Campur Sari : Blend of Javanese and Western Music

Campursari music is a mode and also a phenomenon evolving among Javanese  and even non-Javanese that have sympathy to Javanese music. This music genre is a mix of gamelan (pentatonic) and western music (diatonic). The advent of Campursari created pro and cons especially from karawitan experts. But Camputsari has its own composition. Campursari is not uyon-uyon, or keroncong or dangdut.

Campursari appeared through a long process. Firstly emerged in 1960s to 1970s on regular program of Radio Republic Indonesia (RRI) of Semarang with vocalist S Dharmanto. He blended keroncong with gender and siter instrument and this blend was later called as campursari.

The blend of pentatonic and diatonic was not a careless mixture. When the first time Manthou’s created campursari, he should harmonized gender and saron and adapted then to keyboard. Campursari music can play dangdut music but only the rhyme that can be campursari-ed. But not every song can be campursari-ed.

Campursari has ben well known in Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, Jakarta and other regions of Indonesia with Javanese community. It is even popular in Suriname and Holland.

According to sources, Campursari was pioneered by Ki Nartosabdo and Manthou’s (Phenomenology of a Puppet Theatre: Contemplations on the Art of Javanese by Jan Mrázek). Pulular canpursari singers are ; Didi Kempot, Waljinah, Manthous, Nurhana, Anik Sunyahni, Sulasmi, Koko Thole, Cak Dikin, Sonny Josz,

Campursari is accepted well by Javanese, that it is played as entertainment in various occasion such as wedding, circumcision, or other celebrating event.