Dangdut is a genre of music originated from Indonesia, partly derived from Arabic, Indian and Melayu (Malay) tunes. It developed in the 1960s, and has grown very rapidly especially in the 1990s. Modern dangdut is also influenced by rock, Latin, house music, hip-hop, R&B, reggae and even Western classical music. Due to its distinctive rhythm and melody, dangdut is easily differentiable from other music genres. In addition, dangdut is closely associated with a unique dance movement called goyang or joget.

Rhoma Irama's Soneta Group

A dangdut band or orchestra typically consists of a lead singer, backup vocalists, supported by four to eight musicians. The musical instruments used have evolved from traditional instruments such as gendang/kendang (traditional drum), seruling/suling (traditional flute) and tambourine, to modern instruments like keyboard, bass, modern drums and electric guitar.

Most major cities, especially in Java, have one or more venues that hold dangdut shows several times a week. The concerts of major dangdut stars are also broadcast on television.

Leading dangdut artists include:

  • Rhoma Irama – King of Dangdut, most popular singer in 1970-90s
  • Elvy Sukaesih – Queen of Dangdut, most popular singer since 1970-90s
  • Inul Daratista – Creator of Goyang Inul or Goyang Ngebor (Drill Dance)
  • Dewi Persik – Widely known for her sensual Goyang Gergaji (Saw Dance)
  • Ridho Irama – Self-proclaimed Prince of Dangdut, Son of Rhoma Irama

Leave a Reply