Tag Archive | "Angklung"

Another World’s Cultural Heritage from Indonesia

Jakarta. Angklung, the traditional West Java musical instrument made from bamboo, has been included in Unesco’s list of intangible cultural heritage.

The instrument was among 46 items from 21 countries inscribed to the list at the Fifth Unesco Inter-Governmental Committee meeting on Intangible Cultural Heritage in Nairobi, Kenya.

The angklung now joins the wayang (the Javanese shadow puppet theater), the kris (the Javanese ceremonial dagger) and batik among the Indonesian representatives in the list.

Miss Universe's playing Angklung

I Gusti Ngurah Putra, a spokesman for the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, said the government welcomed the recognition granted by Unesco.

“The reason the angklung was inscribed to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity is because it has deep philosophical values for humanity, such as cooperation, respect and social harmony,” he said.

“Because to produce music with angklung requires good cooperation among the angklung players, as no melody can be played by a single player.”

Masanori Nagaoka, the culture program specialist at Unesco’s Jakarta office, said it was hoped the recognition would lead to greater awareness of angklung and its traditions.

“Being recognized by Unesco on the list ensures better visibility for the intangible cultural heritage and raises awareness of its importance, while encouraging dialogue that respects cultural diversity,” he said.

Each angklung is made with two bamboo tubes attached to a bamboo frame.

It plays only one specific note, which is produced by shaking the instrument rapidly from side to side.

During the height of the Sunda Kingdom, when much of Indonesia was still Hindu, it was used to signal prayer times. Later on it was used by the Sundanese to boost morale, and was banned by the Dutch colonial masters.

That effectively relegated it to a children’s toy.

In the 20th century, the angklung was adopted by several other countries, including Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines.

These were variations of the original, with the Thai angklung, for instance, using three bamboo tubes instead of two.

In addition to the four items Indonesia now boasts on the list of intangible cultural heritage, the country also has seven sites on Unesco’s list of world heritage sites.

Three of them — the Borobudur monument, the Prambanan temple complex and the Sangiran Early man site, all in Central Java — are on the list of world cultural heritage. The other four — the Komodo, Lorentz and Ujung Kulon national parks, as well as the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra — are listed as world natural heritage.

“We’re now working on getting the Acehnese Saman Dance to be recognized as intangible cultural heritage,” Putra said.

“We’re going to work hard to have as much of our culture as possible recognized by Unesco, the main point being to get the rest of the world involved in preserving our culture.”

He said the government also wanted recognition of Indonesian culture to prevent other countries from laying claim to it.

The government earlier this year promoted the angklung by inscribing it on the back of the new Rp 1,000 coin, which was introduced in April.

News Source : The Jakarta Globe

Photo Source : Embassy of Indonesia in Italy

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The echo of Angklung in Europe

Everyone knows that angklung is a traditional musical instrument, and it’s made from a particular bamboo that only grow in Indonesia. But, not many Indonesian knows that angklung is also popular in European countries. Wanna know why? Because Keluarga Paduan Angklung SMAN 3 Bandung made that happen.

KPA 3 is an angklung music group consisting of SMAN 3 Bandung students. There are many breakthroughs they made in angklung world, and one of them is ESA, Expand The Sound of Angklung. ESA is an event where KPA 3 joined music festivals in Europe. Since 2002, there have been 4 ESA, and here is the list of international music festival and awards they have achieved:

1. Expand The Sound Of Angklung 2002, a cultural visit to several European countries from 16 July – 9 August 2002, and participated on international events, as follows:

  • 29th International Folklfestival in Gannat, France.
  • 19th International Folklfestival in Moerbeke-Waas, Belgium.
  • Expand The Sound of Angklung 2002 also held two concert in Heidelberg and Kiel, Germany.

2. Expand The Sound Of Angklung 2004, a cultural visit to several European countries from 22 July – 28 August 2004, and participated on international events, as follows:

  • Aberdeen International Youth Festival (AIYF) in Aberdeen, Scotland This festival is the biggest youth festival in the world, which focusing on development of music and theatre of youth.
  • 36th International Festival of Mountain Folklore in Zakopane, Polandia This is one of the oldest competition on folk tradition. KPA3 is invited as the first participant ever from Indonesia. In this festival, KPA3 achieved 3 trophy, as folows:

2004 – 1st place in musician category of 36th International Festival of Mountain Folklore, Zakopane, Republic of Poland
2004 – 2nd place in singer category of 36th International Festival of Mountain Folklore, Zakopane, Republic of Poland
2004 – Audience prize of 36th International Festival of Mountain Folklore, Zakopane, Republic of Poland

  • 50. Mezinárodni Folklorni Festival, ?erven? Kostelec, Czech Republic In this festival, KPA3 achieve 1st audience prize of 50. Mezinárodni Folklorni Festival, ?erven? Kostelec, Czech Republic Expand The Sound of Angklung 2004 also held four concert in Bremen & Muenchen (Germany), Paris (France), and Brussels (Belgium).

3. Expand The Sound Of Angklung 2008, a cultural visit to several European countries from 15July 2008 – 7 August 2008 and participated on international events, as follows:

  • 2008 International of Petras, Greece § 2008 Norbanus Festival at Norma, Italy.
  • 2008 Festival of Rassegna at Castigleone del Lago, Italy.
  • 2008 International Society of Music Education International Conference at Bologna, Italy.

4. Expand The Sound Of Angklung 2010, June 29th – July 29th, 2010. KPA 3 joined 4 festival:

  • International Festival Folkart Maribor ( June 29th – July 3rd, 2010 ) Organized annually under the patronage of the International Council for Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Art (CIOFF), the International Festival Folkart, Maribor is an important platform for folklore groups and musicians. The festival takes place at various venues: the central stage is a floating stage on the river Drava and there are also several open-air stages in squares and streets all over the city of Maribor,Slovenia.
  • Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival Vienna ( July 3rd – July 8th, 2010 ) Hosted by VIA MUSICA (Vienna International Association for Music and Culture Exchange) and provides a unique platform for the world’s most talented youth choirs, bands and orchestras to perform in Vienna’s magnificent Musikverein..The six-day Summa Cum Laude Festival was expanded to include both the Summa Cum Laude Competition as well as the Summa Cum Laude Celebration. KPA 3 achieved a special award and was honored to perform in the gala winner.
  • International Folk Festival (Festival Internacional de Folklore) of Ciudad Real (July 13th –July 20th, 2010) Organized by Association of Songs and Dances of Ciudad Real (Mazantini Group), International Folk Festival (Festival Internacional de Folklore) of Ciudad Real is held every year in mid-July. This festival is part of the International Council of Organization for Folklore Festivals and Traditional Arts (CIOFF).
  • International Folk Festival (Festival Folklorico Internacional) of Extremadura, Badajoz (July 21st –July 29th 2010) Beginning in 2003, International Folk Festival (Festival Folklorico Internacional) of Extremadura, Badajoz is organized by The Federation of Folklore Extremadura. This festival gives opportunity to perform a dance or music indigenous to their town or area and learned by another group or associations.

KPA 3 is well known because of its achievement in angklung world. Beside ESA there are many local music festival they’ve joined and awards they’ve earned.

GNFI had a great opportunity to interview Nabila Putri Kencana and Vica Asrianti, members of Keluarga Paduan Angklung SMAN 3 Bandung. Both of them were very delighted to tell GNFI about the experiences they had when they were abroad. Nabila, who recently graduated from SMAN 3 and is now studying management in UNPAD, went to Europe with ESA team in 2008. While Vica, SMAN 3 10th grader, went to Europe with the team in June to July 2010.

Nabila Putri Kencana

Vica Asrianti

GNFI: When was KPA established?

Vica: KPA was established in October 4, 1980.

GNFI: What started ESA in the first place?

Vica: In 2002, there were some students who wanted to expand KPA and angklung. They wanted angklung to be popular not just in Indonesia, but also in other countries. Some alumni came up with the idea of going abroad and not long after that, they coincidentally received some invitations from cultural events. The first festival KPA joined was the 29th International Folk Festival in Gannat, France.

GNFI: That’s awesome! How many ESA have been held ever since?

Nabila: Four. ESA 2002, 2004, 2008, and the latest was 2010.

GNFI: Is it always in European countries?

Nabila: Yes it is. Because we always go there when we are in school holiday, and at the same time it’s summer in Europe. There are many cultural festivals held every summer, unlike America. That’s why we focused on going there.

GNFI: I see. How many students are in the team usually?

Nabila: There are 35 students with one teacher.

GNFI: That’s a lot of number! How many of them play angklung? Is there anything else they do beside playing angklung?

Vica: All of them. Beside playing angklung we also dance traditional dances like saman, jaipong, jali jali and balinese dances on stage.

GNFI: Are you saying that all of the students can dance? They’re not only playing angklung?

Nabila: In 2008, the were only few of the students who can dance.

Vica: But in 2010, all of us can dance. Most of us even had to learn more than one traditional dances. If we’re not playing angklung, then we dance.

GNFI: How about the costumes?

Vica: We brought angklung costumes, traditional costumes and dancing costumes.

GNFI: How many singer do you usually have in team?

Nabila: Only one person sings. But all of us also sing in a particular song, like Rayuan Pulau Kelapa.

Vica: That’s right. I even cried when I sang that song.

Nabila: Me too.

GNFI: Really? What made you both cry?

Vica: We were just very proud of hearing Indonesian songs in foreign country. And it was also a heart-rending moment seeing Indonesian’s flag, proudly standing next to other countries’ flags.

GNFI: I couldn’t agree more. And how about the audience? Did those foreigner enjoy your performances?

Nabila: Surprisingly, they did. Some of them even kept following us in every performances, because they really liked us.

Vica: Yes, it happened to me and my group too. When we were in Badajoz, there was an old photographer who really liked us. By the end of our performance, he gave each of us a CD of our photos. He also printed some photos and signed it.

GNFI: Wow, that’s truly amazing!

Vica: Indeed. Their responses were very great, better than we received when we played in Indonesia. Foreigner were amazed to see angklung.

Nabila: They are… they’re just very curious to know how an odd looking musical instrument like angklung could make beautiful sounds.

GNFI: When you played in Indonesia, the responses weren’t that good?

Vica: I have to admit that in Indonesia, people like to see us but they’re not interested in preserving the cultures.

GNFI: I see. Back to ESA, what else did you do beside performing on stage?

Nabila: We also sold some Indonesian souvenirs.

GNFI: Really? What kind of souvenirs?

Nabila: Angklung, angklung’s badge, CD midi angklung, blangkon, kecapi miniature, wayang golek, batik bed cover.

Vica: Batik shirts and scarfs.

GNFI: Cool. And did they like it?

Vica: They did. There were many customers who bought our batik scarfs. It was a real fun selling those in foreign countries. It made us learn their languages.

Nabila: It was pretty hard when we were in Italy. Many Italian don’t speak English, so I used my body language to tell the the prices. It’s kinda funny but I got some skills after that. Skills to sell something.

[End of interview]

See? Their stories are just amazing. I had a great time interviewing them. Anyway, if you wonder what songs that KPA 3 usually play abroad, here is the list:

  • Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67,
  • Mov. I Allegro con brio Clément Philibert Léo Delibes Pizzicati from The Ballet “Sylvia”,
  • Act III Johann Strauss, Jr. Wiener Blut Walzer, Op. 354 Johann Strauss, Sr. Radetzky March, Op. 228 Jacques Offenbach Orpheus in the Underworld Overture: Infernal Gallop
    John Towner Williams Williams’s Suite of Score – from John Williams Music Scores
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber Memory from the Musical “Cats”
  • Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi Libiamo ne’ lieti calici (The Drinking Song) from The Opera “La Traviata
    Eros Djarot Suite from Badai Pasti Berlalu
  • Guruh Soekarno Putra Melati Suci
  • Halo-Halo Bandung
  • Medley Persada Indonesia
    Lalayaran – Hariring Haleuang Tembang (traditional Sundanese)
  • Es Lilin (traditional Sundanese)
  • Jali – Jali (traditional Betawi)
  • Janger (traditional Balinesse)
  • Tapanuli’s Splendor (Series of Batak folksong)

KPA 3 has proved to the world that our traditional musical instrument and folk songs are amazing. By the way, KPA 3 is preparing for its next concert. If you’re interested in watching it, just let me know :)

Photo Source: Private collections

Thank you Ms. Nabila Putri Kencana and Ms. Vica Asrianti for the time!

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The Story Of Angklung


Angklung is a renowned musical instrument made of bamboo and its originated is West Java, Indonesia. In the early days, music played an essential part of ceremonial activities, especially in the harvest times. The sound of bamboos is believed will catch the attention of the goddess Sri – who will bring fertility to the plantation, and pass the joy and happiness for mankind.

The oldest Angklung in history that still exist is called Angklung Gubrag made in Jasinga, Bogor, and has reached 400 years of age. Nowadays, some of those older Angklung remain in Sri Baduga Museum, Bandung.

As the time flown by, Angklung is not only recognized throughout Indonesia, also, spreading to other Asian countries. In the late of 20th century, Daeng Soetigna created Angklung based on diatonic tone scale. Ever since then, Angklung has been used in entertainment business as well it is even able to play diverse genres of music. And In 1966, Udjo Ngalagena a student of Mr. Daeng Soetigna developed Angklung based on traditional Sundanese tone scale Salendro, Pelog and Madenda.

Current days, many contemporary and young musicians compose music through the brilliant sound of bamboo.


The word angklung taken from the way the instrument played and the sound that creates. The word it self come from sundanesse word “angkleung-angkleungan”. It refers to the movement of angklung player. And the sound of “klung” that produced. In linguistic term, angklung came from the word “angka” = tone, and “Lung” = broken. So Angklung refers to the broken tone, or uncompleted tone

Traditional Angklung in Indonesia

Angklung Buhun Phase (Aprrox 6 Century – 15 C)
Angklung Buhun (400 AD)

The spread of traditional Angklung by Sundanese Empire through diplomatic relation since 600 AD made Angklung famous outside Java, like Bali, Sumatera and Kalimantan . Angklung Buhun is a term of Angklung that hasn’t got any influence from any other culture elements [1]. Angklung Buhun used the pitch of Carang (Salendro) and Kerep (Pelog). Internationally, we call it pentatonic.. The head function of Angklung Buhun is a medium of farming ceremony (planting time and harvest time) It is believed that Angklung voice can make Dewi Sri (Goddess of rice crop) come to the earth that would give people blessing. The players of Angklung Buhun were only 9 males of above forty years old.

Angklung Badeng Phase ( 15 Century – 19 Century )
In 15th century, islam developed rapidly in Indonesia. art and culture, including Angklung, were the fast methods in spreading Islam . In 15th century, in Sanding Malangbong, Garut regency, Angklung art developed as a medium of spreading Islam .

Angklung Modern phase
Angklung Pa Daeng (1938 – now)
Daeng Soetigna first transform Indonesian Angklung from traditional pentatonic tone scale, become Diantonic Cromatic Tone Scale. The function of the Angklung is for education and enterntainment porpuses. He Simplify the shape of the angklung. A full set contain : angklung melody, angklung accompanigment, Cuk and Angklung Bass

Angklung Pentatonic Udjo Ngalagena (1970 –now)
The rapid development of Pa Daeng Angklung (modern) in the late 60’s, have two different effect. In one side, it increase the apresiation and awareness the people on angklung. But in other hand, it slowly reduce the growth of traditional angklung. Udjo Ngalagena developed new style of pentatonic traditional angklung and also develop a new tone scale in angklung called madenda. It enrich the traditional tone scale. Nowadays, Sundanese Angklung tone scale not only played in pelog and salendro, but also in madenda. Udjo’s inovation on traditional angklung, become one of the solution in preserving the traditional Sundanesse Angklung.

Daeng Soetigna’s Angklung
Daeng Soetigna was the person who changed Angklung with Pentatonic scale into Chromatic diatonic; while Udjo Ngalagena was the person who introduce Angklung with his studio (Saung Angklung Udjo) actively to the whole world. Therefore, each of them got his own sobriquet.

Angklung Development In Indonesia

Magic of Angklung
Other things which lead to the development of meaningful values in music education are:

  • Increasing awareness on music
  • Emerging music sense
  • Developing rhythm sense, melody and harmony, etc

The other important things of Angklung are:

  • Intellectual/intelligent development
  • Creativity-discipline
  • Emotional and expressions channel in playing music happily
  • Practice coordinating body movement when following music rhythm in terms of psychomotor nerve development
  • Some health centres in other country have proved through their scientific findings that Angklung has been a health therapy medium
  • Furthermore, it is expected that traditional arts be able to stimulate idealism and interests of young generation on the existence of Sundanese traditional arts/music. In addition to this, it is further hoped that young generations also get interested in preserving natural environment

All stated previously are called the ‘Magic of Angklung’.

Angklung and Character Building

From its enchantment and appeal, Angklung has a good effect because of its real function: by the art of Angklung, good values may grow, especially in character building, such as: Cooperation, Cooperativeness, Discipline, Accuracy, Agility, Responsibility, Etc

Further Development of Indonesia Angklung

Angklung Industrial Development
Approximately there are about 200 group of Angklung maker in Indonesia, mostly live in Java
The biggest angklung Factory is Saung Angklung Udjo, produce approximatelly 17.600 pcs/month . Due to Indonesian government regulacy and new inovation of Indonesian artist in angklung, the industry growing rapidly. The demand of angklung for past 3 years increases 30% / year

Angklung Music Development
Angklung in Indonesia absorb to classified society level, and many musical genres. Start from pop, blues, rock, jazz and many other. More and more Indonesian artists creates and innovates through the Angklung. A wishful aimed that the Angklung industry would become the popular music industry such as guitar as examples, would be the Angklung of Indonesia in the future.

Source: www.angklung-udjo.co.id


Want more? Just watch the video below (and followed by following parts) by Saung Udjo. It shows how great and beautiful Indonesian culture is. Now, Angklung is currently being verified to be the world heritage from Indonesia by UNESCO. And I’m pretty sure that all of Indonesians looking forward for that great news, just like Batik on this 2nd of October.

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