Characteristics of Regional Songs: Functions, Examples and Meanings

Characteristics of Regional Songs – It is common knowledge that the country of Indonesia is an archipelagic country, thus making it diverse with cultures from various regions.

Of the many cultures passed down by our ancestors to the next generation, there are regional songs which are at the same time a cultural difference between one region and another.

Each regional song will be identical to the region it originates from because through the lyrics and tones in the folk songs indirectly reflect the culture and how the people live.

Regional songs were created by the ancestors based on the culture and customs of the area. So it’s only natural that each region, even though they are on the same island, has different folk songs.

Do Sinaumed’s know any popular folk songs in your area? Usually, when we were in elementary school, we would be required to sing the folk song by our teacher.

Why did our teacher give us an assignment in the form of singing a folk song? This is so that we, as the younger generation, continue to preserve the nation’s culture, including the folk songs.

So, what are the characteristics of a folk song? Then, what is the role of folk songs for people in today’s era who already live in the midst of sophistication of technology?

Come on , see the following explanation about the characteristics and important things about folk songs!

Characteristics of Regional Songs

In general, folk songs have the following characteristics:

  1. Using the local language according to where the song comes from.
  2. Describe the culture of the local people.
  3. Some of his songs and music use their own music system (using regional musical instruments).
  4. Anonymously created.
  5. Usually learned and disseminated orally.
  6. It has become part of the culture of society.
  7. Contain an important message to the listener.
  8. Usually accompanied by local musical instruments.
  9. When sung, there is a special bow according to the local area.

Regional Song Function

1. As a means of traditional ceremonies in an area

In several areas in Indonesia, traditional ceremonies usually use folk songs as accompaniment. For example, the Merapu ceremony in Sumba uses local folk songs as an accompaniment to the spirit in the traditional ceremony.

2. Dance accompaniment or regional performances

On the island of Java, it is customary to use regional songs as accompaniment to regional dance performances, for example Javanese style songs which often accompany Serimpi (Central Java) traditional dance performances. In addition, folk songs can also function to accompany shadow puppet shows, kethoprak, ludruk, and others.

3. Communication media

Through musical performances or songs in an area, it turns out that it can be an indirect medium of communication, you know, between singers of these regional songs and their listeners.

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4. Media entertainment and playing ancient society

Sinaumed’s certainly knows that in ancient times there were no sophisticated gadgets like today as a means of entertainment. Therefore, people who lived in ancient times often used folk songs as a medium for their entertainment and playing.

Some of these regional songs were deliberately created to accompany children’s games, for example the songs Cublak-Cublak Suweng from Central Java, Ampar-Ampar Pisang (South Kalimantan), and Pok Amek-Ame (Betawi).

5. Means of earning a living

Some people can work as singers of traditional songs in a traditional performance. This can be explained simply that the existence of folk songs can also function as a means of earning a living.

6. As a medium of lighting

Increasingly, the existence of folk songs can function to organize several activities. Even some public service advertisements often use folk songs as the backsound.

Apart from public service advertisements, folk songs can also be used for election media, immunizations, and even religious lectures.

10 Examples of Regional Songs and Their Meanings

1. Bubuy Bulan (West Java)

The folk song entitled Bubuy this month is one of the many folk songs originating from West Java. In this folk song, more or less tells about a woman who keeps having someone in her mind. This person is constantly on her mind every day until finally making the woman feel in love and in love.

2. Apuse (Papua)

The folk song entitled “Apuse” is often sung with a joyful impression. In fact, the lyrics contained in it tell about the sadness of a grandson who has to say goodbye to his grandparents. The grandson had to go abroad in search of a better life and left his grandparents.

3. Suwe Ora Jamu (Central Java)

This folk song has the meaning that not everything that happens to us will be according to what we think and plan. Well, to overcome this, we also have to think about all the possibilities of what might happen.

So, indirectly, this Suwe Ora Jamu song gives advice that we must prepare ourselves for the worst possibility even if good things have happened so far. So, if it turns out that something bad happened, then we will not dissolve in disappointment because we were “on standby” beforehand.

4. Ampar-Ampar Banana (South Kalimantan)

This folk song tells about how the process of making Banana Rimpi food is not easy. Well, actually this folk song indirectly gives advice to listeners, especially children, to always be patient.

That something good will always be obtained in a short time, it is the same as the process of making Banana Rimpi food.

5. Manuk Dadali (West Java)

The title of the folk song “Manuk Dadali” means Garuda Bird in Indonesian. Sinaumed’s must have known that the existence of the Garuda bird is the symbol of the Indonesian state, depicted as a brave and brave animal.

So, in the lyrics of this folk song, it is stated that the Garuda bird is an animal that is a symbol of chivalry, mutual love, and the courage to sacrifice for the sake of others.

Indirectly, this folk song entitled “Manuk Dadali” contains the meaning of nationalism. The figurative meaning contained in the lyrics also describes the condition of Indonesia’s homeland which has cultural diversity but can live in harmony without any feelings of envy and envy towards one another.

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6. Soleram (Riau)

This folk song originating from the Riau region has a message for children to maintain the honor of their country, culture and self-esteem.

Indirectly, this folk song entitled “Soleram” teaches a culture of shame. Apart from that, it also educates listeners to always connect kinship ties and avoid divisions between groups.

7. Bungong Jeumpa (Aceh)

Bungong Jeumpa ” in Indonesian means Cempaka Flower. This regional song originating from Aceh tells about the beauty of a flower.

Cempaka flowers have a variety of colors, some are red, white, and yellow.

8. Si Patokaan (North Sulawesi)

This folk song that comes from North Sulawesi actually tells about a mother and her child named Si Patokaan. Si Patokaan wants to migrate to another area in order to get a better life, so his mother provides Si Patokaan with various advice to always be careful.

9. Chicken Den Lapeh (West Sumatra)

“Ayam Den Lapeh” in Indonesian means Loose Chicken. This folk song tells of a person who has lost something of his worth and is depicted as a chicken.

Based on Minang tradition in ancient times, chickens were a luxury item and only certain people could raise them. This folk song is sung in a cheerful tone.

Well, the message contained in this folk song is to “laugh at” the bad luck that happens so there’s no point in being sad for too long.

10. My Goat (NTT)

This folk song originating from East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) is unique in that the lyrics seem to be answering each other, the first lyrics ask questions, the second lyrics answer them.

This folk song has been modified to be slightly modern so that it can be sung by children. This song has a meaning about the relationship between children and parents who are so close.


The Role of Regional Songs Against Society in the Current Era

Previously, various studies have been carried out on the role of folk songs for people who live in this sophisticated era. This role is assessed from various aspects, from language maintenance, learning to students, to cultural preservation efforts.

In the aspect of language maintenance, it is usually the regional language. For example, Malay. Increasingly, speakers of Malay tend to associate it with the Indonesian language system. Especially in the phoneme a becomes phoneme e .

Changes in regional language patterns were indeed unobserved and occurred in a very long time. However, if it occurs continuously, it can shift the lingual unit and even change the phoneme structure.

Therefore, the existence of regional songs can be a “reminder” to the public that each regional song has the identity of each tribe and the way of pronunciation cannot be changed.

Furthermore, in the aspect of learning to students. The existence of regional songs can be used as a medium for learning local content and regional languages ​​for students. Teachers can also ask students to learn any folk songs they like.

As with the use of music for learning, folk songs also have the same role. The difference lies only in the language used.

So, that’s a review of the characteristics and examples of traditional songs in Indonesia. At least, Sinaumed’s must memorize three regional songs as a form of preserving culture so that its existence will continue to exist for the next generation.

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