Wage Rudolf Soepratman
Wage Rudolf Supratman.jpg
Personal details
Wage Rudolf Soepratman

(1903-03-09)9 March 1903[1][2][3]
Purworejo, Dutch East Indies
Died17 August 1938(1938-08-17) (aged 34)
Surabaya, Dutch East Indies
Parent(s)Djoemeno Senen Sastrosoehardjo alias Abdoelmoein (father)
Siti Senen (mother)
Supratman in Stamp
Supratman in Stamp

Wage Rudolf Soepratman (Wage Soepratman in the old orthography or commonly known as W. R. Supratman) (9 March 1903 – 17 August 1938) was an Indonesian songwriter who wrote both the lyrics and melody of the national anthem of Indonesia – "Indonesia Raya". He is an Indonesian National Hero.


Wage Rudolf Soepratman featured in the 50,000-rupiah banknote.
Wage Rudolf Soepratman featured in the 50,000-rupiah banknote.

W.R. Soepratman's father was Sergeant Djoemeno Senen Sastrosoehardjo, a KNIL soldier, and his mother was Siti Senen. Soepratman was born Wage on 9 March 1903 in Somongari, Purworejo.[4] Several months later, his father added Soepratman to his name and explained that he was born in Meester Cornelis, Batavia. Soepratman was the seventh of nine children. His eldest sibling was Rukiyem Supratiyah van Eldik.

At the age of 6, he entered Budi Utomo elementary school in Cimahi. After his father retired, Wage followed his sister Rukiyem to Makassar, where he began attending Europese Lagere School (ELS) in 1914.[5] It was then when Rudolf was added to his name, so that his rights would be equal to the Dutch.[6] However, he was asked to leave the school after it was revealed that he was not of European descent.[7] He continued his studies in a Malay language school. After returning home, he learned to play guitar and violin. His brother-in-law, van Eldik, gave him a violin as seventeenth birthday present in 1920. After graduating from Malay language school in 1917, Wage attended Dutch language courses and graduated in 1919.[7] He continued to Normal School, or Teachers' College, and became an auxiliary teacher in Makassar after he graduated.[8]

In 1920, he and van Eldik founded a jazz-styled band, called Black & White. He played the violin. They performed at weddings and birthday parties in Makassar.[9]

Beginning in July 1933, Wage started to feel ill. Then in November 1933, he resigned as Sin Po journalist and settled first in Cimahi, then Palembang, and finally in Surabaya. On 17 August 1938, he died at 01.00 a.m. and was buried in Kenjeran, Surabaya. On 13 March 1956, his remains were moved to Tambak Segaran Wetan cemetery.[10]

Indonesia Raya

Wage composed both the music and lyrics for the song "Indonesia Raya", which later became Indonesia's National Anthem. It was introduced during the Second Indonesian Youth Congress on 28 October 1928. The song was quickly adopted by Sukarno's PNI.[11]

In 1929, the prominent Indonesian businessman and record executive Tio Tek Hong contacted Supratman; the two agreed to issue the first records of the anthem with Supratman retaining its copyright.[12][13] The new records were extremely popular, but in 1930 the Dutch colonial authorities placed a ban on the song and confiscated all remaining unsold records.[12] The text was revised in November 1944, and the melody arranged to its present musical form in 1958.


Grave of Soepratman
Grave of Soepratman

The government awarded Wage the National Hero title and the Bintang Mahaputra Utama kelas III in 1971.[10] Several Indonesian cities and towns have named streets after Wage, usually referred to as Jalan WR Soepratman.[14]


Wage belonged to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.[15][16] He was buried in a Muslim ceremony in Kapas Public Cemetery, Tambaksari, Surabaya.[17]


  1. ^ Anthony C Hutabarat, SH. Wage Rudolf Soepratman-Meluruskan Sejarah dan Riwayat Hidup Pencipta Lagu Kebangsaan Republik Indonesia "Indonesia Raya" dan Pahlawan Nasional.
  2. ^ Fathimatuz Zahroh. "Profil Wage Rudolph Soepratman". merdeka.com. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  3. ^ "Biografi W.R. Soepratman Lengkap". biografiku.com. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  4. ^ Sularto & Yunarti 2010, p. 171
  5. ^ Hutabarat 2001, p. 3
  6. ^ Sularto & Yunarti 2010, p. 173
  7. ^ a b Hutabarat 2001, p. 4
  8. ^ Hutabarat 2001, pp. 4–5
  9. ^ Hutabarat 2001, p. 5
  10. ^ a b Sularto & Yunarti 2010, p. 176
  11. ^ The Muslim world: a historical survey. Modern times: Volume 4 - Page 307 H. Scheel, Gerhard Jaschke, H. Braun - 1981 "The party's emblem and the symbol of the future Free Indonesia were a red and white flag with a figure of a bull's head, and the hymn sung at its gatherings was Indonesia Raya ("Great Indonesia"), composed by Wage Rudolf Supratman "
  12. ^ a b Sularto, Bambang (1 August 2012). Wage Rudolf Supratman (in Indonesian). Jakarta: Direktorat Jenderal Kebudayaan. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  13. ^ Sakrie, Denny (1 March 2015). 100 Tahun Musik Indonesia (in Indonesian). Jakarta: GagasMedia. ISBN 978-979-780-785-6. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  14. ^ "Location & Businesses related to "Jalan Wr. Supratman"". Streetdirectory. Streetdirectory. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  15. ^ "The cold war of faith between Hamadiyya and orthodox Muslims -". 17 February 2012.
  16. ^ Al Makin (16 August 2012). "Fatherland: Soil and water". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  17. ^ *Bambang Soelarto; oh. Kudus Sosrokusumo; et al. (1972). Bosur Lagu Kebangsaan Indonesia Raya [Indonesoan National Anthem Indonesia Raya Brochure] (PDF) (in Indonesian). Jakarta: Proyek Pengembangan Media Kebudayaan, Indonesian Deprtment of Education and Culture. p. 22.