Born in Genthin (Altenplathow). Pupil of [Christian] Friedrich Ehrlich at Magdeburg and of Robert Franz in Halle, where he went to study theology; dedicatee of the latter's 6 Gesänge, Op.31 (Leipzig: Bartholf Senff, 1858). A reviewer for the Atlantic Monthly in 1874 further writes:
...compositions in various forms have come from his [Saran's] pen, all good, but not quite fulfilling the high expectations which the first variations [Fantasie-Variationen, Op.1] had led people to form of the composer. The exceedingly small number of these compositions spread over a considerable space of time, while it showed that the composer evidently composed only for the love of art itself and never strove to force the divine afflatus, might well have favored the opinion that he had very little to say, however much worth saying that little was. Saran has certainly been a most unprolific composer; four opus numbers in more than double the number of years is a very short list. The fact that he (having indeed been educated for the church) had taken charge of a parish in the far northeast of Prussia, and had given up music as an ostensible profession, gave additional semblance of truth to the idea entertained by some people that his musical career was after all but a flash in the pan.
Uncle of musicologist Franz Ludwig Saran (1866-1931).