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Kepatihan is a type of cipher musical notation that was devised for notation of the Indonesian gamelan. The system was devised around 1900 at the Kepatihan in Surakarta, and was based upon the Galin-Paris-Cheve system of 1894.
The pitches of the seven-tone pélog tuning system are designated by the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7; while the five-tone slendro pitches are notated as 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6. The octaves are noted by dots above and below the numbers, as in Chinese jianpu, although of course the pitches do not correspond. The rhythms are noted by lines above notes indicating half the rhythmic value, and dots in where the notes go (pin) indicating rests. Melismas are noted by lines underneath the numbers. Colotomic instruments are indicated by diacritical marks, or are omitted as they can be determined from the bentuk.
Ordinarily the system only notates the balungan, the core melody as it is played by the sarons. However, for pedagogical purposes, other patterns, such as the melodic formulas sekaran and cengkok used on the panerusan instruments may be notated.
Kepatihan is widely used in ethnomusicological studies of the gamelan, sometimes accompanied by transcriptions in to Western staff notation with approximated pitches.
- Software available for kepatihan notation