Indonesia Cello and Kroncong Ensembles

Keronchong ensemble of Indonesia.

While doing an image search for “insect cellos” I came across this image (below) of a kroncong ensemble which has a cello in it.

Kroncong (Keroncong) ensemble in Indonisia

Quick reading shows that this folk ensemble has its origins in Portuguese influence during the 16th century and has evolved into what it is today.  Obviously, what’s I’m most interested in is when did the cello become a part of the standard instrumentation–and how long have they been making scrolls with holes for three pegs rather than four.  Obviously a number of the videos I’ve come across just seem to have a normal cello with one peg missing as they only use three strings in this style.

The wikipedia article (which is only a good exploratory source for anything dealing with research) states:

The cello may have 3 gut or nylon strings and the chords are plucked rapidly, often with a unique skipped-beat using the thumb and one finger. This instrument then adds both rhythm and tone.

The first video I watched was this one:

Which just demonstrates the cello alone (with singing).  Here is a video of a kroncong ensemble:

All this is just telling me that I need to start blogging about Non-Western Cello Traditions, and in particular my long abandoned Sunday Spotlight on the Non-Western Cello.  But of immediate concern for me is figuring out the style and finding a song or two to sing in this wonderful new musical genre I had no idea existed until just an hour ago!

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