Tag Archives | Kroncong

Bengawan Solo

Kroncong is a style of music that started in Indonesia when Portuguese settlers in the 17th and 18th centuries shared their Western instruments with local musicians.

The genre only really took off in the 1930s when the film industry in Indonesia transformed it from working-class urban music to music from the cinema. In the 1940s independence movement activists adopted Kroncong as a national form, Gesang Martohartono’s “Bengawan Solo,” written during the Japanese occupation during World War II, which we hear performed in this video, is the genre’s most famous song.