The Art of Sweetened Tuning — Gamelan Tuning

Peterson tuners feature unique Sweetener™ presets not found in any other brand of tuner. This comes from an almost 70 year-old legacy that reaches back to the dawn of popular music as we know it today.

Decades of research and the experience of musicians the world over has led to the creation of the “Sweetener”, a system of preset tuning offsets specifically designed for specific instruments, only available on Peterson tuners, and used worldwide wherever precise and professional results are expected.

The characteristic Javanese/Balinese Slendro and Pelog scales of Gamelan music are used in the traditional music of Indonesia and typically played on gendèr, gangsa and saron. These scales have been referred to as non-harmonic in that they do not attempt to adhere to consonant harmony as it is understood in Western music. Rather, they were developed to lend the music a distinctive atmosphere.

The Slendro and Pelog systems are represented in Peterson tuners as the SDO and PLG Sweetener presets and are transcribed to C#-D#-F#-A# for Slendro and D#-E-F#-G#-A#-B-C for Pelog. Each note in each scale is tempered to match the traditional pitch intervals used in Gamelan, which differ radically from those of 12-tone Equal temperament. These Sweetener presets can be easily modulated by using the Drop/Capo or Trans control on Peterson tuners. With the relevant Sweetener active, a Drop value of -1 shifts the tuning one half-step or semitone down. Likewise a Capo value of +1 shifts the tuning one half-step or semitone up and so on. In all cases, the distinctive interval spacing will remain intact.



For Slendro, use the SDO Sweetener™ preset, then tune to C#-D#-F#-A#.

To transpose to other keys, see the Peterson Connect website.





For Pelog, use the PLG Sweetener preset, then tune to D#-E-F#-G#-A#-B-C.

To transpose to other keys, see the Peterson Connect website.






Current Peterson tuners featuring the SDO and PLG Sweetener settings described above include:

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Suggested Peterson tuners for professional mallet instrument technicians include:


(Left to right) Peterson AutoStrobe, Peterson Strobe Center 5000-II and Node model 8001



©2013 John Norris for Peterson Electro-Musical Products, Inc. All rights reserved.