Angklung - Indonesian Heritage Series

Angklung Indonesia
Angklung Indonesia

What Is Angklung

Angklung is a traditional music instrument that made from raw materials called bamboo which is the way in jolty (noise caused by the body of bamboo pipes) so that the sound vibrate in the order of tone 2, 3, 4 in the tone of each size , Both large and small. Pitch (tone) music equipment Angklung music as a tradition, mostly Sundanese and Salendro Pelog. Angklung is originated from Indonesia and West Java (The Land of Pasundan) region specially

Saung Angklung Udjo Play Symphony No. 40

Why they use bamboo to make Angklung ?

Bamboo is a type of plant of the grass family and easily find throughout Asian region including Southeast Asia. According to Professor Kuo-Huang Han from School of Music, Northern Illinois University, there are at least two reasons :


1. From the material culture
Bamboo is strong but light and elastic. Throughout the ages, it has been used for a great variety of purposes. It is used as building material for houses, fences, bridges, irrigation pipes, bulletin boards, tables, chairs, and beds. It is also used as a carrying pole, a walking stick, chopsticks, water containers, cups, pencil holders, bow and arrows, etc. Split bamboo is used for weaving nets, hats, baskets, and umbrellas. Finally, bamboo shoots and bamboo seeds can be eaten. I remember that my granny loves to cook young bamboo (it calls rebung in my language, you may make some spring rolls from it, and it is delicious)

Bamboo pulp fibers were used to make paper. In ancient times, bamboo slips were used for carving characters. In art, bamboo is used for handicrafts. In the realm of music, many musical instruments were and still are made of bamboo.

2. From the spiritual culture  .
Bamboo grows rapidly. It is seen as embodying the force of growth and fertility in many Asian societies. The Dusun people of north Borneo Island (Kalimantan, Indonesia) pay homage to a sacred bamboo to assure fertility and also believe that yellow bamboo can ward off evil spirits. In Taiwan, myth tells how bamboo was brought to earth by a man from heaven. In India, myth tells how King Rama’s wife, Sita, had an extra finger on one hand, which she cut off and planted. From it grew a bamboo plant, which in its sections contained all kinds of grain, which became available to human kind through a hole in the bamboo, chewed there by a pig. (Wessing 1998: 51)

Since bamboo is such an important material in Asian people’s lives, it is not surprising to find numerous bamboo musical instruments. As far as Southeast Asia is concerned, bamboo is used for three out of four categories of musical instruments, namely, aerophones (winds), chordophones (strings), and idiophones (percussion without membrane).

Angklung KPA ITB - Mission Impossible

Rihanna "Umbrella" - Angklung/Bamboo Version

Indonesian Kids Playing The Angklung

History of Angklung

I found it in Wikipedia, it seem that Angklung has already known from the Hindu period and Pajajaran Kingdom era. The Sundanese people used the angklung to sign the time for prayer (Five times prayer according to Moslem religion that is most believed by Sundanese people). Later, Padjajaran kingdom use this instrument as corps music in Bubat War (Perang Bubat)

Angklung give a spiritual touch to Sundanese people and build their spirit. Angklung is still used until the Dutch era. Considering the big power of Angklung, the Dutch government tried to forbid people played Angklung. And the popularity of the instrument decreased. Until Mr. Daeng Soetigna a Maestro from Bandung West Java expanded the Angklung notations not only to play traditional Salendro and Pelog scales but also diatonic scale in 1938. The first orchestra that is played with Angklung instrument was in the Asian African Conference in Bandung 1955.

Mr. Daeng Soetigna has a student named Mr. Udjo Ngalagena. He is a brilliant musician and I'm so proud of him (Well..we live in the same town actually). Mr. Udjo Ngalagena opened his Saung Angklung Udjo (Udjo House of Angklung) in 1966 and it become a centre of Angklung development. Saung Angklung Udjo is very wellknown among tourists in Bandung, West Java.

If you visit Bandung West Java, you should visit his place. It's a cool and nice place. You may enjoy Angklung and traditional dance performance, learning to play Angklung, and watch the making of Angklung.

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Angklung IndonesiaAngklungAngklungAustralian children learn to play Angklung
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Australian children learn to play Angklung
Australian children learn to play Angklung

Types of Angklung

Type Angklung is very diverse, small Angklung consists of 8 tones with the size of the user's school children to start kindergarten and primary school for children. Angklung  for adults consists of 15 types of tones, 18 tones, 37 tones, 43 funds that have even up to 49 tones.

There is a kind of Angklung instrument that is found in Bali, it calls Gamelan Angklung

How To Make An Angklung

First, you have to shape the Angklung. Each Angklung consists of three parts : The Voice Tube, Frame, and Base. Shaping is the most important step in Angklung making process.

Second, Tuning the voice tubes process.

Last, the finishing process.

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Comments 7 comments

Bbudoyono profile image

Bbudoyono 7 years ago

I used to watch angklung performance in USA (Udjo Saung Angklung) some years ago. It was fantastic!


febriedethan profile image

febriedethan 7 years ago from Indonesia Author

Yes, their performance is always fantastic, specially the dancing together part. He's a brilliant man.


thelesleyshow profile image

thelesleyshow 7 years ago from US

Brilliant Hub! Thanks for sharing.


agus fanani 7 years ago

Thanks for sharing. Saung Mang Ujo is the best place for watching angklung concert.


febriedethan profile image

febriedethan 7 years ago from Indonesia Author

thelesleyshow and agus, thank's for visiting my hub. Have a great day :)


lalala 6 years ago

thanks for your help for my music project


febriedethan profile image

febriedethan 6 years ago from Indonesia Author

Lalala, great!

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