15 Unique Styles of Music in Indonesia

Music is one of the most important parts of life. Through music you can convey intuition of inner feelings, although the main function is as an entertainer. Some of people say music is a passion, pleasure, even a money source. No matter what function of music, many people are familiar with music. But apart from it all, have you known that Indonesia has some styles of music aside from Traditional Music of Indonesia? So, here we would like to show styles of music in Indonesia you might know.

  1. Langgam Jawa

 Langgam Jawa is basically keroncong music adaptation that modify with Javanese gamelan and tembang tradition. Tembang is traditional Javanese song. The difference is, this Javanese style has typical rules, not just any song can be called as Langgam Jawa. The rules of Langgam Jawa such as: the size of the beers is 4/4, the tempo is moderate, consists of four sentences for each eight bars, so in one langgam there are 32 bars, the order of all the vocal ending for four sentences is A-A-B-A.

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  1. Campursari

Campursari is one form of music styles that grows and develops in Java, especially Central Java, Yogyakarta Special Region, and East Java. The music is actually a combination of pentatonic rhythm instruments (traditional Indonesia) and diatonic rhythm (Western style). By combining two different musical elements of this type produce a new type of music, it is called Campursari. Early Campursari was introduced by Ki Narto Sabdo through Puppet Shows.

Campursari today is known as the modern Campursari. One of Campursari singer that famous is by Manthous in 1993. Manthous with his musical sensitivity, He innovates with the old Campursari Model. He tried to combine a set of gamelan, for example: kendhang, gong, mixed with ukulele, cak- ruk, and flute. (Read also: Indonesian Traditional Puppets)

  1. Dangdut

Dangdut music is a combination of Malay music and Indian music, then this music develops and presents with distinctive characteristics that are different from Malay music. Characteristic of this dangdut music that is using tabla instrument, a kind of percussion instrument that produce sound of “ndut”. Dangdut music has a light rhythm, this is what makes the singer and connoisseurs of this music to wiggle his limbs. Dangdut music is very easily accepted by the community because of the simple lyrics so easily digested.

First, dangdut only enjoyed by the middle and lower society. Recently, Indonesians from several age started to love and often enjoy it. Famous musicians of Dangdut such as Nella Kharisma and Via Vallen could successfully take the Indonesians youngster’s heart to love this genre of music.

  1. Keroncong

 Keroncong is music with melodious and calming tunes. The trademark is the lilting music and the extra soft tones. But, have you ever heard keroncong music? Keroncong is one type of music that has existed since many decades ago. The music that did not have the drum set had once prevailed in its time. Basically, keroncong is a music that can be listened by various ages. This light and enjoyable music used to be very close to the citizens of Indonesia. That is why you should preserve this kind of music.

  1. Pop Sunda

Characteristics of the Sundanese pop song that is easy to digest the lyrics and melodic aspects easy to learn. For this aspect of melody it seems that in almost all the Sundanese pop music have almost the same melodic contours. Pop Sunda is one of music styles whose existence is functioned as the preservation for Sundanese cultural heritage. This music uses a typical Sundanese vocal accompanied by Sundanese gamelan or modern instrumental music. (Read also: Culture of Sundanese)

  1. Music of the struggle

This music was born from the condition of Indonesian society which is being colonized by foreign nation long time ago. By using music, the fighters try to inflame the spirit of unity to rise up against the invaders. The poems that were created at the time, generally contain invitations to struggle, invitations to sacrifice for the homeland, soul, and so on. The rhythm of the music was made fast and spirited, and ended with firm tone. Some of the songs have been set as the national mandatory songs that played in Indonesian Independence Day Celebrations.

  1. Pop Music

The American pop music began popular in 1920, while the history of pop music in Indonesia was just started in 1960. At that time this type of music is very popular for teenagers, young people, and the general public. Pop music is often called Band marked with the accompaniment of electronic and modern electronic instruments. Musical instruments that required to produce pop music instruments are: Guitar Melody & Rhythm, Bass Guitar, Drums, and Piano. Pop Music of Indonesia is still the most favorite up to now.

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  1. Indorock

Indorock is a musical genre, was born in 1950 in the Netherlands and Europe. It is a fusion of Indonesian and Western music. The Indorock genre was pioneered by a band from Timor (NTT) called The Tielman Brothers in 1945. Started a career in Surabaya with four members of the Tielman family, Andy (vocals, guitar), Reggie (guitar rhythm, vocals), Phonton (bass, vocals) and Loulou (dram, vocals).

Indonesians today aren’t familiar with Indorock but they are more familiar with international rock bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stone, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin when in the 1950s the Indonesian music genre was a famous musical genre in the hemisphere world especially Europe. However, one of the oldest bands in Indonesia The Tielman Brothers who fought in Europe and inspired the birth of The Beatles.

  1. Indonesian Hip Hop

It has been many years that hiphop music thrives and developes in Indonesia. Up to now you must often see the various hiphop group that appearances on various television shows, entertainment stage, or in various mass media.  Hip hop music involves the rap techniques, as the example speech-mode voiced through rhythmic rhymes, accompanied by rhythmic background music. Nowadays sometimes hip hop has already been really popular in Indonesia. Many youngsters of Indonesia create the song with hip hop style.

  1. Folk Music

Folk music can be defined as two different musical entities. It is a traditional music / populist music spread in every country. Folk music can also be interpreted as a musical genre that emerged in the mid-20th century, or better known as The (Second) Folk Revival or Contemporary Folk Music that peaked in the era of the 60’s. However, folk music comes back to be the most favorite in Indonesia. The proof, there are currently many names of music groups that play the style of folk music, one is the most favorite is Payung Teduh.

Other (11-15)

  • Indonesian Jazz music: In Indonesia, it has been known since the 1930s. In jazz music performances the musicians use musical instruments such as saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar, and piano.
  • Reggae: This is actually a type of Jamaican music. It refers to a special style of music following the development of ska and rock steady music. Began to known in Indonesia since 1986.
  • R&B: The short of rhythm and Blues. This style is a combination of other genres of music such as gospel, jazz and blues. The famous musician in Indonesia that familiar with this syle such as: Glenn Fredy, Marcell, Ressa Herlambang, and Reza Artamevia.
  • Punk: The famous punk music lyrics are pretty easy-listening with a stomping tone. In Indonesia Superman is Dead is a punk band that becomes the favorite for youngsters.
  • Heavy metal: It is a famous musical flow with its trademark, high guitar distortion, long guitar solos, fast drum tempos and frontal lyrics. While in Indonesia many metal bands like Seringai, Burgerkill, and Jasad.

Those are the music styles in Indonesia. Some of them might be one of your favorite music styles. No matter what is your favorite music, don’t forget to always preserve your own traditional music .