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Music and Dance in Indonesia

The culturally diverse archipelago of Indonesia comprises of over 18,000 islands, each of which is characterized by its own unique cultural and artistic history and temperament.

This diversity in the moral fiber of its many islands has given birth to hundreds of different forms of music, which often accompanies dance and theater.

To know more about the music and dance in Indonesia, it is important to understand the various cultural influences that have eventually shaped up the country.

The music of Java, Sumatra, Bali, Flores and other islands have fascinated many Indonesian and international scholars who have documented and recorded, and done research on this.


Pop and folk music in Indonesia

Speaking of Indonesian pop music and Indonesian folk music, the two are very different things and naturally quite diverse too. Indonesian music embraces rock, house, hip-hop and other genres, as well as distinctly Indonesian forms. Indonesia has several kinds of "ethnic" pop music, generally grouped together as Pop Daerah (regional pop).

These include Pop Sunda, Pop Minang, Pop Batak, and others. In the regional pop music forms, mostly local languages and a mix of western and regional style of music and instruments is employed.

Dance in Indonesia

Like most of the performing arts of the Orient, dance in Indonesia is also believed to have begun as a form of religious worship. Today, with the modern influences steadily creeping in, the old traditions of dance and drama are still being preserved in the many of the government-run or supervised art academies and dance schools, apart from those which flourish in the courts.

In the early times these were performed in the royal courts to entertain royalty, however, now these dances have eventually reached the broad strata of the common people from the enclosed courts, and have incorporated a more spontaneous form of expression.




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