Peranakan Music & Entertainment
The Babas and Nyonyas are well known for their involment in two forms of music, notably the Dondang Sayang and Keroncong:
The Dondang Sayang (or Love Ballad) is a traditional Malay form of entertainment where Baba and Nyonya singers exchange extemporaneous Malay Pantun (poetry), in a lighthearted and sometimes humorous style. It is usually sung and danced by guests at functions such as weddings, parties, etc.
Someone would begin a romantic theme which was carried on by others, each taking the floor in turn, dancing in slow gyrations as they sang. It required quick wit and repartee and often gave rise to laughter and applause when a particularly clever phrase was sung.
The singers are normally accompanied by a violin, two Malay rebana (drums), and a tetawak (gong). These instruments are often supplemented by other available instruments, most notably accordions, flutes, or an additional violin.
The Keroncong is yet another popular form of music indulged by the Peranakans. It is the name of a ukulele-type instrument and an Indonesian musical style that typically makes use of the "chrong-chrong-chrong" sound that comes from this instrument. The band or combo or ensemble (known as a keronchong orchestra) consists of a flute, a violin, a melody guitar, a cello in pizzicato style, string bass also in pizzicato, and a female or male singer.