National Music Day in Indonesia Date in the current year: March 9, 2024

National Music Day in Indonesia National Music Day (Hari Musik Nasional) is celebrated in Indonesia on March 9. The holiday was established in 2013 to commemorate the birthday of W. R. Supratman, an Indonesian journalist and songwriter best known for composing the national anthem of Indonesia.

Due to Indonesia’s multi-ethnic and multicultural society (the country has more than 1,300 recognized ethnic groups), the music of Indonesia is very diverse. The traditional music of every region and every island of Indonesia is unique and has been shaped by thousands of years of history and some influence from Malay and Indian classical music.

Traditional Indonesian music typically has a strong beat and thus employs various percussion instruments, especially gongs (such as gong chimes that are native to Indonesia) and drums such as kendang. Drums are important instruments in traditional Indonesian music ensembles such as gamelan (arguably the best known form of Indonesian music), talempong and kulintang.

The contemporary music of Indonesia is just as diverse as its traditional music. Like traditional Indonesian music, it has been influenced by foreign music, particularly American, British, Indian, Japanese, and Korean. Contemporary Indonesian music (Indo-pop, Indonesian rock) is popular in its neighboring countries, such as Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore.

One of the most renowned Indonesian composers is Wage Rudolf Soepratman, also known as W. R. Supratman. He wrote both the music and lyrics for “Indonesia Raya”, the national anthem of Indonesia. Supratman was born on March 9, 1903. As a young man, he learned to play the guitar and violin. In 1920, Supratman co-founded a jazz band with his brother-in-law.

Supratman started composing “Indonesia Raya” after reading an essay that challenged Indonesian composers to create a future national anthem. He completed the song, originally titled “Indonesia”, in 1924 and first performed it during the Second Youth Congress in 1928. The song was quickly adopted by Sukarno’s Indonesian National Party and was renamed “Indonesia Raya”(“Great Indonesia”) in 1929.

Supratman didn’t live to hear his song performed as the national anthem of an independent Indonesia: he died of ill health in 1938, aged 35, and Indonesia didn’t proclaim its independence until August 17, 1945. Supratman was posthumously awarded the title of the National Hero of Indonesia in 1971.

The idea to designate Supratman’s birthday as National Music Day was first proposed by the Indonesian Association of Singers, Songwriters and Musicians (Penyanyi Pencipta Lagu dan Pemusik Republik Indonesia, PAPPRI) in 2003, but it took a decade to have the holiday officially inaugurated.

The government of Indonesia declared the birthday W. R. Supratman National Music Day in 2013. The holiday was established to honor Supratman’s legacy, increase the appreciation of Indonesian music among the general public, and celebrate renowned Indonesian composers and musicians. National Music Day events in Indonesia include concerts, music conferences, awards ceremonies, and more.

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National Music Day in Indonesia, holidays in Indonesia, cultural observances, W R Supratam, Indonesia Raya