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The Largest Angklung Ensemble (Guinness Book of Record)
I love music and I am proud to be Indonesian. As a good citizen I should introduce my country to the world for good purpose, that my country loves peace. I am glad to be tourism ambassador for my country. This time I’ll share great news related with Indonesia traditional music. I’ll talk about angklung. I thought not all of us knew angklung. But from this music instrument can unify all the people from all over the world with a beautiful tone.
Up close and personal with angklung
Angklung is traditional music instrument from bamboo. Bamboo itself is a tropical plant. Angklung is made of two bamboo tubes attached to a bamboo frames, the tube is different from the other. There are small and large tubes. Both of these tubes will produce sounds by shaken the tube body that collided with the frame. There are a few tones which can be produced from this musical instrument, like pelog, Slendro, Pentatonic and diatonic. But the Indonesian people should be proud to Daeng Soetigna who has introduced Angklung with a more general tone, like: Do Re Mi Fa So La Si Do, in 1938.
Actually this instrument was initially used for traditional ceremonies, such as the beginning of planting rice. But accordance with the development of arts, angklung also used for entertainment. Angklung is made from bamboo. But only two types of bamboo can be made angklung, they are black bamboo (awi wulung) and white bamboo (awi temen). We can easily find this musical instrument in the West java especially for Sundanese people.
Learning more about angklung
Angklung is actually easy to learn. Because this is a special musical instrument so we can’t play this alone, such as guitar and piano. But we have to play this instrument together with others to complement and create a beautiful harmony. There’s a place where we can learn about angklung. Saung Angklung Mang Udjo is a place where we can enjoy the Angklung music. There are many foreign tourists and local tourists who visit this place. Saung Angklung Mang Udjo is is an integrated learning centre, a place where we can see angklung performances, angklung production and how to learn angklung as well. Saung Angklung Mang Udjo is also well known as the center for education and angklung research, Sundanese art and culture. This place was built in 1966. No wonder that Saung Angklung Mang Udjo as a tourism destination for in learning about Sunda culture and as a world cultural heritage. There are special classes for three months each year, to study the Sundanese arts and know more about angklung. This class is also preferred tourist from America, France, Holland, Australia, Germany, etc.
Saung Mang Udjo
Look, how they love to play angklung!
Millions people play angklung in Washington DC (Guinness Book of Record)
“Angklung goes to America”, Wow this is good news for Indonesia. I am proud to know that millions people know very well about angklung. I want you to know that Angklung was internationally recognized by UNESCO since 11 November last year. Angklung began to be known outside world, especially for Americans since Saturday, July 9, 2011, where 5.185 participants gathered to play angklung. This was so a great achievement for angklung history. The historical moment was held at the National Mall-Washington Monument, which is located across Capitol Hill (U.S. Congress House) and opposite the White House, the office and official residence of U.S. president .This event was a highlight of the Indonesia Festival which organized by Indonesia Embassy in Washington DC.
There’s an important figure at this event, he is Daeng Udjo. He is a the son of Angklung legend, Mang Udjo. This 46 years old man was accidentally imported specially from Indonesia to lead the record-breaking. He is also responsible for making 5117 Angklungs which was distributed to all participants. Daeng Udjo admitted that he spending about one and half months to produce thousands of Angklung in Bandung, West Java.
Before the record-breaking event was done, about 30 minutes Daeng Udjo train thousands of players from the diverse of ages and races. The way to train is quite unique and practical. He is only use one hand as a sign. Earlier, thousands of angklung which were distributed to participants is already given special coded with hand pictures in a variety of formations.
For example: clenched hands for "Do" tone, lay hands for "Re" tone, thumbs up for "Mi" tone, and so on until the end of the tone. Therefore, the players just saw the hand formation which was given by Daeng Udjo who standing on the stage as high as approximately 1.5 meters. He acted as a conductor. So the participants more clearly see the hand of the conductor formations, the organizers placed two big screens on either side of the stage.
''Bring in five thousand people simultaneously is not easy. I'm just waiting for a miracle to break the record,'' said Daeng Udjo before the event. To collect the thousands of people, Indonesian Embassy has opened registration for two months before the day of performance. However, those efforts look to be less effective. The committee said that up to one hour before the event started, the number of participants is only about 1,900 people. Whereas, the target set is about five thousand people. It also makes Daeng Udjo afraid that he can't break the world record.
Mang Udjo with certificate from Guinness World of Record
Angklung sound has become a magnet that attracted the attention of the masses. Once rehearsals conducted by playing ''Country Roads'' by John Denver and ''Home on the Range'' which is popularized Bing Crosby, thousands of additional people began to arrive. "We Are the World" is able to hypnotize the player and everything together in a harmony of beautiful tone. Finally, a new record qualified for the Guinness Book of Record as The Largest Angklung Orchestra Performance.
Now, angklung has become a medium of diplomacy. I believe the world so beautiful with music where the people play music instrument and singing together.