Dangdut StoriesA Social and Musical History of Indonesia's Most Popular Music

Dangdut StoriesA Social and Musical History of Indonesia's Most Popular Music

Andrew N. Weintraub

Print publication date: 2010

ISBN: 9780195395662

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Abstract

Dangdut Stories is a social and musical history of dangdut, Indonesia's most popular music, within a range of broader narratives about social class, gender, ethnicity and nation in post-independence Indonesia (1945-present). The book shows how dangdut evolved from a debased form of urban popular music to a prominent role in Indonesian cultural politics and the commercial music industry. Throughout the book the voices and experiences of musicians take center stage in shaping the book's narrative. Quoted material from interviews, detailed analysis of music and song texts, and ethnography of performance illuminate the stylistic nature of the music and its centrality in public debates about Islam, social class relations, and the role of women in post-colonial Indonesia. Dangdut Stories is the first musicological study to examine the stylistic development of dangdut music itself, using vocal style, melody, rhythm, harmony, form, and song texts to articulate symbolic struggles over meaning in the realm of culture. The book illuminates historical changes in musical style, performance practice, and social meanings from the genre's origins to the present day. Developed during the early 1970s, an historical treatment of the genre's musical style, performance practice, and social meanings is long overdue.