Angklung is a handmade musical instrument made from pair of bamboo, mounted in a bamboo frame, that produces sounds when shaken. Angklung originated from West Java in Sundanese community, although angklung played in Bali as well as a part of Gamelan orchestra. In 2010 UNESCO recognized angklung as an Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
Angklung is made from a bamboo tube, cut in certain measurement to produce specific pitch. Each individual angklung has two or three bamboo tubes with different height which are mounted in a bamboo frame. Part of each bamboo is removed to create a slit opening on top. The bottom of the bamboo tube sits loosely in the hole of a bamboo frame, which permits the tube to move back and forth sideways. When shaken, this action makes bamboo tubes knock the bottom frame, thus creating a sound. Angklung is usually played by many people, each people responsible for one angklung to produce one note. Some expert players might be responsible for multiple angklungs. Each player shakes their angklung alternately, according to note in the music sheet to create a melody.
Originally angklung only has five pitches of the pentatonic musical scale. The transition of Angklung from pentatonic to diatonic scale initiated in 1938 by Daeng Sutigna from Kuningan, West Java. This transition permitted angklung to play a wider arrange of music, including modern western music, therefore made it more popular. Nowadays Angklung orchestra flourishes across Indonesia, from high school angklung club to independent angklung orchestra.
One of the prominent centres of Angklung preservation could be found in Saung Angklung Udjo (SAU) in Bandung, West Java. SAU Founded by the late Mr Udjo Ngalagena (also known as Mang Udjo) and his wife U’um Sumiati in 1966. SAU produce angklung to be sold for export and local demands, and actively preserve angklung art and Sundanese art in general. Besides making angklung, SAU held a routine performance of angklung music and traditional dance in their performance venue. SAU also actively educate the next generation of artists through their art training and education program. Now SAU is a major tourist destination in Bandung, providing a live performance of angklung music performance alongside with other Sundanese music and dance.