Balinese Kotèkan Types


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Further study on this subject: Ancient Traditions–Future Possibilities:
Rhythmic Training Through the Traditions of Africa, Bali and India.

By Matthew Montfort. Ancient Future Music (1985).
ISBN 0-937879-00-2. Book/CD Set- 74.95. SALE! $53.95:

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The interlocking kotèkan rhythms of Bali are divided into two parts known as nyangsih (male) and polos (female). In all of the examples below (from Ancient Traditions–Future Possibilities, Chapter 2, Exercise II, page 49), the polos part is on the bottom staff while the nyangsih part is on the top.

There were four types of melodic kotèkans that were recognized in North Bali by Music in Bali, Colin McPhee's ground breaking documentation of Balinese music in the 1930's: chandetan, tutugan, ochètan, and semi-ochètan. Modern Balinese music scholarship seems to be coalescing around another set of terms, but these four types serve as a good starting point for study in the musicianship required to perform interlocking rhythms.


The chandetan is an alternating rhythm in which the nyangsih melody differs from the polos:

Chandetan Music Notation



The tutugan is an alternating rhythm in which the nyangsih melody follows the polos:

Tutugan Music Notation



The ochètan is an interlocking rhythm in which two separate voices are created where the parts meet:

Ochetan Music Notation



The semi-ochètan is an interlocking rhythm in which the parts meet on a unison:

Semi Ochetan Music Notation


Further Resources

Ancient Rhythms–Future Grooves

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Further instruction on this material is available through private Skype lessons with the author, Matthew Montfort.