Future Possibilities

African DjembeBalinese GongIndian Bayan

Ancient Traditions Book Cover

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: 69.95. SALE! $52.95:

30 Minute Online Lesson.
Custom private lesson via Skype or other service. $36:

By combining ideas from different musical traditions, many wonderful new rhythms are possible. It is recommended that those interested in creating their own rhythms study the world's great traditions to gain the understanding and knowledge for this undertaking.

The book Ancient Traditions–Future Possibilities, by Matthew Montfort, contains exercises that teach traditional rhythms and how to combine them. An example from the "Future Possibilities" chapter is included below, complete with a MIDI sound file.

For further examples of music that uses world rhythms in new contexts, check out the sound files from the recordings by Ancient Future in the world music catalog.

World Fusion Rhythm Exercises

Tihai Kotekan

Gong IconMIDI

This exercise combines Balinese and North Indian rhythmic concepts. This intermediate level example from Chapter 4, Exercise I, page 127, is in a 15 beat rhythmic cycle. Recite the drum syllables of the tihai (a rhythmic phrase that repeats three times and lands on the first beat of the rhythm cycle), starting first with the bottom part of the kotèkan (interlocking rhythm), and then proceeding to the top and more offbeat part. For an explanation of the notation below, see the North Indian Tala page. Also see the Pronunciation Guide to Indian Drum Syllables.

15 |dhin * dha ge *   na ge *  ki ta *  ka dhin *   dha ge
4  |dhin * dha *  dhi na *  na ki *  ta ka *    kre dha *
    dhin * * * * * dhin * dha ge *   na ge * ki ta
    dhin * * * * * dhin * dha *  dhi na * na ki *
    *  ka dhin *   dha ge dhin * * * * * dhin * dha ge
    ta ka *    kre dha *  dhin * * * * * dhin * dha *
    3                                         +
    *   na ge *  ki ta *  ka dhin *   dha ge |dhin
    dhi na *  na ki *  ta ka *    kre dha *  |dhin

Futher Resources

Using MIDI

The GM Standard MIDI files of world fusion exercises from the book are presented here arranged for General MIDI instruments. Use these to practice, or as rhythm tracks for an original composition. To set up playback on a MIDI synthesizer or sampler, see the MIDI map of the instruments of the Balinese gamelan, and the MIDI map for the North Indian tabla.

Ancient Rhythms–Future Grooves

Ancient Rhythms–Future Grooves: Audio and MIDI Percussion Groove Tracks from the Traditions of Africa, Bali, and India. Want more audio and MIDI files? Get this complete collection of groove tracks from the book Ancient Traditions–Future Possibilities. For a limited time, get both the book and the enhanced audio CD set with MIDI files for only $52.95 (SALE! Normally $69.95): Add 1 to Cart. Buy 1 Now.

Skype School

Skype online music lesson guitar pick icon carved in Bali for Matthew Montfort

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