Google Doodle Features Ismail Marzuki as Indonesia Celebrates Heroes Day

Ismail Marzuki's contribution for "composing the soundtrack of Indonesia Revolution" is honored by Google Doodle on Heroes Day commemoration.

Nusantara Pol - To celebrate Indonesian Heroes' Day 2021 which falls on Wednesday (10/11/2021), Google Doodle commemorates the great heroic composer of the country, Ismail Marzuki.

Today, 76 years ago, on November 10, 1945, at dawn, British troops, under the cover of  naval and aerial bombardments, advanced through the city of Surabaya.  The rag-tag Indonesian nationalists forces refused to budge and the fighting was heavy. Around 6,300 to 15,000 Indonesian lost their lives and at least 200,000 fled the devastated city. 

Even though, militarily speaking, it resulted in British victory, the Battle of Surabaya became a symbol of sacrifice that galvanized the spirit of revolution. It made the British reluctant to get sucked into prolonged warfare. It also made the colonial Dutch realized that the new Republic was not a product of rag-tag collaborators but there is a genuine support for independence from the native populations.

Since then, the day is commemorated as the Heroes Day in Indonesia.

Ismail Marzuki, through his song "Gugur Bunga", honors the sacrifice of the fallen heroes during Indonesian National Revolution period. The lyric says, "Gugur satu, tumbuh seribu". One falls, a thousand arise.

Ismail Marzuki on Google Doodle
Ismail Marzuki on Google Doodle.

 Today, 53 years ago, on November 10, 1968, the Indonesian government honored his legacy by inaugurating the Jakarta Arts Center as Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM). The place serves as a center for preserving Indonesian cultural heritage and creative innovation in fine arts, music, theater, dance, and film. In 2004, Ismail Marzuki was declared as a national hero.

Ismail Marzuki's illustration appearing in today's Google Doodle is the work of a guest artist based in Indonesia, Ykha Amelz. 

Ykha celebrates Ismail Marzuki because of the many patriotic songs he had composed during the nation's independence movement. 

Ismail Marzuki's Songs

Ismail Marzuki was born in Kwitang, Central Jakarta, Indonesia, on May 11, 1914, when the region was under Dutch colonial rule. Although the profession of musician was not common when he was a child, Ismail Marzuki grew up diligently practicing music for up to five hours a day. 

Through hard training, Ismail Marzuki mastered eight instruments, namely harmonica, mandolin, guitar, ukulele, violin, accordion, saxophone, and piano. At the age of 17, he composed the first song, "O Sarinah", about people's suffering. He later composed 202-204 songs throughout his career. 

The songs created by Ismail Marzuki always have the theme of the struggle for Indonesian independence with a melancholy tone as well as representing the nation's resilience through melodies. He was also able to fill the hearts of Indonesians who proudly broadcast his songs for many years on Radio Republik Indonesia (RRI), nine of which became the national anthem.

In 1955, Ismail Marzuki took over as leader of the prestigious Jakarta Studio Orchestra and composed the song "Pemilihan Umum", the theme music for the first general election in Indonesia. 

Ismail Marzuki's songs include "Gugur Bunga", "Halo Halo Bandung", "Indonesia Pusaka", "Rayuan Pulau Kelapa", "Bandung Selatan di Waktu Malam", "O Corporal Jono", "Sepasang Bola Mata", "Selendang Sutra", "Gagah Perwira", and many others.

People who want to know and learn more about Ismail Marzuki can visit the TIM which is located at Jalan Cikini Raya 73, Central Jakarta. TIM heavily exhibits his personal collection, including handwritten songs and some of his many instruments. 

Ismail Marzuki's appearance on Google Doodle is seen as an expression of gratitude for writing many soundtracks for Indonesian's struggle for independence. In 1957, he wrote his last song, "Inikah Bahagia" (Is This Happiness). He died on 25 May 1958 in his house in Tanah Abang, Jakarta. He is buried in Karet Bivak Cemetery.