Friday, November 19, 2010


      Jakarta, Nov 19, 2010 (ANTARA) - Angklung, Indonesia`s traditional bamboo musical instrument, which has been frequently played before international audiences in Indonesia as well as overseas, has finally received world recognition.
       Angklung was one of 47 nominations from 29 countries, which had been examined by the UNESCO Inter-Governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (IGC-ICH) in its fifth session in Nairobi, Kenya, on Wednesday (Nov 17), for inscription into the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

       "The inclusion of angklung in the Intangible Cultural Heritage list will contribute positively to the preservation (of angklung) nationally and regionally," Tjetjep Suparman, director general of film, art and cultural values at the Culture and Tourism Ministry, said in a press statement, Thursday.
        UNESCO had concluded Indonesia`s angklung has met criteria of world intangible cultural heritage because it had basic values of cooperation, mutual respect and social harmony, which are main elements of the cultural identity of West Java and Banten people.
       With the support of UNESCO, Indonesia would intensify angklung`s preservation and promotion, said Tjetjep Suparman, head of the Indonesian delegation to the Nairobi meeting being held until Nov 19.
       He hoped that the younger generation would be more interested in learning and playing angklung in schools in Indonesia and overseas.

Angklung consisting of two to four bamboo tubes suspended in a bamboo frame, bound with rattan cords is originally from West Java.

The tubes are carefully whittled and cut by a master craftspersons to produce certain notes when the bamboo frame is shaken or tapped. Each Angklung produces a single note or chord, so several players must collaborate in order to play melodies.

Traditional Angklungs use the pentatonic scale, but in 1938 West Java musician Daeng Soetigna introduced Angklungs using the diatonic scale.

The Angklung is closely related to traditional customs, arts and cultural identity in Indonesia, played during ceremonies such as rice planting, harvest and circumcision.

In the old time, angklung voice believed to invite the attention of Goddess Dewi Sri (Nyi Sri Pohaci) who brought fertility to rice farmers and happiness and prosperity for mankind.

The oldest angklung in history is called "Angklung gubrag" and was made in Jasinga, Bogor. It has reached 400 years old. Some old angklungs are currently stored in the Museum angklung Sri Baduga, Bandung, West Java.

Over time, Angklung is not only known throughout the archipelago, but has spread to various countries in Asia such as in Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.

The special black bamboo for the Angklung is harvested during the two weeks a year when the cicadas sing, and is cut at least three segments above the ground, to ensure the root continues to propagate.

Angklung education is transmitted orally from generation to generation, and increasingly in educational institutions.

"Because of the collaborative nature of Angklung music, playing promotes cooperation and mutual respect among the players, along with discipline, responsibility, concentration, development of imagination and memory, as well as artistic and musical feelings," UNESCO wrote on its official website, Wednesday.

In order to be inscribed, the elements must comply with a series of criteria, including contributing to spreading the knowledge of intangible cultural heritage and promoting awareness of its importance. Nominees for the inscription must also justify protective measures taken to ensure their viability, according to UNESCO.

the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage meets annually to evaluate nominations proposed by State Parties to the 2003 Convention, and decide whether or not to inscribe those cultural practices and expressions of intangible heritage on the Convention`s Lists.

Indonesia has become a State Parties after ratifying the 2003 Convention in 2007.

The Committee incorporated 90 elements, including `Keris` (traditional dagger) and wayang puppet theater of Indonesia, in 2008; and inscribed 76 elements, including `Batik` from Indonesia, in 2009.

In 2010, 47 elements, including angklung, have been added to the list. This year`s list also included acupuncture and moxibustion of traditional Chinese medicine; Al-Bar?ah, music and dance of Oman Dhofari valleys; Daemokjang, traditional wooden architecture of South Korea; and Flamenco of Spain; and Gingerbread craft from Northern Croatia.

Welcoming the inscription of angklung in the world cultural heritage list,West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan, in Bandung, West Java, recently, said his province would intensify promotion and innovation of angklung.

"After being recognized by UNESCO, the next step is to develop further angklung through various means, and to continue promotion of the traditional music instrument," Ahmad Heryawan said.

In the future, angklung would be made a compulsory musical instrument to be played by students and more angklung cultural centers would be set up, according to the governor.

For those wanting to know better about angklung, they could visit an exhibition of angklung being organized by Saung Angklung Udjo at Bentara Budaya in Jakarta from November 18 to 27, 2010.

The exhibition called "Awi-Awi Mandiri - Anglung for the World" is supported by PT Bank Mandiri, Satria Yanwar Akbar, operational director of Saung Angklung Udjo, said in Bandung Thursday (Nov 18).

(t. f001/A/HAJM/13:45/A/O001)
(T.F001/A/F001/A/O001) 19-11-2010 13:50:25

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