Thursday, April 15, 2010


This kind of music generally found in around Central Java and Yogjakarta where citizen live in harmony with the nature, simple life in village surrounding by peaceful traditional music sound, gending, blue  panorama of hills, blue and yellow paddy fields, birds singing on cages hanging high. Occasionally in a big ceremony they invited a group of Keroncong, special legend old instruments and its entourage.

The instruments are mixing of Ekulele (a mini guitar) just like one in Hawai, a Big old type Bass, guitar, bamboo pipe or seruling, flute, violin,  organ, drum and other modern instruments, lately. The music's players mostly are senior citizen, some are grown men - none of women. The costumes used usually were local made, traditional such as Batik and sarongs, make the environment be a special, Javanese style culture.

Government own television company, TVRI - the first TV in the country - regularly perform this group of Keroncong music, recently following by a few TV stations for selected segment of viewers, mostly senior citizen and Java tribes, lived in Java island or Javanese lived in other islands, especially in transmigration settlement - Java citizen transmigrated in Government program.

For long period of time, the singers dominated by seniors, selected women  and men singers. Unfortunately the youngsters not so interested to joint Keroncong group music. Only few young women interested to join. They preferred modern songs.

Interesting to know that one of the legend group of Keroncong since Dutch era, not in Java provinces but in the Capital Jakarta city named Keroncong Tugu, near  Tanjungpriok port area. Up until today the descendant of the players kept the group playing.  The history noted that this music originally came from Portuguese, had been in Indonesia since 500 years ago.

Since Keroncong belong to the old era, no wonder  if we may find it outside Indonesia like in The Nederland and Suriname, ex Dutch's colony whose some of the citizen importing to Suriname for plantation workers. Malaysian citizen in the South part, Johor baru had this music brought by Javanese ancestors long before Dutch era.

In Yogjakarta itself, some students from out of Java island who spend a long period of time study in Yogjakarta city, influenced deep down by this music, enjoyed the soft chanting and humming in up and down tone, especially in a very high tone, especially women singers.

So while visiting Yogjakarta to see the old culture, you may asking your travel agent to find out the restaurants or cafes who perform this legend Keroncong music.