Tag Archives: Interview

[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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[DDM] Interview with Dr Eko Mursito Budi

This afternoon I met Dr. Eko Mursito Budi in my past university ITB (Institut Teknologi Bandung) to ask about Angklung. In this interview, my question was around creating digital sound of Angklung. It isn’t easy to synthesize Angklung sound. Dr. Budi said that it is nearly impossible to create realistic sound of Angklung. This is because Angklung is an instrument from bamboo (an organic material) even two Angklung with the same note can have slightly different sound.

When we want to create digital sound, there are two way of doing this, using procedural and sample. Angklung’s sound wave pattern is not consistent that’s why it is hard if we want to create Angklung sound using procedural approach. Instead of using procedural approach, the only way to create Angklung sound is using sample based synthesizer. Even if we use sample to create Angklung sound, there are still some problem with it which are human factor and Angklung’s sound itself. When we play Angklung, even if the player is an expert, when he/she play the same note, it won’t have the same sound so we won’t get the exact same sample. The other problem is about Angklung sound itself. Like I said before, even two Angklung with same note can sound different. Even though there are still some problems, using sample is still the best approach right now.

Currently Dr Budi using sample approach to create digital sound of Angklung. Normally when we want to use sample, we will record as many sample as possible but Dr Budi use only one sample. Dr Budi said if we use too many sample, it will become inconsistent unlike guitar or piano that has consistent sound for every notes. Not only one sample, Dr Budi only record one way of playing Angklung. In my last blog post I wrote that there are three way to play Angklung; shaking, snapping, and holding. Dr Budi only record sound sample for snapping. This approach is suitable for Angklung because it will become more consistent and if we want to produce shaking sound we can just overlap snapping sound and repeat it.

After this interview, I decided to use Dr Budi approach to create digital sound of Angklung.

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[DDM] The Making of Angklung

Today I went to Saung Angklung Udjo to meet Mr. Sam Udjo. When I got there, Mr Udjo was to busy with his work and his speech for a seminar tomorrow morning so he said that we can meet another time when he isn’t busy. Before I left, he suggest me to meet one of his Angklung craftsmen to learn how to make one.

I didn’t want to go home empty handed so I decided to interview the craftsmen instead. His name is Mr Rahmat, he create Angklung for more than 38 years. He usually spend three hours to create one angklung but if he work as a group (with other craftsmen) they can create hundreds of Angklung in a week. Basically there are four steps to create an Angklung; bamboo preparation, create frame, create bamboo tubes, and tuning. The hardest part for these steps is tuning. The bamboo itself is a special kind of bamboo, well we can use any bamboo we can find even we can also use pipe to create angklung but it won’t sound the same. Normally angklung has two tubes but in some case, it can has three or four tubes.

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