Dede Kurniasih – Djemplang Bangkong

I’m glad to present another guest post – this time from collector Michael Robertson. It’s a lovely example of a musical style we haven’t yet explored here – more proof of the depths of early recording! – JW

Out of all the great music of Indonesia, from the gamelan groups of Bali and Java to the swaying guitar and vocals of krontjong, the music that has tickled my ear the most has been tembang sunda. Tembang sunda is a genre of sung poetry of the Sundanese people of West Java. It is accompanied by a kacapi, a type of zither, and a bamboo end-blown ring flute called a suling. It seems to have started in the court of the Regent of Cianjur in the mid-19th century, and is still sung today.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any information on Dede Kurniasih, except that she recorded at least seven sides for the Nusantara and Irama labels in the late 1940s, and possibly an LP. As you will hear, she has a very strong and expressive voice. The kacapi is a little far back in this recording, but overall it’s a fine example of the genre.

– Michael Robertson

Lyrics (thanks to Bambang Setijoso)

Daweng ngebang bang areuy dunungan

Bangkong dikongkorong kujang
Ka cai kundang cameti, da kole
Kole mah buah hanggasa
Ulah ngomong samemeh leumpang,
Da hirup katungkul ku pati
Paeh teu nyaho di mangsa
Hirup katungkul ku pati
Paeh teu nyaho di mangsa

Omong oyong oyong urang
pesini kunahu bisi da hate
Hate mah buah narasa ua ngomong samere rinti

Da hirup katungkul ku pati
Paeh teu nyaho di mangsa
Hirup katungkul ku pati
Paeh teu nyaho di mangsa

Dede Kurniasih – Djemplang Bangkong

Technical Notes
Label: Nusantara
Issue Number: D. 467-52
Matrix Number: imco 742

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