In Javanese gamelan music, the sèlèh note or nada seleh is the final note of a gatra, or four-beat melodic unit. As such it is the note which serves as the goal for all the various strands of the musical texture.
The main underlying melodic structure of a gamelan piece, called the balungan, is grouped into four-beat units (called gatra). This typical grouping of four is similar to a great deal of Western music; however, in contrast with a bar of four beats in western classical music, the strongest beat in gamelan music falls not on the first of the four beats, but on the last. This last beat is referred to as the seleh note.
The seleh note has a crucial role in predicating what decorative patterns (cengkok and sekaran) the elaborating instruments such as the bonang should play, since these patterns usually aim to coincide with the balungan on the seleh note so as to produce aural consonance.
- Brinner, Benjamin (2008). Music in Central Java, p.60. ISBN 978-0-19-514737-7.