Siapa yang tak kenal angklung? Kesenian khas Jawa Barat ini kini sudah mendunia. Tentu saja hal ini membanggakan. Namun, bagi penulis, hal ini pun mencengangkan. Pasalnya, pada 1990, ketika penulis bincang-bincang dengan tokoh angklung, Mang Udjo, di kediamannya, Jalan Padasuka, Bandung, Jawa Barat, Indonesia, terdengar kata-katanya yang bikin miris. “Masa depan kesenian angklung di tanah air kita, suram….” ungkapnya. “Ya, suram!” tegasnya. Meskipun “Yayasan Pendidikan Angklung”-nya memiliki banyak murid, tapi Mang Udjo tidak memiliki murid kesayangan.
Who doesn’t know angklung? This West Javanese art is now global. Of course this thing boasts. However, for the author, this is also astounding. The reason is, in 1990, when the writer talked with angklung figure, Mang Udjo, at his residence, Jalan Padasuka, Bandung, West Java, Indonesia, there were words that made him sad. “The future of angklung art in our homeland is grim …” he said. “Yes, gloomy!” he stressed. Although the “Angklung Education Foundation” has many students, but Mang Udjo does not have a favorite student.
Artinya, generasi penerus kesenian angklung sampai saat itu belum kelihatan. Padahal, sejak yayasan tersebut didirikan, pelajaran angklung yang diberikannya setiap sore itu gratis. Ungkapan Mang Udjo memang beralasan. Pasalnya, sejak beliau pensiun mengajar dari Sekolah Pendidikan Guru (SPG) Negeri 2 Bandung, pada 1984, kesenian angklung di sekolah-sekolah menjadi vakum. Lagi pula, saat itu, anak-anak muda di Bandung lebih mencintai budaya Barat dan melupakan budaya sendiri. Lalu, bagaimana kini angklung bisa mendunia? Tentu saja oleh karena adanya peran dari generasi kini yang berdampak siginifikan bagi perkembangan seni angklung. Sayang sekali, Mang Udjo telah tiada, penulis tak dapat meminta tanggapannya mengenai hal yang menggembirakan ini. Tak apalah. Yang penting sejarah telah mencatat bahwa eksistensi kesenian angklung tak bisa dipisahkan dari peran Mang Udjo.
Ya, kesenian angklung bisa mendunia oleh karena peran murid kesayangan padaeng Sutigna yang bernama Udjo Ngalagena. Ialah generasi penerus kesenian angklung setelah padaeng Sutigna wafat. Sepak terjang Mang Udjo untuk perkembangan seni angklung telah diakui publik. Berbagai penghargaan dari pemerintah pun telah diterimanya.

That is, the next generation of angklung art until then has not been seen. In fact, since the foundation was established, the angklung lessons he gave every afternoon were free. The phrase Mang Udjo is reasonable. The reason is, since he retired from teaching a school of teacher education in Bandung, in 1984, angklung art in schools became stopped. After all, at that time, young people in Bandung loved Western culture and forgot their own culture. Then, how can angklung be global now? Of course because of the role of the current generation that has a significant impact on the development of angklung art. Unfortunately, Mang Udjo is gone, the author cannot ask for his response on this exciting matter. It’s okay. What is important is that history has noted that the existence of angklung art cannot be separated from the role of Mang Udjo.

Yes, angklung art can be global because of the role of the darling pupil dieng Sutigna named Udjo Ngalagena. It was the next generation of angklung art after Padaeng Sutigna died. The move of Mang Udjo for the development of angklung art has been publicly acknowledged. Various awards from the government have been received.

Tapi, uniknya, Mang Udjo enggan disebut tokoh. “Saya hanya penerus, yang tokoh itu guru saya,” ujar Mang Udjo merendahkan hatinya. “Mmm…. Kalau menulis nama guru saya, ingat, bukan Pak Daeng Sutigna, tapi yang benar adalah padaeng Sutigna!” ujarnya lagi. Pada 1932, dalam usia empat tahun, Udjo memang sudah jatuh cinta pada kesenian dan belajar kepada Abah Almawi, sesepuh di kampungnya. Di hadapan padaeng Sutigna, hati Udjo bertekad, “Saya akan mengembangan angklung,” katanya. Selama belajar, Udjo dikenal kawan-kawan sebagai murid yang taat. Apa yang dilakukan gurunya, mulai dari membuat sampai memainkan angklung, Udjo mengikutinya dengan sungguh-sungguh. Udjo tidak ingin melihat keberadaan angklung seperti di jaman sebelum padaeng Sutigna mengangkatnya. Sebab, sebelum gurunya bergerak, pada waktu itu angklung dipandang sebelah mata, dianggap kesenian yang bernilai rendah, oleh karena hanya populer di kalangan masyarakat kecil dan sering digunakan orang ngamen.

But, unique, Mang Udjo was reluctant to be called a character. “I am only the successor, the character is my teacher,” Mang Udjo lowered his heart. “Mmm … If you write the name of my teacher, remember, it’s not Pak Daeng Sutigna, but the truth is padaeng Sutigna!” he said again. In 1932, at the age of four, Udjo had indeed fallen in love with art and studied with Abah Almawi, an elder in his village. In the presence of Dieng Sutigna, Udjo’s heart was determined, “I will develop angklung,” he said. During the study, Udjo was known as friends as a devout student. What the teacher did, from making to playing angklung, Udjo followed it earnestly. Udjo did not want to see the existence of angklung as in the days before Dieng Sutigna picked it up. Because, before the teacher moved, at that time angklung was underestimated, considered a low-value art, because it was only popular among small communities and often used by buskers.