The slenthem frequently plays the same basic melody as that of the saron. Occasionally, it does have its own important part to play. It is low in pitch, and its sound sustains for a relatively long period of time because of the tubular resonators below each bar. It is a quiet instrument and its sound helps to soften that of the saron.
With the resonators and thin bars, the slenthem is related to the higher pitched gendèr. It is played with one hand holding a padded wooden disk beater (with a handle) and the other hand for dampening notes previously struck. As with many other gamelan instruments, the slenthem come in pairs for the two scales.
More Javanese gamelan instruments.Author: Bern Jordan.