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ANGKLUNG GUBRAG

You may be familiar with angklung, a musical instrument made of bamboo from West Java. Well, Angklung has been recognized by UNESCO on November 18th, 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya, as one of representative lists of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Angklung actually has many varieties and one of them is called angklung gubrag.

Angklung gubrag is one of traditional musical instruments from West Java that is almost extinct. This kind of angklung has differences with regular angklung because angklung gubrag has no tone. But there are only six angklung used in every performance of angklung gubrak. The name of the angklungs are bibit, anak bibit, engklok 1, engklok 2, gonjing and panembal. Angklung gubrag is also accompanied by other musical instrument namely trumpet, kendang pencak and bamboo flute. 

Another difference is the ribbon made of wiru flower which is attached to angklung. It will be shaken when the angklung is played. According to the local beliefs, Wiru flower and water that come from angklung gubrag can replenish the plants. In the old days, the agrarian Sundanese people used angklung gubrag to accompany the planting and harvest ritual. It is because everything connected to farming is considered sacred. 

That is why when the people plant and harvest the paddy, they have to perform the ritual first.

There is a reason why angklung gubrag is played to accompany the ritual. Sunda people believe that the sound from angklung can arouse the plants so the paddy can grow fast. Today, angklung gubrag is not only played during a ritual but also in several occasions. Just like what has been done by the people at Kresek Village, Tangerang, Banten. The people still preserve the angklung gubrag during the circumcision, wedding and pregnancy ceremonies. 

Angklung Gubrag used to be played by women because it was connected with goddess of fertility. But today men can also play the angklung gubrag. All players are standing while playing the instrument, while the kendang pencak player will dance too, using complete traditional costumes.

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