Indonesia Raya is the national anthem of the Republic of Indonesia. The song was introduced by its composer, Wage Rudolf Supratman, on 28 October 1928 during the Second Indonesian Youth Congress in Batavia. The song marked the birth of the all-archipelago nationalist movement in Indonesia that supported the idea of one single “Indonesia” as successor to the Dutch East Indies, rather than split into several colonies.
The first stanza of Indonesia Raya was chosen as the national anthem when Indonesia proclaimed its independence at 17 August 1945.
Indonesia Raya is played in flag raising ceremonies. The flag is raised in a solemn and timed motion so that it reaches the top of the flagpole as the anthem ends. The main flag raising ceremony is held annually on 17 August to commemorate Independence day. The ceremony is led by the President of Indonesia.
Indonesian Youth Congress
In 1928, youths from across Indonesia held the first Indonesian Youth Congress, an official meeting to push for the independence of the nation. Upon hearing about the efforts, young reporter Wage Rudolf Supratman contacted the organizers of Congress with the intention of reporting the story, but they requested that he not publish the story from fear of Dutch colonial authorities. The organizers wanted to avoid suspicion so that the Dutch would not ban the event. Supratman promised them this, and the organizers allowed him free access to the event. Supratman, who was also a musician and also a teacher, was inspired by the meetings and intended to write a song for the conference. After receiving encouragement from the conference leader Sugondo Djojopuspito, Supratman played on the violin the song Indonesia with the hope that it would someday become a national anthem. He kept the script to himself because he felt that it was not the appropriate time to announce it.
Supratman first performed Indonesia on the violin on 28 October 1928 during the Second Indonesian Youth Congress.
Following the Second Youth Congress, the text of Indonesia was distributed by many political and student organizations. The press also played a key role in the publication of the song. On 7 November 1928, the Soeloeh Ra’jat Indonesia daily published the text to the song. This was followed by the Sin Po Chinese weekly on 10 November In 1929, Wage Rudolf Supratman changed the title of his song to Indonesia Raya and appended the phrase National Anthem of Indonesia below it, but the text of the song did not change. Supratman personally printed and distributed copies of the song with its new title through pamphlets. All one thousand copies of the manuscript were sold within a short amount of time to his friends and family.
A businessman friend of his, Yo Kim Tjan, also expressed interest in recording Indonesia Raya. With Supratman’s consent, Yo created a copy of the song on a gramophone record overseas in order to obtain the best sound quality with the intention of bringing the copy back to Indonesia. However, before Yo was able to do so, Dutch colonial authorities had imposed a ban on the song. Yo was unable to bring the original back but was able to bring home a copy. According to Yo, Supratman had also given him the rights to sell record copies of Indonesia Raya through his store Toko Populair.
Jozef Cleber a Dutch musician that arrived with a patron of 46 persons of Philharmonic Orchestra under direction of Yvon Baarspul was sent by the Netherlands Government to help the Indonesian Government for music development in Jakarta. Jos Cleber (34 years old), in his town was an experienced arranger for popular songs, and also successfully for Indonesian pop song arrangements, like Di Bawah Sinar Bulan Purnama and Rangkaian Melati, was aksed to arranged the Indonesia Raya anthem by President Soekarno in 1950.
The arrangements starts with a Tutti of strings and trumpets (in Verse A) that represents a brave and an elegant sound, and in the middle of the song (in Verse B) is played smoothly by strings, and finally (in Verse C) comes another Tutti of strings and trumpets with beautiful contrapuntal background of cornos, and together with timpanis and cymbals make it a brave sound for a national anthem that respected by the people.
The original recording was recorded by the Cosmopolitan Orchestra under the direction of Jos Cleber, and it was recorded on Phillips tape in 1951 by the Radio of Jakarta. Then it was digital re-recorded in 1997 in Australia based on Jos Cleber partiturs that stored in Jakarta, and it was played again by the Victorian Philharmonic under direction of Adie MS.
In 1951, ownership of the copyright to Indonesia Raya came into question. President Sukarno ordered a search for the rightful heir to Supratman By law, Supratman was the copyright holder of Indonesia Raya as its composer. After Supratman’s death in 1938, ownership of the rights to his works fell upon the designated heirs, his four surviving sisters. However, because Indonesia Raya was officially adopted as the national anthem of Indonesia on 17 August 1945, the work became the property of the state. In addition, the name of “Wage Rudolf Supratman” must be listed as its creator.
As a national anthem, copies of Indonesia Raya cannot be circulated as merchandise to be sold. Consequently, the government had the obligation to obtain all the rights to distribute the song, including the original recording, from Yo Kim Tjan. In 1958, the government obtained the sole right to Indonesia Raya from Supratman’s family. The following year, Yo handed the original record of the song to the Indonesian government. With the recommendation of the Department of Education, the government also rewarded Supratman’s sisters with 250,000 Indonesian rupiah each on 31 May 1960.
this anthem usually be use by Indonesian during flag raising ceremony every Monday.
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Original lyrics (1928)
-Wage Rudolf Supratman-
Indonesia, tanah airkoe,
Tanah toempah darahkoe,
Disanalah akoe berdiri,
Mendjaga Pandoe Iboekoe.
Kebangsaan tanah airkoe,
Marilah kita berseroe:
Bangsakoe, djiwakoe, semoea,
Oentoek Indonesia Raja.
Tanahkoe, neg’rikoe jang koetjinta.
Hidoeplah Indonesia Raja.
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