Thursday, March 12, 2009


Angklung is a traditional Indonesian musical instrument. It is made up of bamboo tubes of varying lengths to create different tones and pitches. It makes a crisp and sweet sound. Each Angklung has its own note. Therefore, many Angklungs must be played in order to hear a complete piece of beautiful music. It is playing by first holding on to the centre of the instrument with the index and middle fingers of a hand and the base supported by the thumb and index finger at the left end of the base. There are varying sizes of Angklungs, but Angklungs can be divided into 2 main categories: Melody and Accompaniment.

Below are the various sizes of Angklung:

The big...

The medium...

and the small

The way to support the Angklung

On the Bahasa Indonesia I project day on the 20 March 2009, 29 students will perform the Melody Angklung for the audience. They will be performing Naik-naik Ke Puncak Gunung and Topi Saya Bundar, which are children songs from Indonesia. I visited them in rehearsal on 12 March, Thursday.

The rehearsal had full attendance. After some hustle, the rehearsal started. The students followed the instruction of Ibu Yuke and the conductor closely. They seemed to have great fun playing the Angklung, giggled when some mistakes were made and continued after that to rectify the mistake. Everyone enjoyed the process of making music.

The members enjoying the process of making music with Angklung

(above and below)

Everyone paying full atention to the conductor

Everyone paying full attention to Ibu Yuke and Ibu Eli during rehearsal

One of the performing students, Shi Lai, joined the Angklung as he wanted to learn more about Indonesian Music, musical skills, improve his understanding of Bahasa Indonesia and Indonesian culture. He felt that the greatest challenge of playing th Angklung is to know what is the right time for the students to enter the song. He also felt that the other challenges include the ability to hold the notes for the right amount of time and keeping with the beat of the conductor, which needs more practice to overcome. Despite the difficulties, he believes that the team will still perform well on project day.

The instructor, Ibu Yuke feels that most of the students had an excellent attitude towards learning to play the Angklung, despite being later learners of the art. They do not sound like amateurs to the ears of mine during the practice.

Let's look forward to their upcoming performance on 20 March!

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