5 Global industry, national politics

Popular music in ‘New Order’ Indonesia

Krishna Sen and David T. Hill



Most of us are not so much inspired by the themes of death metal lyrics… The attraction is more the music itself, it gives us hope, it's about freedom, it's an expression of our soul.

Kadek, guitarist in Balinese death metal band, Behead (Baulch 1996a)


Indonesian music has never been ‘autochthonous in the (relatively) pure sense of the term, except to a very limited degree’, for it is overlaid by a cornucopia of musical forms which have continuously washed ashore (Kunst 1973: 1), making it virtually impossible to declare any currently existent forms ‘purely’ or ‘authentically’ Indonesian. Historically the musics of Indonesia have always ...

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