A Doll from India, Mr. Mahmud, and the Elvis of Indonesia

Andrew N. Weintraub

in Dangdut Stories

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780195395662
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199863549 | DOI:
A Doll from India, Mr. Mahmud, and the Elvis of Indonesia

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This chapter traces in musicological detail the historical connection between dangdut and orkes Melayu of the 1950s and 1960s in the urban environments of Jakarta and Surabaya. The chapter discusses the main figures, musical pieces, musical elements, and processes of “translating songs” from Indian film songs that would become significant in dangdut. The history of dangdut represents the juxtaposition of people coming together with a new creative sensibility in orkes Melayu of the 1960s, specifically in Jakarta and Surabaya. Among the influential figures discussed in this chapter are Ellya Khadam, Munif Bahasuan, A. Kadir, and A. Rafiq. The chapter also addresses the contrast between orkes Melayu and pop Melayu of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Keywords: Melayu; Jakarta; Surabaya; pop Melayu; Indian film song; Ellya Khadam; Munif Bahasuan; A. Kadir; A. Rafiq

Chapter.  6173 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ethnomusicology

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