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.