The Saron instruments, together with the Gender instruments, usually play the melody part. There are three types of Saron:
Each type of Saron is tuned to two different tuning system: pelog and slendro. Pelog system has a seven-note scale while Slendro system has a five-note scale. The Saron family usually have seven bars, whether in pelog or slendro. In this case, Pelog Demung, Pelog Barung, and Pelog Panerus have all seven notes present, each bar is tuned to a different pitch. While in Slendro Demung, Slendro Barung, and Slendro Panerus, there are still seven bars, in which two of the five slendro notes are duplicated at the octave.
All metal bars are placed on a wooden case which acted as a resonator. At each end of the metal bar, a hole is drilled so that a pin can insert through the hole into the wooden case. Between the metal bars and the wooden case, there are small squares of plaited rattan. There is a hole in each plaited rattan so that the pins, which pass through the metal bars, can pass through these plaited rattans too. The metal bars rest on these plaited rattan. The purpose of these plaited rattan is to lift the metal bars above from the wooden case to avoid damping sound. All bars are secured loosely onto the wooden case in this method.
The Saron's mallets are the only one in Javanese gamelan which are solely made of wood. The wood head is in direct contact with the metal during playing. Each saron need only one mallet. The player's right hand holds the mallet, while the other hand damps the metal bar.
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