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Home Ensemble Category Acknowledgment




Angklungs in Malaysia originated from Indonesia. Angklung got popular when Daeng Soetigna from bandung (West Java) expanded the angklung notations not only to play traditional pélog or sléndro scales, but also diatonic scale. Since then, angklung is often played together with other western music instruments in an orchestra (extracted from wikipedia).

Angklung's group for playing the melody lines are tuned in one interval or one octave between each other and for accompaniment angklungs, it is tuned according to Tonic Triad, that is Do, Mi, So either on major or minor mode. 



Angklung is usually performed in large groups for special welcoming occasions, stage performances  and also to accompany "kuda kepang", the horse trance dance which also originated from Indonesia. The kuda kepang mainly found in Johore, the southern state of peninsular Malaysia and certain areas in East Malaysia, exclusively performed by the Malays of Javanese origin. Angklungs complete the kuda kepang musical ensemble. Each angklung has three sliced graduated bamboo tubes loosely attached to the wooden frame. Five angklungs are used, one a chord angklung usually in C minor, and two pairs of single pitch which are fifth apart, usually C and G. The angklung sound a C minor chord of sixteenth notes throughout the piece, while the gong comes in twice - the middle and at the end of every measure. There is a slight variation in the pitches of the angklung and the drumming patterns among various kuda kepang groups.

While angklungs in kuda kepang plays a specific pattern on sets on notes, angklungs for stage performances have less rigid rules. They can play any notes in any scales of minor and major depending on the pieces, and usually for modern songs nowadays.


Playing the angklung


Angklung is an idiophone musical instrument made out of two or three bamboo tubes or "tabung buluh" 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.


On the right is an animation of a C note angklung being shake.

Click on the "DEMO PLAY" to hear the sound of an angklung.


The next animation is of a set of C Major scale angklungs being shake. Click on the "DEMO PLAY" to hear the sounds of the angklungs.