Gipar drove us in his motorized becak (motorized rickshaw) through the streets of Yogyakarta and we arrived early at the local Tabubu Ethnic Music Shop that we wanted to visit. A couple of Angklung were hanging outside the entrance to the store, and while we waited for the store to open Gipar taught me how they were played. The Indonesian Angklung is a musical instrument made of bamboo tubes attached to a bamboo frame. The base of the frame is held in one hand, whilst the other hand shakes the instrument. Each of three or more performers in an Angklung ensemble play just one note or more, but complement each other in both melody and rhythm.
The Angklung and its music has become the cultural identity of the Sundanese, an Austronesian ethnic group native to the western part of the Indonesian island of Java. In 2010, UNESCO officially recognized the Indonesian Angklung as a “Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”, and encouraged the Indonesian people and government to safeguard, transmit, and promote performances, as well as to encourage the craftsmanship of Angklung.