Ismail Marzuki

Ismail Marzuki

Ismail Marzuki

Ismail Marzuki (Bang Ma’ing; 11 May 1914 – 25 May 1958) composed about 202-240 songs between 1931 and 1958, including numerous popular patriotic songs. Indonesian composer, composer and musician. Among his most famous works are “Halo, Halo Bandung”, “Gugur Bunga” and “Rayuan Pulau Kelapa”. In 1968 he was honored to establish the well-known Taman Ismail Marzuki (Ismail Marzuki Park, often called TIM), a cultural center in Menteng, central Jakarta. In 2004 he was declared one of Indonesia’s national heroes.
Marzuki was born in Kwitang (formerly known as Batavia), Jakarta, to a wealthy Betawi family. His father, Marzuki, owned an auto repair shop and played revana. His mother died giving birth to him. From an early age, Marzuki enjoyed music by repeatedly listening to songs on his family’s gramophone, learning to play the levana, ukulele and guitar.

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Marzuki studied at Menteng’s Hollandsch Inlandsche School (HIS), an elementary school for Indonesian indigenous peoples. He later attended the Dutch Middle School MULO (Meer Uitgebreid Lager Onderwijs) on Mendjangan Street (now Kwini I Street) in Jakarta.[2] He became fluent in Indonesian, English and Dutch. He also studied religion at Unwanul Wustha Madrasah.[2] However, he did not study music formally, but was self-taught.

In 1931 he wrote his first song “O Sarinah” about suffering people. During his career, he composed 202-204 songs. Among his most famous compositions are “Halo, Halo Bandung”, “Rayuan Pulau Kelapa” (1944, Consolation of Coconut Island), “Gugur Bunga di Taman Bakti” (1945, Fallen Flowers in the Bakti Gardens) and “Selendang Sutera” (1946; silk coil).

Ismail Marzuki (lower right, saxophone) with the Jazz Division of the Reef Java Orchestra, 1936.
Marzuki began his musical career by joining the Lief Java Orchestra in the mid-1930s. During this time he performed regularly with the group at Studio Orkes NIROM II in Tegalega, Bandung, as part of the eastern program of the Nederlandsch-Indische Radio-omroepmaatschappij (NIROM) station. Around 1937, the group left NIROM and joined rival station Vereeniging voor Oostersche Radio Omroep (VORO), performing live every Saturday.[5][6] After that, he led the Jakarta Studio Orchestra, Bandung Studio Orchestra, and the Hoso Kanri Kyoku Orchestra during the Japanese occupation of Indonesia.

In 1957 he wrote his last song “Inikah Bahagia” (Is This Happiness). He died on May 25, 1958 at 14 o’clock at his home in Tana Avang, Jakarta. He is buried in the Karet Bivak Cemetery.

Marzuki married Eulis Zuraidah, a Sunda Kelongkong singer and orchestra member from Bandung in 1940. His wife was inspired by the Sundanese song “Panon Hideung”, a Sundanese version of Dark Eyes. He rearranged the song in Sundanese with new lyrics with the same title (“Panon Hideung” literally means “black eye”).

Marzuki enjoyed collecting musical instruments. His collection included guitar, mandolin, flute, clarinet, saxophone, accordion and piano.

He was known for his extreme nationalism during the Indonesian National Revolution, where he sold gado gado with his wife instead of collaborating with the Dutch coalition NICA (Nederlandsch-Indische Civiele Administratie).[7] He did, however, include “Kalau Anggrek Berbunga” (c. 1942–1945, When the Orchid Blossoms), “Jauh di Mata Di Hati Jangan” (1947), Far from the Eyes (But Not Not Not Not Heart) and “Siasat Asmara” ( 1948, Tactics of Love).

Marzuki has been described as “genius” and “legendary” as well as “having a good instinct for music”. In addition to playing the piano, saxophone, guitar, accordion, and harmonium, he was also known as a singer with a heavy and deep baritone voice, which earned him the nickname ‘Gwitang’s Bing Crosby’ among his friends.

Marzuki songs of various genres have been re-recorded and released, such as Chrisye’s cover of “Kr. Pasar Gambir dan Stambul Anak Jampang” (including Kr. Featured on the album Dekade, arranged by Erwin Gutawa, his songs including “Halo, Halo Bandung”, “Gugur Bunga”, “Melati di Tapal Batas”, “Selendang Sutra”, “Pahlawan Muda” and “Rayuan Pulau Kelapa” Some of the songs are considered compulsory and are taught in schools.

Classical composer Ananda Sukarlan based her songs on her songs such as Sir Selendang Sutra, Indonesia Pusaka and Rayuan Pulau Kelapa for piano and/or orchestra Created virtuoso music for

On August 17, 1961, Marzuki received the first Wijaya Kusuma Award from President Suharto. He was honored after his death in 1968 when Taman Ismail Marzuki, a cultural center and park, opened in central Jakarta. He was recognized as Indonesia’s national hero by the declaration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in November 2004.