Keroncong: Where Does It Come From?

271 – Solo Keroncong Festival begin! Wana-Warni Keroncong Nusantara #2 as theme features various cities, including Solo, Tanjung Enim, Bandung, Jakarta, etc.

Before you go to Surakarta City Hall on Friday-Saturday (26-27/7/2019), Soloevent will give a glimpse of Keroncong.

Keroncong is seductive music for fiddle, guitar, ukulele, flute, banjo, bass, and cello. The singer here adds more artistic music.

FYI, Keroncong isn’t coming from Indonesian. It owes its origin to the Portuguese who dominated parts of the archipelago from 1512 to 1596. At that time, Keroncong known as Fado, is a type of Portuguese music. In the 17th century, Portuguese left the archipelago, but their music stays still.

Initially, it formed by Moresco, a Spanish dance. Then one of the songs was rearranged by Kusbini or known as Kr. Muritsu and accompanied by string music. In the 19th century, Keroncong music became popular in the archipelago to the Malay Peninsula.

Keroncong whispered when pop music lives in Indonesia around 1961. Although pop music enlarges, Keroncong will not end.

Keroncong Tugu community proves it. This community is a descendant of Portuguese slaves from Ambon who lived in Kampung Tugu, North Jakarta. They mix Keroncong with Betawi culture.

Besides Jakarta, Keroncong also reached Solo. In Bengawan City, Keroncong blended to Javanese culture, so the music style is slower.

One popular Keroncong singer from Solo is Gesang. The man born on October 1, 1917, he is a Keroncong maestro. He created Bengawan Solo. The song received worldwide attention, one of them from the Japanese government.

Because of his dedication and contribution to Keroncong, Gesang was nicknamed the Buaya Keroncong by Indonesian Keroncong. It is because Gesang can introduce Keroncong to the world.