Monday, October 28, 2019

Keroncong Untuk Selangor | A dying art music.

Keroncong is believed to have Portuguese and Indonesian origins. The history indicated that sailors on Portuguese ships played small long-necked guitars and sang songs. Over time, the local Indonesian embraced the music and localize it to what we have today especially in Solo. Keroncong first appeared in 1891 in Surabaya and in 1920s keroncong spread like wildfire all over the island of Java. It was made famous only during the 1935 and 1945 circa ie the Big Band era, it became popular in the hotel ballrooms of the middle classes. It has made its journey to Malaysia and eventually nestled in the strait state as well as Selangor.

Keroncong reached the peak in the 1960s but it fade soon after, now often dubbed as ‘the music of old people’. A great and painful struggle to not only attract the younger generation, but also to nurture and create a pool of apprentices to this beautiful music. One of the ways is to incorporate keroncong-ise modern music to ensure it stays true and forever.

Some said that keroncong is a small ukulele-like instrument in an Indonesian music, and that the word keroncong originated from the krong-krong sound made by strumming the instrument.


Double Bass

A 6 piece musician consists of violin, guitar, chak (4 string ukulele-like instrument), chuk (3 string ukulele-like instrument), cello and double bass. The vocalist sings in vibrato style, the chuk emphasizes the on-beat; the chak accentuates the off-beat; the 3 nylon strings cello acts as drum (amazing right), whereas the double bass punctuates the melody; and the guitar plays melody.



Keroncong has 4 stages of evolution todate.
  • Keroncong tempo doeloe or old tempo keroncong (1880-1920),
  • Keroncong abadi or evergreen keroncong(1920-1960)
  • Keroncong modern or modern keroncong (1960-2000)
  • Keroncong Millenium or millenium keroncong (2000-todate)

No nation can claim that their traditional musics are free from foreign influence. Keroncong music was introduced to Peninsular Malaysia by Javanese immigrants. In the state of Selangor, most of them lived in Kelang, Banting and Hulu Selangor. There were suggestions to make Keroncong as Selangor Traditional Music but no concrete actions taken by Selangor authorities - By Dr. Ariff Ahmad.

If you wish to engage with them, either to know more, learn or get them to perform at an event, feel free to call them directly J

Rentak Selangor Fam Trip is in collaboration with UPENS (Unit Perancangan Negeri Selangor), Tourism Selangor and all its sponsors with #GayaTravel as media coordinator.

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