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Kroncong and Tanjidor - Two Cases of Urban Folk Music in Jakarta Author(s): Ernst Heins Source: Asian Music, Vol. 7, No. 1, Southeast Asia Issue (1975), pp. 20-32 Published by: University of Texas Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/833924 . Accessed: 26/01/2011 13:56
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AND TANJIDOR KRONCONG TWO CASES OF URBAN FOLK MUSIC IN JAKARTA* by Ernst Heins Authenticity is a 19th century illusion.
to the enterprising Aren't we grateful person who, some of gamelan in Java the 'authenticity' 400 years ago, spoiled artisan-musician Or to the medieval by adding a rebab to it? dulcimer to the traditional a fingering mechanism who applied which instrument the rather unauthentic and thus constructed we are still happy to have around as the piano? its from day to day, and all changes, Every culture some things elements However, change accordingly. component in themselves but, put in other hands, may remain unchanged of kroncong and The cases connotations. other may have gained this folk music, two types of Indonesian examplify tanjidor, musical while the components, viz. phenomenon of changed reality and texts remain and in some cases melodies instruments as we shall of 3-400 years, over a stretch unchanged relatively see. and of kroncong For a long time the unauthenticity now and therefore until has been taken for granted, tanjidor This is attention. much musicological neither has received that neither due to the fact 'high', type is 'beautiful', mainly in the sense of earlier music' or 'pure native ethnomusicology. in his of kroncong mention Jaap Kunst makes only marginal work Music in Java (1949, It is played, standard 3/1973:375). but and unmistakable "with enthusiasm he writes, musicality, In the M.G.G. real musical culture." without the slightest einen oberflachlichen "Diese Musik besitzt he writes, (vol.6:1796) Dasz Hawaiian Music. Charme, etwa in der Art der sogenannten auf Kosten der ihr hoch in rein javanischen Kreisen ihre Pflege ist sehr zu Boden gewinnt, Tonkunst iberlegenen, eigenen is not even mentioned bedauern." The other by tanjidor, type, Kunst. two before The aim of this you these paper is to place urban Indonesian different types of contemporary essentially in Indonesia's Both flower music by way of a first acquaintance.
A slightly a paper at at Council
as of this was presented article version different Folk Music of the International the 23rd Conference 1975. Regensburg,
the metropolis of Jakarta four million). capital, (population; kinds of changes Both reflect several in that they originated in a foreign but could only come to full culture, development in exclusively Indonesian while strong surroundings, maintaining elements of the original musical cultures. The process of 'Indonesification' has taken a couple of hundred years, but in the case of kroncong this has gone so far, that is has process even outgrown the boundaries of one single urban area to become one of the most important of the country's facets national of commercial music. repertory popular Yet kroncong and tanjidor are far removed from Indonesia's modern elite circles. Jakarta's modern urban elite, i.e. those and intellectually politically, socially, financially content themselves either with the traditional arts eminent, from their of birth or descent, viz. regions gamelan, wayang and traditional or with a large theatre, puppetry supply of home-made rock (called ben from English band), internationally with floor-shows and steambaths, or the elite styled night-clubs at either end of the continuum. pops up occasionally In sharp contrast with this, Jakarta's transmitted orally urban folk music is the music of the proletariat, in living and behind disproportionately populated (city quarters) kampongs around modern business downtown along the narrow districts, canals and the roads, and rivers to the city. railways leading In order to better understand and tanjidor we kroncong have to go back in Indonesia's colonial to the arrival history, of the first in the archipelago. In the early Portuguese ships 16th century the Portuguese set up loosely connected tradingall over Indonesia as part of their overseas posts policies, which were directed at obtaining trade monopolies with the local and fortresses and established population. They set up factories while the local settlements, Portuguese simultaneously converting to the Roman-Catholic version of the Christian faith population to strengthen their anti-Muslim Pockets of such strong power. old Portuguese were to be found all along the strongholds colonial such as in Southeast West and routes, trading Africa, East India, the Malay Peninsula, and at the farthest at point, the Moluccas in East Indonesia. Even at this moment, Portugal still half an island in the Indonesian East: possesses Timor, which lately has reached the headlines. these merchants' did not only However, Portuguese ships but other races as well: carry Portuguese Caucasians, Africans, continental Asians from India and Ceylon, and Malays. These had originally been taken along as slaves but had joined converted to Christianity and in many Portuguese households, cases were freed. so-called "black Portuguese" Many of these
in the neighbourhood of the various where settled posts trading Soon they became known as Merdequas, they set up new families. a term into Dutch Mardykers, which later Mardicas, changed later from Sanskrit litt. derived mahardika, "tax-exempt", Their settlers. used in the sense of free, Christian foreign mixed of foreign-ness, cultural consisted primarily baggage African-Indian Christian descent, religion, European-derived a language based on Portuguese, and Portuguese-derived dress, forms (Abdurachman musical 1974). are still known in Ambon (Moluccas) Mardika settlements The of Jakarta. and Tugu, a coastal to the Northeast village was strongly of the Tugu-Mardika people Portugueseness" and still is. in their demonstrated music, Tugu Present-day of the original is still inhabited Mardyker by descendants of Christian closed network population. They form a rather and craftsmen), of the men: families (main occupations fishing music-tradition. which are outspokenly kroncong proud of their on the front it at night, porch of one gathering They perform is embedded in of the houses; thus almost any social gathering in turns, often music. volunteering perform kroncong Singers tunes. to allegedly classical, old, original impromptu texts the "Portugis" community at Tugu Although they claim otherwise, of Portuguese cannot be proven to be a group of descendants were ancestors At most it can be said that their Europeans. were masters their in Portuguese service slaves who, after a someand gained were freed replaced by the Dutch colonists, what special status based on religion, language foreignness, was Christian and music. Their religion (predominantly dialect an overseas-Portuguese their Protestant), language in which only in the 18th century gave way to "Indio-Dutch", later times to be almost by modern Indonesian. entirely replaced falvour: Lusitanian Their family names have a strong Quico, Da Costa. names: So have Christian Jakobus, Delcroes, with Dutch names like Jan, Estrellita, Domingus, Evangelina, in. Klaas, Piet, Kroncong musical incidentally slipped words. includes many Portuguese terminology of Jakarta, the village In 1619 when the Dutch captured from which and formed a settlement fortress a military built in mercantile their inter-insular operations they directed the Portuguese. with their vehement predecessors, competition to have the growing made it their The Dutch authorities policy and even islands from the other settlers inhabited city by free were by far outnumbered These free from abroad. however, settlers, from the archiand later from South Asia, at first by slaves, in to settle itself. too, were encouraged Chinese, pelago ethnic Out of these as it was soon called. groups an Batavia, new ethnic entirely group has grown, that of the Batavians. in special, The original quarters, separate groups used to live has been weakened by the cross-pattern but this territoriality status and socio-economic of settling by occupation largely (Castles: 1967). -22-
of 1930 and that of 1961 as his basis, Taking the census estimates Batavians and Lance Castles 22.9% for the indigenous of Chinese descent. The largest ca. 5% for Batavians and (32.8%) and Javanese percentages go to the Sundanese In spite of the Madurese 185, table VI). (ibid: (25.4%) of ethnic in Jakarta and the diminishing fluidity groups of such ethnic caused by the "powerful distinctions groups been at work in Jakarta" forces that have always assimilative of a variety of ethnic 159), (ibid: notably idiosyncracies, to exist. and music, continue folk theatre Very language, influence of the Chinese-descended is the stylistic dominant folk music in Jakarta, but of to-day's group in the shaping Jakartan to two non-Chinese but equally this paper is limited Indonesian urban folk music. of contemporary types name Indonesian-Malay Kroncong is the (onomatopoeic?) of a musical instrument. It is a small guitar five-stringed is also the Polynesian ukulele. however, Kroncong, resembling the pars pro toto for the entire musical ensemble (of which this the is only a part) the term indicates instrument and, thirdly, In the kroncong ensemble. performed by this genre and style of the instrumentation stresses ensemble, chordophones plucked a pair of kroncong, a one to three guitars, European origin: and an ad lib mandolin. it comprises one violoncello Further or two violins a transverse flute and some (bowed), (seruling) small percussion A look at the score tambourine). (triangle, of the dance tune "Kafrinyo" some of the (Ex. 1) reveals musical parameters. is considered of Tugu as an "Kafrinyo" by the people In a authentic music. example of the old, type of kroncong sense it is Western music, not only in its instrumentation, of in its use of functional but also harmony consisting chords dominant and some of the (triads, sevenths), European chord progressions. its Furthermore title and words are in a which the performers call bahasa kristang, Portuguese patois, bahasa kristal or even papia kristal, of the "language Christians". or Cafrinha describes Thus, the title Kafrinya, or more probably a Black-African 'a Goanese mestiza cafre, mestiza da Franca 1970, quoted (hence the name Cafrinha) (Pinto in Abdurachman 1974:10). The instruments are tuned in European chords and melody follow the patterns, tempered tuning; guitar of European harmony. The Spanish-type guitar (Hongkong made) and the kroncong are manufactured from one piece of locally wood. the melodical material of the first too, Rhythmically, voice and flute stand close to European in violin, concepts their low degree of ornamentation, 4/4 metre, rigid prolongation of the stressed first etc. The role of the second violin beat, is revealed in the Ex. 20, 'Kucing Hitam' where it is seen as a based on chord relations with the "crooning" countermelody -23-
and the flute. The role of triangle and violin leading and off-beats is one of stressing beats tambourine respectively, to the tambourine but in other pieces rhythm might be adjusted In the Tugu group the guitars have simply that of the cello. a metrical-harmonic whereas the mandolin carries function, a simple the main melody or ad libs either counter-melody. the mandolin is often In other groups replaced by another is typically The kroncong itself only strummed on guitar. the off-beats. a heavily The second violin "improvised" plays prettified with rubati, filled sforzandi, heavy melody in a crooning style on sustained with big melodic vibrato notes, jumps often The matching the octave, and broken chord passages. exceeding to the main melody, close violin sticks first doubling relatively line itself floats flute and voice. The vocal languidly usually no doubt thus from the strict metres of the accompanists, away on the or "sentimentality", depending stressing "feeling" So far there is nothing of the observer. very standpoint of pretraits if certain characteristic sensational, however, are kept in mind. war European cafe-chantant style ensemble trait of the kroncong But the truly striking themselves cello. is the plucked explain Kroncong musicians of kendangan it as an imitation they even apply (drum-playing; but they are the technical double) rangkep, (drumming-)term It seems, is applied. as to which style not specific however, in has many characteristics cello that the plucked kroncong of itinerant common with the gay and lively drumstyles syncopated in the of the ciblon street musicians, patterns (batangan) in West Javanese Central drum patterns gamelan and of certain to clarify Javanese Example 2B below may serve gamelan degung. for There are no grounds, these however, parallels. stylistic are literally in kroncong patterns yet that the cello assuming a than closely rather from certain deduced imitating patterns, and Central since Sundanese drum style, two-handed quick, to the sphere do not originally musical Javanese belong styles noni.e. Jakarta of the original Regional, population. such as kroncong of kroncong, versions Jakartan, jawa, however, to the predominant closer type of relationship may have a still drumming in the area. Jakartan of original trait Another kroncong unique quite is the way "in the original and of later style" compositions in the In "kucing are treated. in which chord functions Hitam", chosen (Ex. 3) and "Kroncong Moresko" "Kota Priangan" randomly the the introduction following 1972:22-23) (Kusbini immediately a few after it returns makes way for the subdominant, tonic seventh. followed and is dutifully measures by a dominant the is inserted between dominant a shrill However, secondary because is not yet over, The surprise and its dominant. tonic but not by the tonic is again followed, seventh this dominant -24-
subdominant after which the song is chord, by a sustained with the conventional finished I-IV-V-I cadence. The supposedly oldest like the old chestnut "Nina Bobo" (Ex. 4) kroncong pieces and the allegedly archaic "Jan Kagaleti" (Ex. 5) do not have these chord progressions. Nor do they show traces surprising of an unmistakable Chinese melodic influence found in many later Jakartan It shows that kroncong music suits kroncong songs. other groups as well as the one at Tugu. Today's repertoires of kroncong and the Jakarta folk ensemble Chinese gambang is a kromong have a number of songs in common. "Jali-Jali" case in point. Due to its wide distribution among the poorest of Jakarta's it might be labeled the capital's population national anthem. It is, of course, in completely performed different is culturally but melodies determined, styles: Style are not, when they can travel between especially easily or even amalgamated cultures such as in Jakarta. adjacent Also in other urban centers farther removed from Jakarta, such as Bandung (Sunda), Surakarta, Jogyakarta, Semarang and in Central and East Java) kroncong now has a firm (all Surabaya foothold. Local groups perform either songs composed in the Jakarta in which case they are classed as kroncong, or style, local musical traditions. In the latter they have introduced case the generic term langgam is used (Kusbini 1972 however uses a different with at Langgam is kroncong terminology). least two ingredients of local traditional in music: 1) text the regional and 2) scales and rhythms derived from language musics "Sunda Kelapa" imitaregional (Ex. 6) with its (e.g., tion of the Sundanese Central Javanese songs like sorog mode). and a number of others are Piyen katon apa , Kembang Kacang vivid modes, examples regional of borrowed especially pelog, in langgam kroncong. The instrumentation, is that of however, traditional Jakartan ensembles but it sounds sometimes kroncong as if we are hearing to Western gamelan music transfered instruments. The parallels are obvious: violin: rebab; flute: melodic suling; guitar(s): kroncong celem-pungan; cello: ("cuk"): bass ketuk; kendang ciblon/batangan; plucked Association with gamelan, (when used): is however, gong. absent from diatonic Javanese kroncong. The history of kroncong remains hidden. Its popularity in large urban centers with a mixed racial is population documented since the early 20th century, but it was doubtless a hitherto unrecorded preceded by past in which some type of sixteenth folkmusic must have played a century Portuguese decisive with possible African and South Indian role, alongside influences. a parallel forces itself Involuntarily upon the music historian: the Portuguese fado. It shares some, but not all, of the characteristics of kroncong, musical certainly and otherwise, such as the preference for harmonic and melodic to accompany a languidly plucked vocalist. chordophones "crooning" -25-
which may not be overlooked Another is the common element in which both fado and kroncong social context both are grew: meant for and composed by urban musics originally specifically a probably multi-racial Pimentel 1904, quoted group (Alberto Much further is needed, research 1961:254). however, by Gallop the analogies and fado to a common to trace between kroncong in Portugal's ancestor colonial past. information of the more recent Considerable past of is offered a performer himself (1972), kroncong by Kusbini and composer of kroncong music since the 1920s, when the tradition became institutionalized and therefore kroncong written tradition, probably changed from an oral to a (partly) in the due to the demands of the expanding radio stations towns of pre-revolutionary Indonesia larger (Surabaya, in the early of this Surakarta). kroncong Already years century went through a remarkable The Komedi Stambul development. run by a folk theater, a then new kind of vaudeville theater to use in Surabaya started Eurasian (ca. 1900), entrepreneur and as parts of the drama as interludes songs on stage kroncong a special called thus generating itself, type of kroncong, these Stambul II. songs were part of the sentimental Originally on the stage, but gradually scenes they were also performed outside the theater. as far as I know, be Stambul II (the "II" cannot, from the old and other new kroncong differs accounted for) lists Kusbini than in style and form. type in mood rather "Stambul II is to be sung by a as follows: these differences but more refined, in the ordinary kroncong style, single singer He and moving halus softer lembut, ("lebih mengharukan"). as "beautiful Stambul II melodies further describes (indah) sentiment and full of popular (penuh sentimen kerakyatan)"; the score of the song "Masuk Kusbini He presents 1972:28). as a wandering musician, describing Kampung Keluar Kampung', suitable which he thinks an example of "Andante con dolorosa" in ordinary of Stambul II and adds that unlike to the character in the cello should play his "drumming (kendangan)" kroncong, The other and not in double ) rhythm. single (rangka instruor joyful are not allowed (lincah) too, ments, livey (gembira) improvisation but are supposed to stress a longing (rindu character. and moving (mengungkapkan) sad (sedih), Singing should be refined estetis, lembut), and soft (halus too, style, does if at all, serieus. dinamis, 1973:31). (Kusbini Rarely, about characterizations one come across by Indonesians outspoken of musical mood and the emotional their music; significance is or gamelan playing styles, music, gamelan compositions e.g. itself situation or social in the musical, dramatical implied verbalized. rather than being though, Significantly, explicitly in most and characterizations one finds tempo indications sources. written Kroncong songs are invariably kroncong -26-
con brio, con dolorosa andante or moderato, labeled andante, which indicates the diversity of the ethnic groups which and consume kroncong. produce Traditional words rarely deal with anything kroncong sweet girls else but love. and synonyms for love, Usually of the texts. nearness to the heart make up the framework Often Malay pantun verses are quoted or paraphrased impromptu, the length of the melody permitting. In summary it may be stated that kroncong came into situation within the colonial being out of a multi-racial in the late in the 16th century system of the Portuguese of their mercantile and settlements. periphery strongholds it was the music of the Christian Mardijkers, Initially those of Batavia on (Jakarta), especially drawing heavily and folk Western harmonies instruments, Portuguese diatony, overseas most other reminiscences Portuguese patois. Gradually of Lusitanian culture but kroncong drew remained, disappeared in other ethnic such as that of the growing Indogroups towards Its other urban areas. European group and expanded musical elements of Western and nontradition, embodying Western musics, from an orally transmitted one which changed was the cultural of the original Batavians (nonproperty to a written music influenced Sundanese, non-Javanese) by the commercial folk theater Komedi Stambul, and popular, of radio in other stations subsequently by the establishment in the early decades of the twentieth major urban areas The introduction of electric Hammond organ century. guitar, and vibraphone and the rhythm of the Latin-American ballroom and later, of rock, marks the next stage in the history of and its dissolution into national Indonesian kroncong popular music. Illustrative of the urban situation in Jakarta and its of Bogor to the south immediate (the regencies surroundings and of Krawang and Bekasi to the East) is the case of tanjidor. To my knowledge no research, Indonesian or otherwise, has been done on this the Indonesian type of music with one exception: Paramita Abdurachman mentions (1974) anthropologist tanjidor in her paper "Portuguese in Jakarta". I quote: presence "Another form of music, associated with open-air is the music, the brass-bands so named after the Portuguese tanjidor, tanger, to play on musical instruments. a tangedor was Although a player on stringed the word became originally instruments, associated with open-air to a procession and music, appropriate also a military are still display Tangedores part of [...]. and other in Portugal. There festivities religious processions is little on the history and function of the 'tangedor' knowledge in Indonesia, but open-air bands were seen and heard in the streets of Jakarta festive in particular occasions, during around the new year [...]" (Abdurachman, 1974). -27-
I allow myself, in the light of such scarce evidence, to add that another of the colonial situation in aspect Indonesia was the large number of slaves in the households of Jakarta's Unlike which European families. leading kroncong, served the needs of non-Europeans, the Mardykers of primarily who originated Batavian from any house-slaves, Tugu, these from Bali, Ambon and (but mainly Sulawesi, part of Indonesia were the principal life Java itself), carriers of musical Almost all Dutch colonists up among the European colonists. to probably even if it was the 1900s left the making of music, to Indonesians. for exclusive meant European consumption, servants and soldiers at first, then paid musicians, Slaves and soldiers These Indonesians, thrown after abolition. in the cultural were given pot Batavia, together melting on which they had to provide instruments European musical music at the numerous social events with which the Europeans to fight tried boredom in the Indies: soirees, parties, and military etc. These civilian receptions, parades, of wind instruments, such as ensembles consisted mostly Their French horns and drums. clarinets, cornets, trumpets, consisted includes) (and still partly originally repertoire the to incorporate extended but was gradually tunes, European and rhythms known in the streets and squares of oldtunes folk music. The well-kept i.e. the local traditional Batavia, instruments then were handed down to later being durable, The bands they form still carry their original generations. known as Orkes Kompeni. sometimes name, tanjidor, Portuguese meant to play marches, and other polkas Although originally the repertoire and parade music, 19th century European ballroom that Tanjidor to such an extent, has been gradually replaced and as kroncong, described Jakarta-Chinese, may be loosely on the instruments of the Sundanese gamelan music played of some small addition band, with the inevitable European brass such as a gong and a kecrek. local (traditional) percussion, of music of the streets is the festive Tanjidor music it is open-air Unlike outskirts. Jakarta's kroncong, which defies In dazzling any rule heterophony, par excellence. the and practice, of European musical and regulation theory to related the leading clarinet melody part in a style plays rebab and tarompet that of both the Sundanese (oboe), a trombone and a and cornets, accompanied trumpets by three two-note the latter patterns kempul-gong playing sousaphone, which are derived in those of the Sundanese pieces gamelan style Two drums (a snare drum from Sundanese gemelan repertoire. of the effect and giving and a bass drum, both hand-beaten and a small gong a set of small cymbals patterns), gamelan-drum of whom none is musically The musicians, the ensemble. complete When they play in a semi-circle. on chairs are seated literate, at which elsewhere occasions at festive (the same occasions ceremonial they draw huge crowds. gamelan are played) -28-
who own their instruments The number of these bands, tanjidor I recorded them in South is as yet unknown. collectively, of Krawang, but they are reportedly and the regency Jakarta such as in big demand in other neighbouring regencies, that this The fact and Bekasi. remains, though, Tangerang music is never used at official statesparkling open-air authorities but stays confined Jakarta occasions by the Greater on the hitherto folk Research to the village neglected sphere. has barely of Jakarta and other urban centers musics begun. the values which facts Yet is may reveal regarding significant rule the sound of music in Jakarta's back-alleys.
WORKSCITED Abdurachman, 1974 Paramita R. in Jakarta. Unpublished 'Portuguese' presence Association paper read at the International of Historians of Asia. Yogjakarta. The ethnic of profile II: 153-205 (Ithaca). Portugal. Music in A book Java. of Jakarta, in: Indonesia
Lance 1967 Rodney 1961 Jaap 1973 1972
Gallop, Kunst, Kusbini
The Hague. In: Musica 1:19-43.
Kroncong Indonesia. Yogjakarta. Kroncong Batavia. als
Manusama, A.Th. (1918)
and slides, made in Tugu and in Desa Original tape recordings Greater Team of the Jakarta Jakarta, Parung, by the Collecting Arts Council in cooperation with the author, 1973. September
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