It is similar to the cengkok of other elaborating instruments in its floridity and openness to improvisation, but a sekaran generally happens only at the end of a nongan or other colotomic division. It is usually preceded by imbal, an interlocking pattern between the bonang barung and the bonang panerus.
Different sekaran are used in different pathet, but there are always a variety available. A good bonang player will choose a sekaran based on how the other instruments and the sindhen are improvising.
Traditionally the bonang panerus did not play sekaran, and simply continued in the imbal pattern, but now some players use sekaran, as long as they maintain the fast character of typical bonang panerus parts.