Back to HomeThe following description courtesy of Percussive Notes, April, 1998.
An official publication of:
The Percussive Arts Society,
701 NW Ferris Avenue, Lawton, OK.

                                                                      to hear angklungs


Angklung are shaken idiophonic* instruments native to Indonesia. Traditionally, large numbers of them are shaken for ceremonial dances. They can also be played by a group of musicians, each of whom has one instrument of differing pitch in each hand. The entire group performs a single melody in much the same way as a handbell choir, with each performer shaking an angklung at the appropriate time in the melody.

*Idiophones are instruments made of naturally sonorous material, sounded in a variety of different ways: stamping, stamped, shaken, percussion, concussion, friction, scraped, and plucked.


Each angklung consists of two or three bamboo tubes of differing lengths tuned in octaves. The tubes are mounted in a frame so that a slot on each tube aligns into a cross-piece that strikes the tube when the instrument is shaken.  Carl Orff included unpitched angklung in his "Catulli Carmina" and "Weihnachtsspiel," and scored "Prometheus" for two angklung pitched in G-flat and B-flat.         



In the early 20th century, J.C. Deagan developed an American version, called Organ Chimes or Aluminum Chimes, constructed from metal. When mounted on a rack, which allowed one or two people to perform solo pieces, Deagan's Organ Chimes became a popular novelty instrument for vaudeville and radio shows.


Please click on the links below for more on the angklung:


Back to Home[Back to Main Deagan Organ Chimes Page]