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Ismail Marzuki

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Biography

Ismail Marzuki (11 May 1914-25 May 1958) was an Indonesian composer and musician who wrote a number of popular patriotic songs during the country’s early post-independence period in the 1940s and 1950s.

Marzuki’s most famous compositions include Rayuan Pulau Kelapa (Solace on Coconut Island) and Halo, Halo Bandung (Hello, Hello Bandung).

In 1931, Marzuki wrote his first song, “O Sarinah”, which was about a suffering people. During his career he wrote between 202 and 204 songs. Among his most famous compositions are “Rayuan Pulau Kelapa” (1944, Solace on Coconut Island), “Gugur Bunga di Taman Bakti” (1945, The Fallen Flower in Bakti Garden), and “Selendang Sutera” (1946, A Coil of Silk). The last song, “Inikah Bahagia” (Is This Happiness) was composed in 1957.

A large number of Marzuki’s songs have been rerecorded and released in different genres, including pop music and keroncong, such as”Kr. Pasar Gambir dan Stambul Anak Jampang” (Kroncong of Gambir Market and Stambul of the Cowlicked Child) which was covered by Chrisye on the album Dekade with arrangement by Erwin Gutawa. Several of his songs, including “Gugur Bunga”, “Melati di Tapal Batas”, “Selendang Sutra”, “Pahlawan Muda”, “Rayuan Pulau Kelapa”, and “Waktu Malam”, are considered compulsory and taught in schools.

On 17 August 1961 Marzuki received the first Wijaya Kusuma award. He was honoured posthumously in 1968 with the opening of Taman Ismail Marzuki, a cultural centre and park in central Jakarta. He was recognized as a National Hero of Indonesia in November 2004.

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