About Angklung

L’angklung est un instrument de musique composé de deux tiges de bambou creuses fixées à un cadre en bambou. Les tiges sont taillées de manière à produire des résonances graduées quand elles sont frappées. Les deux tiges sont accordées en octaves. La base du cadre est tenue dans une main tandis que de l’autre on secoue l’instrument rapidement de droite à gauche, créant un son de grelot répété. Ainsi, dans le groupe, chacun des musiciens – trois ou plus – va jouer une seule note de façon à, ensemble, produire des mélodies complètes. Quoique répandu dans la plupart des pays d’Asie du Sud-est, l’angklung est d’origine indonésienne (il est utilisé par les Sundanais depuis des temps immémoriaux).


Chaque angklung comporte trois éléments:

  1. Les tiges formant les voix: Ce sont ces tiges qui produiront la mélodie. Chaque tige est accordée de façon à produire un son spécifique, ce que l’on obtient en taillant sa partie supérieure pour augmenter le son et en sculptant les deux baguettes de voix pour le diminuer.
  2. Le cadre: Il soutient les tiges de voix afin qu’elles puissent être facilement remuées en avant et en arrière lorsque l’instrument est secoué.
  3. La base: Elle fonctionne comme support des tiges de voix.

Toutefois, on ne peut pas se servir de n’importe quel bambou dans la fabrication d’un angklung. Il doit avoir au moins 4 ans d’âge et pas plus de 6 ans. Il doit être coupé pendant la saison sèche, entre 9 heures du matin et 15 heures de l’après-midi. Après avoir été coupé à environ 30 cm de sa base, il doit être mis de côté pendant une semaine environ afin que le bambou soit moins saturé d’eau.

Au bout d’une semaine, la tige de bambou sera débarrassée de ses branches et coupée en sections de tailles différentes. Elle sera ensuite conservée à l’abri pendant un an pour la protéger des termites. Il existe également d’autres procédés, par exemple: on enterre le bambou dans un champ de boue, ou on le plonge dans un bassin ou une rivière; on peut également le fumer au-dessus d’un feu. Mais la méthode moderne consiste à le tremper dans un bain chimique.

« L’Angklung indonésien » a été inscrit en 19 November 2010 par l’UNESCO sur la liste représentative du patrimoine culturel immatériel de l’humanité.


Angklung is a musical instrument made out of two bamboo tubes attached to a bamboo frame. The tubes are carved so that they have a resonant pitch when struck. The two tubes are tuned to octaves. The base of the frame is held with one hand while the other hand shakes the instrument rapidly from side to side. This causes a rapidly repeating note to sound. Thus each of three or more angklung performers in an ensemble will play just one note and together complete melodies are produced. Angklung is popular throughout Southeast Asia, but originated from Indonesia (used and played by the Sundanese since the ancient times).

Since 19 November 2010, Angklung has been declared as Indonesian Intangible Cultural Heritage by Unesco.

Each Angklung consist of 3 parts:

  1. The Voice Tubes: these tubes produce the tune. Each tube has to be tuned for specific tone by cutting its upper parts for increasing tone and by shaping both voice laths for decreasing the tone.
  2. The Frame : is supporting the voice tubes so they can be move back and forth freely when the instrument is shaken sideways
  3. The Base It is function as the frame of the voice tubes.

Not all bamboo can be used for angklung instrument, it is selected by its age – has to be at least 4 years old and not more than 6 years old. It is cut on the dry season, between 9 am in the morning to 3 pm at the afternoon. After being cut at its base for about 2-3 span of the hand, it will be stored for about 1 week, so that the bamboo will contain less water. After a week, the bamboo will be cut into certain various sizes. Then, will be stored for about one year to keep it from termites. Some of the other procedures are: by sinking the bamboo beneath mud field, pool or river, also by smoking it at the fireplace, and the modern procedure: by using a certain liquid chemistry formula.


The Angklung got more international attention when Daeng Soetigna, from Bandung, West Java, expanded the angklung notations not only to play traditional pélog or sléndro scales, but also diatonic scale in 1938. Since then, angklung is often played together with other western music instruments in an orchestra. One of the first well-known performances of angklung in an orchestra was during the Bandung Conference in 1955. A few years later, Udjo Ngalagena, a student of Daeng Soetigna, opened his “Saung Angklung” (House of Angklung – http://www.angklung-udjo.co.id) in 1966 as centre of its development.

In Hindu period and Padjajaran kingdom era, Sundanese people used the angklung to sign the time for prayer. Later, Padjajaran kingdom use this instrument as corps music in Bubat War (Perang Bubat).

Angklung functioned as building the peoples community spirit. It was still used by the Sundanese until the colonial era (Dutch East Indies, V.O.C). Because of the colonial times, the Dutch East Indies government tried to forbid people playing the angklung instrument.

Outside Indonesia

In the early 20th century, the angklung was adopted in Thailand, where it is called angkalung (อังกะลุง). The Thai angklung are typically tuned in the Thai tuning system of seven equidistant steps per octave, and each angklung has three bamboo tubes tuned in three separate octaves rather than two, as is typical in Indonesia.

Angklung had also been adopted by its Austronesian neighbours, in particularly Malaysia and the Philippines, where they are rather played as part of bamboo xylophone orchestras. Formally introduced into Malaysia sometime after the end of confrontation, it found immediate popularity [. They are generally played using a pentatonic scale similar to the Indonesian slendro, although in the Philippines, sets also come in the diatric and minor scales used to perform various Spanish-influenced folk music.

At least one Sundanese angklung buncis ensemble exists in the United States. Angklung Buncis Sukahejo is an ensemble at The Evergreen State College, and includes eighteen double rattles (nine tuned pairs) and four dog-dog drums.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s