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Home Ensemble Category Acknowledgment

Saron (Terengganu Gamelan)

Saron is an idiophone instruments similar to a metal xylophone consisting of six keys resting on a rectangular wooden resonator. The keys are separated from the resonator box by a thin cord the size of the resonator edge, and they are held loosely by a thin metal pins. There is a small space between each key to allow for full vibrations. The higher pitched keys are smaller and thicker than the lower-pitched ones. In the Terengganu gamelan ensemble, there are three sets of Saron which are:

Saron Demung

The demung is the largest and lowest of the saron. It is strike with a hammer with a wooden head once every beat. The keys of Saron Demung is an octave lower than Saron Barung and two octave lower than in Saron Peking. The keys of a saron need to be damped with every strike. The player needs to use one hand to damp the previous keys struck while simultaneously the other hand strike the preceding key.

Figure: Saron Demung

 

 

Saron Barung
This instrument plays the melody lines of the musical pieces by striking each note per beat. Physically, the keys on a Saron Barung are larger and an octave lower than those in Saron Pekin but an octave higher than those in Saron Demung. Like the keys of a Saron Demung, Saron Barung need to be damped with every strike. The player needs to use one hand to damp the previous keys struck while simultaneously the other hand strike the preceding key. The hammer of a Saron Barung is made of soft woods.

 

Saron Pekin
All the physical features of the Saron Pekin (or Saron Penerus) is as the same as Saron Barung except it is smaller in size and the hammer use to strike Saron Pekin is made of buffalo horn. The keys are an octave higher and it is played by doubling the main melody played by Saron Barung. One note is played on the beat while the other anticipates or played after the beat. The techniques to damp the keys applies the same way as in Saron Barung.

Figure: Saron Pekin