki!

I'm afraid this has not much to do with the portuguese Fado... Fado is sadness, is drama, and the portuguese guitar has to be present, but nothing better than give you two Youtube links:

- this is Amalia Rodrigues (in 1961), the late all time Fado diva: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VEsoPN7rrw

- and this is the new voice of Fado, the spectacular Marisa: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7UDQDl1tcw&feature=related

Just put it loud and listen to their fantastic voices. Hope you enjoy!

Babooshka said...

I waited until I play before commenting. A wonderful group of musicians. It's good to hear new ideas come filtering through.