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The advent of mass media - particularly cassettes and films - in Indonesia has led to the flowering of two mass popular music forms, namely, dangdut and jaipongan. Kroncong, an older urban popular form, presents a mixture of Portuguese folksong style and Indonesian features; dangdut style, while in some respects an extension of the orkes melayu tradition, is heavily influenced by Hindi film songs and Western pop; only jaipongan is purely Indonesian - or more properly speaking, Sundanese - in origin and style. While kroncong and dangdut have received some scholarly attention (Becker 1975, Heins 1975, Frederick 1982), jaipongan has received only passing reference in a few publications. An examination of jaipongan is well overdue, in view of the phenomenal popularity of the genre not only in its home, West Java (Sunda), but throughout greater Java. This article is a preliminary study aimed at introducing the genre to English-speaking readers.


This article was originally published in Asian Music.



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