[DDM] Interview with Mr Sam Udjo

Last time when I went to Saung Angklung Udjo, I couldn’t interview Mr Udjo because he was busy. This morning, I went to Saung Angklung Udjo again to met Mr Udjo. Luckily, Mr Udjo has free time for me.

I asked couple of thing to Mr Udjo, these are my interview result:

What is Angklung

Angklung is traditional musical instrument from West Java and created from bamboo. Originally when it still use pentatonic scale, it has three tubes; low octave tube, middle octave tube, and high octave tube. The modern Angklung that use diatonic scale by Mr Daeng Soetigna only has two tubes. Mr Soetigna use only two tubes because the third tube was too high for some notes. There are some modern Angklung that use three tubes but usually they use the third one to make it sound louder.

Where it comes from

No one knows where it comes from but it already here since kingdom of Padjadjaran’s era. Back then they use Angklung for a ritual (in old religion). Every place have their own unique Angklung but some people said it all originated from Badui people in Banten.

Tell me about Saung Angklung Udjo

Saung Angklung Udjo became family business since 1965, not just making Angklung but also doing performance. Mr Udjo learn Angklung from Mr Soetigna and since then if someone asked about sundanese Angklung they often said Angklung Udjo.

Type of Angklung

There are melody (a 30 notes of Angklung), akompanimen (Angklung chord), cuk (high octave akompanimen), elephant (lower octave notes)

How to make Angklung

Prepare the 4 years old bamboo and dried it for a year, make the frame, make the tubes, and tuning. Tuning is the hardest part of making Angklung. Mr Udjo used bamboo from South Sukabumi because the bamboo there has the best quality for Angklung. We can use any bamboo that we can find but it will give different result. We can’t use thick bamboo.

How to play Angklung

Basically there is only one way to play Angklung which is kurulung (shaking). Last time I wrote that there are three way to play Angklung but beside kurulung, the other two (centok and tengkep) used to give more dynamic/rich play. Tengkep (holding one of the tubes) usually used in Angklung Akompanimen (chord) but we can also use it for Angklung melody to create a different timbre to the play.

Note scale that Angklung used

Angklung use diatonic scale. Full scale of Angklung is three octaves.

How many Angklung needed ideally for a concert or performance

It depends on the song arrangement. Usually each performer can hold up to 5 Angklung, not to many because it can be too heavy. Elephant Angklung can weight more than 2 kg.

Is it difficult to held concert outside country

Yes, the lack of equipment and where is the location can impact the performance.

What do you think about Angklung digital

It’s okay if we want to educate people about Angklung but to preserve it we need the real thing. It is better if people can see and feel the real thing than just hear its sound.

That’s it, my interview with Mr Udjo went well and I hope it can help me with my final project.

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