Saturday, 24 May 2014

Krontjong Orchest Eurasia - Terang Boelan (1928)

The song "La Rosalie" was composed by Pierre-Jean de Béranger (1780-1857), a French lyricist. It became a popular French melody, and was prominent on the island of Mahé in Seychelles. The song's popularity spread across the French occupied territories in the Indian Ocean and reached as far as the Malay Archipelago in the late 19th century.

"Allah Lanjutkan Usia Sultan" is the state anthem of Perak, Malaysia. The state anthem was created during a state visit of Sultan Idris of Perak to England in 1888. It was noticed that no anthem existed to greet the Sultan. The Aide-de-camp of the Sultan, Raja Mansur ibni Sultan Abdullah, did not dare to tell that no anthem exists and so instead hummed a song he knew from the Seychelles, a melody originally written by Pierre Jean de Beranger. After he told the Sultan about it, the sultan accepted the song as the anthem. The lyrics 'Allah Lanjutkan Usia Sultan' were written by Raja Ngah Manur bin Raja Abdullah.

The song was later introduced into an Indonesian Bangsawan (Opera), which was performing in Singapore. In no time at all, the melody became extremely popular and was given the name 'Terang Bulan (Bright Moon)'. Aside from its dignity and prestige as the Perak State Anthem, the song became a Malayan "evergreen", playing at parties, in cabarets and sung by almost everybody in the 1920s and 1930s. The song was also spelled as 'Terang Boelan'

The oldest known recording of "Terang Boelan" was made
by the Hague krontjong ensemble Eurasia in London (Edison Bell Studio) in 1928. Eurasia was a band formed by Indonesian students from Leiden and Delft. Hannie Maks played the krontjong (keroncong) guitar.

The keroncong guitar is a small ukulele-type slender guitar (related to the Portuguese cavaquinho) from Java island, Indonesia, mainly used in Keroncong music (pronounced "kron-chong"), which has Portuguese influence (from the late 19th century).

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