Best 11 Traditional Songs of Indonesia (#5 is Interesting)

The traditional song will always be popular all the time because many people are using it in their practice of singing. The song of the Indonesian region is very diverse because of the many tribes that reside in this country. In fact, thanks to the diversity of these traditional songs, Indonesia has often upheld its name throughout various international choir competitions in the folklore category.

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below is the lists of traditional songs that are well-known across Indonesia:

1. Ampar-Ampar Pisang

This song comes from South Kalimantan Province with its creator named Hamiedan AC. History about the song ampar ampang banana was originally sung in an act of the people South Kalimantan making a cake / food made from bananas. This food is called rimpi. How to make this food is by way of banana is arranged (ampar) then is let to become almost ripe nearing rotten state. After that banana become dried in the sun until about the bananas are hardened and give out a very distinctive sweet smell. So the origin of the song ampar ampar banana indirectly comes from South Kalimantan

The contents of the song of ampar pisang tell the story about a banana that was arranged and surrounded by small insects that fly surrounding the smell of bananas. This animal is known to the people of Kalimantan with the name of bari bari. At the end of the song it tells the story about animals that was feared by small children  (see the word “dikitipi dawang” which means bitten by a lizard. As the story goes, it is said like that in order to scare children who like to steal banana cake that’s still in the process of drying)

2. Anak Kambing Saya

East Nusa Tenggara is an Indonesian province located in the southeastern part of Indonesia. The province has a special song for children and it’s called Anak Kambing Saya. The song of this type comes from East Nusa Tenggara which is a kind of song that’s mutually responded from the first one who asked and there is an answer later by the second person. The songs from this region are modified to be a bit modern to maintain their existence in the eyes of children.

The song is very popular among the Indonesian nation not only in East Nusa Tenggara alone. Many people who like to bring this song, can be arranged, or delivered in original lyric. The song is interpreted as a song that gets people to be excited. This song is meaningful where the parents are looking for their favorite child. Describes the togetherness and friendship of a child. Actually, this song is also used often in play in places of entertainment and game.

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3. Injit-Injit Semut

Jambi is a province rich in nature, an interesting culture, and also the wealth of creativity of its people to improve the cultural treasures of the country of Jambi. The lively traditional sounds also contributed to the city’s non-material wealth, the song also became an interesting conversation. Talking about folk songs, of course, Jambi has dozens or even hundreds of folk songs or regional songs, they are purely for the thoughts and creativity of the predecessor’s work. The song of this region is also as a game accompaniment that comes from Jambi.

The game is simple, simply pinch the back of a friend’s hand, if the pain rises then move upwards behind the pinch. And so on. Hence who are the most resistant to the pain then will become the winner of infrequently also the songs are lost and even stolen by other countries.  is one of them, our traditional song has been claimed by neighboring countries since 2000.

In fact, all the assets of this culture are something that must be maintained, preserved and inherited to posterity. Many local people have realized and started to inventory the wealth of Jambi, Associated with the song ‘Injit-Injit semut’ originating from Jambi and claimed by other countries, then our government will try to look for authentic evidence. If we have obtained the evidence, then we immediately patented the song. It’s a pity indeed, Indonesia has a lot of cultural wealth, but there is not a single hand of compassion that cares about it.

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4. Jali-Jali

The history of the Jali Jali song is believed by some groups to be born, developed, and popularized by native Chinese Jakarta through their traditional music, gambang kromong. While the natives of Jakarta, the Betawi people, recognize that they are the legal mother of the song. Betawi people are familiar with music kambang gambang.

The song “Jali-Jali” is often played by native Chinese, but the origin of the song idea should be from the Betawi cultural treasury. This is because in Betawi culture, “Jali-Jali” got high appreciation. Jali-Jali is a kind of shrub that is always in the yard of the Betawi people. Since childhood, the Betawi people are familiar with jali-jali fruit. The children made the fruit as a toy gun torch they made from bamboo and rubber bands.

This traditional song originated from Jakarta was popularized by M. Sagi (often spelled M. Sjaugi) in 1942 through his incomparable violin playing at the time, leading to the subsequent status as Betawi folk songs. In 1942, the song was sung harmonically between women and men.

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5. Rasa Sayange

Listening to this song can really make yourself move into dancing, and the tongue will be singing along to the national anthem of the region of eastern Indonesia. The song “Rasa Sayange” is a song that related in the form of advice. Seen from the lyrical lyrics of aa-bb-cc, and contains an important meaning in this life. The simple meaning of “Rasa Sayange” is the same as affection. Namely feeling the affection that is contained in the love feeling, the word “his” indicates a substitute word that refers also to people or others.

The original Maluku language song. This song is a children’s song that has always been sung from generation to generation since the first by the people of Maluku to express their affection for the environment and socialization among the people. During listening, this song is like a rhyme or a shouted poetry which is an oral tradition of the Moluccas. Therefore many versions exist of this song because the lyrics can be made itself according to the purpose of the song being played.

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Other Song (6-11)

  • Yamko Rambe Yamko : The song that comes from the Papua region tells the story of the war that occurred in this country in which many people dies. The people of the nation that’s responsible is a war hero who is willing to self-sacrifice, even to death, to defend this Indonesian state from the foreign invaders. Although the tempo of the song is fast and sang cheerfully, actually the meaning of this lyric is quite sad.
  • Tokecang : This jovial rhymic song comes from West Java. And are increasingly popular after being used as a soundtrack for children TV drama. This song is actually a companion of a certain game. The meaning of tokecang according to some people that there are geckos that like to eat nuts.
  • Si Patokaan : This poem is an ancient poetry that is often delivered by a mother from the Minahasa region to her son who has grown up and is required for that son to earn his own livelihood. This poem shows the affection of a mother to her child who could not bear to leave his son soon after he had to reach adulthood. This is a regional song from Minahasa, North Sulawesi.
  • Gundul Pacul : The song originating from Central Java is supposedly created in the 1400s by Sunan Kalijaga and his teenage friends and have deep philosophical value and noble meaning. Bald hull (gundul pacul) means that a leader is not actually just a person who is only given a crown on his head but he is also acting as a hoe carrier to farm the land and to seek prosperity for his own people.
  • Naik-Naik Ke Puncak Gunung : The song Naik-Naik Ke Puncak Gunung come right from Maluku. The lyrics of this song originally Naik-Naik ke Gunung Nona, but because it has been sung in all regions, then the song’s lyrics are changed to Naik-Naik Ke Puncak Gunung. The regional song from Maluku tells the story of a trip to the mountain, very popular among school children
  • Cublak-cublak Suweng : The game Cublak-cublak suweng, one of the works of Sunan Giri (1442 AD), a great scholar and humanist. The preaching isn’t strict but only to absorp the audiences in it meaning. This method proved very powerful to make the appeal of the native Javanese to Islamic teaching. Through the art of culture in the form of gamelan, song, or other literary works make Sunan Giri as a figure that is admired until now. The regional song that originated from East Java was an accompaniment to one of the traditional game that the player needs to lay face down and put his finger on his back. The person on the stomach should guess what finger is on his back.

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Although the songs above have been very rarely played, many people personally still remember and enjoy the lyric. There are still many more traditional songs from all over the archipelago that is popular and distinctive from each other. This is what make Indonesia a unique country with much diverse religion and culture that in turn produce admirable arts for everyone to rejoice and enjoy.