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12
February

Ismanto

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The song entitled BHAKTI is an original keroncong song that tells about gratitude for the independence and desire of duty to beloved country. As in the lyrics: in the independence world, I want to fulfill devotion to ask the blessing of GOD to be hearted. The keroncong song which is dedicated beautifully by Ismanto who has a strong and characteristic vocal character. The songs summarized in a golden keroncong album of Ismanto. Not only being talented to sing keroncong, Ismanto also composed keroncong songs sung by other keroncong singers, including Waldjinah with the song entitled "Elinga Bebaja Ing Marga", "Wujung", and etc.

As the title, the song ‘Jauh Dimata Dekat Dihati’ tells about the love story of two lovers who are now seperated. Listener, after 1950, keroncong music has the main place in Indonesia, compared to other music genres. At that time, there came the legendary singers such as Waldjinah, S. Dharmanto, Ping Astono and Ismanto. Waldjinah and Ismanto won the Radio singing contest (Bintang Radio) held by Radio Republik Indonesia (RRI) in 1950. However, there were not many references telling detail about Ismanto's music career in keroncong music world.

18
January

Ikke Nurjanah

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Welcome back to the regular program -Music Corner, a musical segment which introduces you to Indonesian music either traditional or modern one. In today’s edition, we will present Indonesian regional songs from Jambi. The song is "Batanghari" by Susi. This lyric tells about the Batang Hari River, the longest river in Sumatra which becomes a famous tourist attraction in Jambi province. Batang Hari is described as a river that looks calm, though actually swift. Batanghari song also mentions some places flown by the Batang Hari River, such as Penyaguan and Tanggo Rajo. The uniqueness of the song -Batanghari is the lyric in the form of poem from beginning to end. Jambi region's mainstay song is also impressive that Jambi is a region of poem. Rang Kayo Hitam is a powerful and courageous king who lived in the days of the Jambi Malay Kingdom which was under the rule of Mataram Kingdom. One day, Rang Kayo Hitam thwarted a tribute delivery from his brother to the Mataram kingdom. The Mataram kingdom also planned the attack and told a master to make a dagger. The keris was taken by Rang Kayo Hitam and named Siginjai. The legend of Rang Kayo Hitam's bravery and magic power was also revered in the song "Rang Kayo Hitam". The song "GADIS RIMBU BUJANG" comes from Tebo Sub-district and was composed by Lukman Sa'i. This song is often sung in a duet because it is a song about a young man who is interested in a girl from Rimbo Bujang. The initial lyric of the song "GADIS RIMBO BUJANG " is sung by men, because it tells the youth attraction to the girl. Meanwhile, the reff song "GADIS RIMBO BUJANG" is sung by women who tell that the girl also likes the youth. The song composed by Yahya AB tells the story of someone who always fared badly. In addition, he is materially deprived, but the person always faces trials and insults. But at the end of the lyric of the song "KETIMUN BUNGKUK", there is a message that the wheel of life continues to spin; after bad luck, surely good fortune will come soon. 

16
January

Welcome to the Rhythm of the Indonesian Archipelago, a weekly segment introducing you to Indonesian traditional music and musical instrument from across Indonesia. This week, we’ll invite you to know more about a traditional instrument from Indonesia. Talking about traditional music in Indonesia will never end. In West Java, there is new innovation of traditional instrument. The province, which is rich of bamboo trees, makes West Java people never stop to create innovation. At Citengah village, in Sumedang, people make instrument from bamboo, namely Songah or Songsong Citengah. Bapak Ulis, who is a creator of Songah instrument, explained why this instrument is called Songah. 

“…Songah is Songsong meaning blowing bamboo because I am from Citengah, so its name is Songsong Citengah.” Pak Ulis said 

Early February 2012, at Citengah village, South Sumedang sub-district, a tradition called “Hajat Lembur” was held and art performance was also held at the event. The event was opened uniquely by blowing “Hatong” massively. Hatong is wind instrument made from bamboo which produces sound like bird’s sound. After the event dismissing, young people used pieces of bamboo to be blown and combined with other bamboo instruments. The idea was inspired from the habitat of  Citengah villagers who still use bamboo’s Songsong as tool to blow fire and to begins dim when cooking at the kitchen by using stove or Hawu.

“…Previously, I only had Hatong but my friend tried to blow Tamiang like bamboo’s big flute. Then, we tried to combine Hatong with Tamiang. In fact, we found tone in harmony and melodious combination.” Pak Ulis added. 

The sound of the instrument is heard weird but soft and able to bring anybody who hears it to imagine as if she/he is at shady forest with fresh air. That’s why, Songah is also called forest music. 

What does Songah instrument consist of? Here is the explanation of Bpk. Ulis.

“...It  names Hatong Buyut, Hatong sakur, Kokoprak or Karinding, and then Songsong Nengah, Songsong Nengeun and Anom flute. All of them are Songah music.” Pak Ulis Explain. 

 

Citengah villagers who still preserve mutual cooperation, make them be able to pass limited creativity and use anything at surrounding areas. Well, that was a glimpse of traditional instrument from West Java featuring Songah instrument.

 

 

 

09
January

Tarawangsa

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Welcome to the Rhythm of the Indonesian Archipelago, a weekly segment introducing you to Indonesian traditional music and musical instrument from across Indonesia. This week, we’ll invite you to know more about a traditional instrument from West Java. Indonesia is rich of some traditional instruments. Angklung is one of the traditional instruments from West Java which is popular in the world. West Java has not only Angklung or Calung which is made from bamboo, but also various kinds of instruments which are not widely known to the public. Tarawangsa is one of them. This instrument can give magical impression to the soul when being played. There is no definite proof about since when Tarawangsa  instrument has appeared in Sundanese land. According to story of Rancakalong people, West Java, Tarawangsa art has existed since the 8th or 9th century. At that time, the glory of ancient Mataram kingdom or Medang was still triumphant. The word of Tarawangsa is called in a number of ancient Sundanese scripts such as Jatiraga or Jatiniskala. In these scripts, it is mentioned that Tarawangsa is musical instrument which is heard in heaven. 

The team of Voice of Indonesia –VOI when going to Tasikmalaya some time ago met with Bapak Aseng, a leader of Tarawangsa studio at Cibalong village, Tasikmalaya. 

 

"If I am not mistaken, in the historical book, Tarawangsa has existed at Galuh kingdom, Ciamis or maybe Tasik also entered in  Galuh kingdom. So, having wife who created Tarawangsa is an art that is usually played for traditional ceremony. But now, according to the elder, it is for entertainment. If they want to harvest, they are entertained by Tarawangsa; putting the rice into the house is also entertained with Tarawangsa. Thanksgiving to the Almighty because abundant rice, a lot of people call Tarawangsa to entertain.” The Culturist of Tarwangsa Bapak Aseng said. 

 

Tarawangsa is wooden instrument which is played by being plucked and swiped jointly. The instrument consists of sectional stem like guitar and part of fiddle like fiddle of violin. Its string has two strings, the closest string with position of fiddle is played by swiping. Meanwhile, another string is played by being plucked with forefinger. The wood which is used for making the instrument is from tree of Dadap, candleberry, Jengkol, and Kenanga.

The thing, which makes Tarawangsa more unique, is friction tool which uses horse hair. People say, the horse hair produces magical power of Tarawangsa. The tone played in Tarawangsa instrument is usually Laras Pelog in which every octave consists of five, six, or seven tones with different scale. It is accordance with characteristic of Jentreng tone of pelog; with tones da-mi-na-ti-la.

 

According to pak Aseng, “…The original tone is Lindu. Lindu is basic tones which exist on madenda, degung, pelog, so the basic tone is Lindu.” 

 

Rhythm, which is from Tarawangsa, certainly has its own attraction for people who listen to it.  That’s why, most West Java people still consider that Tarawangsa is a holy instrument which is made to entertain Gods in heaven. It causes Tourism Office of Tasikmalaya, West Java to preserve and to introduce Tarawangsa instrument to the public. Dadang, Head Section of Tourism Office of Tasikmalaya explained the Tarawangsa conservation effort. 

 

“…Firstly, it is to coordinate to the artists to attend Tarawangsa conservation because Tarawangsa artist if it is not organized, maybe they will go anywhere. So, there is coordination with related side, especially with tourism office which organizes cultural events in the society and how the way out in order they are also getting spirit in preserving it.”  Pak Aseng added. 

 

All efforts are held in order our generation to be able to enjoy amazing Tarawangsa instrument. Hopefully, the efforts will produce the good result for traditional instrument conservation. That was a glimpse of traditional instrument from West Java. 

 

 

06
January

Dhira Bongs

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Welcome back with me…… in Music Corner, a musical segment which introduces you to Indonesian music -either traditional or modern one. In today’s edition, we will introduce you to Dhira Bongs. Nadhira Soraya Nasution or well-known Dhira Bongs is a female Indonesian musician who was born in Jakarta. Then, she who lives in Bandung, West Java, presents unique music. Generally, musical genre which is played by Bongs is jazz, but especially Dhira Bongs calls it as “Explorative Pop Jazz”. 

Music in “explorative pop jazz” style is not presented alone by Dhira Bongs. Although she is soloist, Dhira Bongs often performs on stage together with her friends who play various instruments such as trumpet, trombone, saxophone, flute, violin, percussion, keyboard, bass, and drum. 

Until now, Dhira Bongs produces two albums and four singles. The first album of Dhira Bongs entitled “My Precious” was released in 2013.While, “Head Over Heels” becomes a title of Dhira Bongs’ second album in 2016.  Her fourth single is “Puncak Pohon Bandung”, 
“Really Do”, “Make Me Fall in Love”, and “Struggling”. 

 

Dhira Bongs often performs on stage, starting in Bandung, national jazz performance, until tour in Japan. All her performances on stage are always appreciated by her fans.

 

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