Garuda Bird

Garuda Bird
The Sign of Indonesia

May 30, 2010

The Making of Angklung

Angklung is a kind of music instrument that made from bamboo material and it has special tone and rhytm. Angklung made from some instrument that consist of bamboo tubes with different size. They are arranged and configured on a small frame. To make sound from angklung, you just moves it gently, and unique sound may appear from it.
There are some steps to make angklung, i.e. choosing the bamboo, making the parts of angklung, tuning the voice tube, finishing, and maintenance. Every steps will be explained on next following section.

The first step is choosing the bamboo. Bamboo is the material of an Angklung. It is choosing by its age. It has to be at least 4 years old and not more than 6 years old. It is cut in the dry season, between 9 am and 3 pm at the afternoon. After being cut at its base, with the size about 2-3 span of the hand, it should be stored for about 1 week, so that the bamboo will contain less water.
After a week, the bamboo should be separated from its branches. It should be cut into certain various sizes. Then, it should be stored for about one year to prevent it from termites. Some of the procedures are: by sinking out 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 second step is making parts of angklung. Each Angklung consist of 3 parts, there are :
The Voice Tubes

The most important part of an Angklung, is the voice tubes which produce intonation. Tuning process makes the intonation.
The Frame

Frame supports the voice tubes to stand inside the hollow space.
The Base

It functions as the frame of the voice tubes.

The third step is tuning the voice tube. This step also consist of several specific step. i.e. :
Half-Done Process

It is the process of Shaping the bamboo become laths of voice tube.
Resonance Tuning Process

It is the process of blowing the lower part of an Angklung to the floor and measuring it to the tuner.
Main Voice Tuning Process

It is the process of tuning the voice by increasing and decreasing the tone by striking voice. Also it is the process of increasing the tone by cutting its upper parts slightly, and decreasing the tone by shaping both voice laths with shaping knife.

The last step is finishing and maintenance. At this step, after each of the voice tubes has its tone, it should be put into the frame laths and be tied of rattan rope. Maintenance process is checking the angklung, are the tone is fit or not. If the tone isn't fit, angklung must be re-tuning. Here some steps of re-tuning the angklung.
  1. If the tone of angklung is higher than the normal tone, the angklung (side A) can be whittled by knife little by little until it reaches the tone wished.
  2. If the tone of angklung is lower than the normal tone, the end of angklung (side B) can be cut little by little until it reaches the normal tone.

Author : Rian Yulianto W

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