The people of Tugu, North Jakarta, are descendants of Portuguese speaking people who became slaves of the Dutch when they took over Malacca in 1641. They were released onto a small area of land east of Batavia in 1661 after they changed their names to Dutch sounding ones, converted to Protestantism from Catholicism and renounced their Portuguese traditions.
They did, however, maintain some aspects of their Portuguese heritage: including their language; songs similar to the fado which they accompanied on a small long necked guitar like the cavaquinho; and a type of Portuguese Moorish dance known as Moresko.
During the next three centuries Moresko evolved into Keroncong Tugu which has elements of Moresko in its musical expression, repertoire, style of accompaniment and style of singing.
The first known notation of the song Moresko was written by historian Manusama in 1919. Then in 1935 noted keroncong musician Kusbini notated the song into a 28 bar form which evolved into the standardised Keroncong Asli form.
Click below to listen to Keroncong Tugu Cafrinho perform Lagu Moresko and see some great original photos
Lagu Moresko menjadi dasar lagu Keroncong – YouTube.