Indorock is a musical genre that originated in the 1950s in the Netherlands. It is a fusion of Indonesian and Western music, with roots in Kroncong (traditional Portuguese-Indonesian fusion music). The genre was performed by Indo community in the Netherlands after Indonesian independence on August 17, 1945, and became popular particularly in Germany. Indorock is one of the earliest forms of "Eurorock".[1] Its influence on Dutch popular music was considerable.[2] The term Indorock was used in 1981 to refer to the genre and period retrospectively.[3]


The guitar was imported to the archipelago of the East Indies by Portuguese explorers in the 16th century. The traditional Portuguese song styles, saudade and fado, played with guitar accompaniment, later became kroncong music.

Many Indorock musicians had a predilection for Hawaiian music, which was popular in the Netherlands at the time. Other significant influences include American country & western, and the rock & roll repertoire played on radio stations in Indonesia via American (AFN) stations from the Philippines and Australia.[4] While Dutch audience were interested in Rock & Roll, white Dutch musicians did not perform the genre in the mid-1950s, and Indonesians and Moluccans filled the void at that time, and bands such as the Bellboys, the Room Rockers, the Hap Cats, and the Hot Jumpers performing to a mixed audience in venues such as pubs.[3]

The Tielman Brothers (Reggy, Ponthon, Andy and Loulou Tielman) are generally seen as founders of Indorock, even though other Indorock bands existed before them. Being ethnically Indonesian and playing black American music to white audiences in the Netherlands and Germany, their music exemplifies the complex background of the style, which, according to George Lipsitz, is shaped by "the histories of Dutch and U.S. military combat in Asia and Europe" and by the "internalized racial histories of the United States, the Netherlands, and Germany".[5] Since the Dutch music industry offered few venues for Indorock artists, many of them went to Germany where it quickly became highly popular, at least until the advent of British beat music.[1]

Broader influence

Indo vocal and instrumental guitar music groups started to record American hits and became famous, starting a stream within Europe known as the Indo Rock scene.

Notable indorock artists


  1. ^ a b Mutsaers, Lutgard (1990). "Indorock: An Early Eurorock Style". Popular Music. 9 (3): 307–20. doi:10.1017/S0261143000004116. JSTOR 853325.
  2. ^ Pattynama, Pamela (2012). "(Un)Happy Endings: Nostalgia in Post-imperial and Postmemory Dutch Films". In Boehmer, Elleke; Mul, Sarah de (eds.). The Postcolonial Low Countries: Literature, Colonialism, and Multiculturalism. Lexington. pp. 97–122. ISBN 9780739164280. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  3. ^ a b Elizabeth J Miles (2017). "Immigrant Music in Europe". In Chris Goertzen; James Porter; Timothy Rice (eds.). The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. Vol. 8. Taylor & Francis. p. 411. ISBN 9781351544269 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ piet muys (1999). "THE STORY OF INDO-ROCK". INDO-INSTRO-ROCK. piet muys. Archived from the original on 9 July 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  5. ^ Lipsitz, George (2001). American Studies in a Moment of Danger. U of Minnesota P. pp. 310–11. ISBN 9780816639496. Retrieved 4 August 2013.