Annie Landouw

The name Annie Landouw (Landauw) is not as well- known as that of Waljinah, yet this remarkable woman was perhaps the first famous keroncong singer to come from Solo

Annie                                       1939 promotional still (source Wikipedia)

‘Miss Annie Landouw’ was born in Surakarta in 1913 to the family of Imam Redjo. Following an extended childhood illness she lost her sight and shortly afterwards was adopted by her aunt and Dutch uncle, Anton Ferdinand Roland (AFR) Landouw. AFR enjoyed keroncong and often entered singing competitions. It was he who introduced young Annie to keroncong.

In 1927 Landouw entered and won her first competition, the Fandel Concours Keroncong in Surakarta. The fourteen year old was then approached and signed up by recording company BEKA, after which she moved to Batavia.

She quickly became a popular performer. By 1938 she was singing keroncong with the radio troupe at NIROM (Dutch East Indies Radio Broadcasting Corporation) in Bandung and the following year she joined Krontjong Lief Java, one of the first keroncong groups in the colony. This group of local musicians practised in Kampung Kepuh, Kemayoran, Batavia.

During this period Landouw also provided the vocals for and appeared in several films, and had recording contracts with Decca and Columbia. In the album Keronchong Pearls, recorded by Columbia, Landouw sings Air Laut, Stambul O Tuhan, Fatimah, Keroncong Spesial, Kr. Moritsko and Stambul Masuk Keluar Kampung. The singer composed Stambul O Tuhan and Keroncong Spesial.

Landouw’s became immensely popular: in 1940 her fans organised a fundraising campaign to help pay for eye surgery. She refused to accept the money.

She married twice, had five children and fourteen grandchildren and lived with her second husband in Kampung Kepuh Kemayoran until his death in 1981. She was then cared for by one of her daughters until her death on 17 August 1982.


Keroncong Asli 2

More thoughts on Keroncong Asli …

Keroncong Asli refers to songs that were played in Tugu, Jakarta, in the nineteenth century or were composed in the same form. They are perhaps the most westernised songs as they had not adopted local influences: they came from the Portuguese and were sung in Portuguese language, were in diatonic major-minor scales and had simple harmonies.

Keroncong Asli also refers to songs that were composed in 28-bar form and have certain characteristics.
Keroncong Asli songs are identified by the kr in the title eg Kr Mawar Sekuntum
A Keroncong Asli song can be played in a different style eg beat, rock; and/or with a different harmonic arrangement (keroncong garapan).

An asli ensemble (seven instruments) can play non- asli songs.
There is a strong agreement among keroncong musicians today that Keroncong Asli is a purely Indonesian music.

Here’s another keroncong asli song: Kr Mawar Sekuntum – Tuti Maryati – Wahrweb

Keroncong Asli 1

During the period between World Wars I and II American dance music was often played in the ballrooms of large hotels in Indonesian cities such as Jakarta and Bandung. The popular 32-bar songs soon influenced the development and structure of local Indonesian music: Indonesia Raya was composed in 32-bar form and Kusbini notated the song Moresko in 32 bars, a form that became known as Keroncong Asli (original keroncong).
Basic Structure of Keroncong Asli Songs:
diatonic scale, 4/4 time, andante tempo; 28 bars grouped into 4-bar phrases, plus a prelude; the 28 bars are often repeated.

Harmonic structure:
Prelude      I – – –      I – – –     IV-V7-      I – – –
A1              I – – –      I – – –     V – – –      V – – –
A2             V – – –     II# – – –   II #- – –    V – – –
Interlude    V- – –     V – – –    V- – –       IV – – –
B1              IV – – –    IV- – –   V – – –       I – – –
B2              I – – –      V7 – – –  V7- – –     I – I7 –
B3             IV – V7-   I – I7 –   IV- V7 –   I- – –
B2             I – – –       V7 – – –   V7 – – –   I – – –

played on flute and/or violin, sometimes guitar; usually an improvised decorative rubato passage based on the 7th row (B3); leads to the tonic chord and a slight pause, after which the rest of the band enters
similar to prelude, may include voice
often features wide intervals between and within melodic phrases; each phrase accommodates one line of text; little phrasal repetition; characterised by progressions to the sub-dominant which create the melancholy atmosphere.
The singer performs counter melody, balancing the main melody with expressive improvisations featuring glissando and gruppetto styles and rubato tempo.
Instrumental accompaniment:
usually played on seven instruments – violin, flute, guitar, interlocking ukuleles, pizzicato cello and pizzicato bass; may include additional instruments
in Bahasa Indonesia; in 4 verse pantun (poem) structure; usually talk of love; sometimes improvised but popular texts often have fixed forms.

Click below to enjoy examples of keroncong asli songs
Kr Tanah Airku – YouTube – OK De Java FSSR UNS Surakarta
Kr Sapu Lidi – Toto Salmon – You Tube
Kr Sapu Lidi – Mus Mulyadi- YouTube