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Jakarta Post

Aning Katamsi grows her own breed of ‘seriosa’

  • Josa Lukman


Jakarta   /   Fri, July 10 2020   /  01:00 am
Vocal praise: Aning Katamsi (right), one of Indonesia’s prominent operatic sopranos, performs at Usmar Ismail Hall in South Jakarta.(Courtesy of Christina Sudjie Aiai/-)

When you turn on the radio, chances are that you will find hardly any seriosa songs on the playlist of a typical station. As it happens, pop music have overshadowed the genre decades ago, though some still maintain the art. The Great Dictionary of the Indonesian Language defines seriosa as a “serious” musical style because of the higher vocal techniques it requires. The term likely derives from “serioso”, a musical direction that means serious or grave. Avid music lovers will know that seriosa music is found primarily in opera and that it colloquially refers to classical music. Radio Republic Indonesia (RRI) has been credited with raising the popularity of the Indonesian term, which the state-run station uses for a category in its Bintang Radio (Radio Star) singing competition. But the musical style had actually existed in the country before that, One of ...