Indisch Classical Music When in 2004, in collaboration with the National Music Institute in The Hague, Henk Mak van Dijk started researching the lives and works of Dutch composers with close links to the Netherlands Indies, he had no idea that so much unknown, yet extraordinary music was to be uncovered. Here were compositions in which a western, romantic or impressionistic idiom would to a greater or lesser extent be mixed with elements of the music indigenous to the then Netherlands Indies: the Indisch classical music. These pieces were written from the beginning of the twentieth century onwards by a small group of Dutch composers who were either born and bred in the Indies or else had lived or worked there for some time: Constant van de Wall (in Surabaya and Batavia), Paul Seelig (Bandung), Linda Bandara (Bandarrejo and Yogyakarta), Berta Tideman-Wijers (North Sumatra), Hector Marinus (Deli), Theo Smit Sibinga (East Java), Frans Wiemans (Bandung), Dirk Fock (Batavia), and Fred Belloni (Bandung). They felt connected with Europe as well as with the Indies: on the one hand they were rooted in a western musical tradition and participated in the western musical world, on the other hand they looked for new ways of composing and were inspired by indigenous culture, which included gamelan music, wayang, dance, Indisch opera and kroncong, classical Javanese poetic forms and Malay pantuns. To be sure, they were not unique in paying attention to oriental music, but their specific interest in music from the archipelago they shared with at most a handful of foreign composers from the West. If there are many examples of generally exotic compositions, there are only a few of specifically Indisch music.