***INSTRUMENTS OF MUSIC***
***OBJECTS OF ART***
metal composed of 80 % copper and 20 % tin.
instrument made from metal, glass, clay, wood or rock.
in Italy where bells were made and bell terminology
study of bells.
bell tower not connected to a church but a free standing
hot factory where metal is melted to make bells.
scoop: Chinese bells evolved of
this utilitarian object turned upside down.
China a bell without a clapper during the late Chou
bell with a clapper.
hand bell without a clapper.
Fen ling: A
wind bell with a clapper and metal plate.
chung: A chromatic series of 16
Liberty Bell: Our symbol of freedom made
in 1752 and finally named and recognized as our national
symbol of freedom in 1876.
Big Ben: The most famous bell in London,
England; largest of five bells.
The Millennium Peace Bell: Largest swinging
bell 33 tons made for the Verdin Bell Company by the
Paccard Bell Company of France. It is situated across
the river from Cincinnati in Newport, KY. Actual weight
is about 33 metric tons, which are about 10% heavier
than American "short" tons.
The Japanese Peace Bell: Situated in front
of the United Nations Building, NY on the North Side
under a special pagoda. Made in 1950 through donations
of pennies from children around the world.
German Freedom Bell: A gift from the American
people in 1950 ringing out Radio-Free-Europe to the
Russians who under Soviet Communism couldn't ring bells.
Mechelen, Belgium Carillon: The City has
what is considered the finest carillon of its kind -
Leaning Tower of Pisa: The
most famous Campanile..
Bell of Beijing: China's most famous bell
made in 1415 weighing 60 tons.
Ming Bell Burma: The largest ringing bell
weighing 97 tons.
Millennium Peace Bell: Largest swing bell
33 tons. See above.
Bok Tower Gardens: In Lake Wales Florida
is one of the worlds most beautiful carillons - 60 bells.
sets of bells in stationary suspension and generally
tuned diatonically (The "Westminster Quarters")
The zvon - "chime": Of the Russian Orthodox
Church sounds repetitious rhythmic patterns.
Tolling: A single stationary bell in slow
Pealing: Groups of two or more free-swinging
Change ringing: British form of pealing
whereby 5 to 12 bells are rung in mathematical permutations.
Carillons: Sets of tuned bells numbering
at least 23 All the above today may be operated electrically.
The Ringing Isle: The name given to Great
Britain because of its many ringing bells.
Land of The Carillon: The Netherlands
because of its many carillons made around the 16th
Land of Bells: Name given to Russia because
of their many bells, largest bell and bell uses.
Westminster: Home of Big Ben this bell
tower is known for the famous chime E-D-C-G.
White chapel: A foundry in England where
the Liberty Bell was made.
Pass & Stow: American bell makers who
recast the Liberty Bell.
Paul Revere: A silversmith and one of
the first American bell makers.
A Chime: A set of 7 to 22 bells arranged
as a simple scale played by hand levers.
Carillon: 23 tuned bells arranged in a
chromatic sequence played on a console.
Riverside Church: Home of the largest
carillon in New York City which contains 74 bells
- 100 tons.
East Hampton, CT: Bell capital of the
U.S. in 1900.
BELIEVE IT!... OR NOT ***
Temple Bell, Kyoto, Japan: Japan's largest,
it takes 16 men to ring it.
Ta Chung: China's largest; 14' high, 10'
wide; with over 160,000 words on it.
Czar Kolokol: A Russian bell and the largest
in the world;222 tons - as heavy as 50 elephants!!
22' in diameter - walls 1' thick - Your whole family
can have a picnic under it!
Sleigh bells - Pellet bell, or crotal bell:
A spherical vessel with loose pellets, has been historically
regarded as a type of bell, but modern authorities
now classify it as a rattle; jingle and sleigh bells
are familiar examples. Of great antiquity, it shares
many of the ritual and magical functions of bells.
Camel bells: Sets of three bells and sometimes
bells with a bell. Worn by the lead camel effective
in sand storms.
Liturgical Bells: See section on Church
Occasions for Ringing Bells.
Quasimodo: The Hunchback of Notre Dame
and most famous fictional bell ringer.
Paul Revere: A famous American bell ringer
and silversmith bell maker.
All Ships must have bells: International law in 1889
to Prevent Collisions at Sea mandated bells must be
part of a ship. United States Ordinance in 1955 put
the size of the bell, dependent on the size of the
TITANIC' S 3 Bells
1. 23" DIAMETER BRASS SHIPS BELL FOR THE FCSLE ON
2.17" DIAMETER BRASS SHIPS BELL FOR THE LOOKOUT CAGE
ON THE FOREMAST 3.
9'/2" DIAMETER BRASS SHIP'S BELL FOR THE CAPTAIN'S
Special Times we Nationally Ring Bells:
July 4th Independence Day, Let Freedom Ring!
Sept.17 Constitution Day, Bells Across America.
Dec. 10th International Declaration of Human Rights
Day and Breast Cancer Awareness.
Bells now toll when someone is about to be executed
through capital punishment.
Depends on cultural environment, intended use, and
material of construction.
East Asia - The walls vary from straight to convex,
concave, hemispherical, barrel shaped Chinese bells
- often have lotus-shaped rims.
The West - . Tulip shaped with sound bow (the bulge
near the rim), as are all tower bells.
Sound-producing vibrations Western bells, near the
rim (in the sound bow) Hollow gongs, the vibrations
of which are strongest in the centre. Acoustical
structure This is complex with bell sound and has
been completely understood only in modern times.
All bells contain an array of partials, or sound-wave
frequencies of various pitches, but the tone of
a musical bell consists of both harmonious partials
and higher inharmonious partials. Western bells
- rung by a metal striker.
Asian bells - struck by a wooden hand mallet or
swinging horizontal beam that engages the exterior
wall. Metal clappered hand and wind bells are exceptions
- Asian bells are also devoid of the sound bow and
BELLS GEOGRAPHICALLY widely distributed and usually
possess a clearly defined cultural status. Legends
surround them, and beliefs abound concerning their
special powers to induce rain or to dissolve storm
clouds; to thwart demons when worn as amulets or
when placed on animals, buildings, or conveyances;
or to invoke curses and lift spells. The concept
of their purifying action is ancient, as is their
use in ritual, especially in the religions of eastern
and southern Asia.
Chinese rang bells to communicate directly with
spirits East Asia the fading tone of the bell is
considered spiritually significant.
Russian Orthodoxy, bells directly addressed the
deity--hence, huge ones were cast by both peoples
to lend greater authority.
Buddhism and Christianity, bells are consecrated
before being used liturgically.
Roman Catholicism, bells symbolized paradise and
the voice of God. Among the most basic and widespread
uses of bells is signaling--marking significant
points of ritual, calling to worship, tolling the
hours, announcing events, rejoicing, warning, and
mourning. In Christian and Asiatic Buddhist monasteries,
bells regulate daily routine. Medieval and Christian
bells were named according to purpose: squilla for
the refectory, nola for the choir, and so forth.
Bells - patriotic symbols war trophies invaders
quickly silenced those of the conquered in order
to eliminate the most vivid symbol of resistance
took them to make into cannons.
Bells as artistic objects with respect to shape,
material, and ornamentation, and both Eastern and
Western religions have incorporated symbolic motifs
in the ornamentation of bells.
TUNED HAND BELLS - utilitarian functions of bells
have diminished, but their musical usage has increased.
Their history is more than four hundred years old
when small bells were cast to test the quality of
bell metal. Some were tuned because of the beauty
of their sound, especially small bells. Hand bells
were used by tower bell ringers to practice before
ringing heavy tower bells. This ancient and honorable
art was further perfected in the 18th century by
finer tuning and greater range. With a rang of up
to five octaves handbells have been popular in England
and the U.S. since the 19th century as a group method
for producing melodies and simple and now today
more complex harmonies. PT Barmun introduced hand
bell ringers to this country in 1844. They were
the Lancashire Ringers of England who he dressed
up in more colorful costumes as Swiss Bell Ringers.
During the 20th century chromatically tuned hand
bells have been very skillfully designed and developed
and it has been through the American Guild Of English
Handbell Ringers AGEHR in the past 50 years that
this art has truly begun to flourish. Today there
are over 500 Bell choirs in the USA alone.
BRONZE AGE AND CHINESE The earliest bell founding
(i.e., the casting of bells from molten metal) is
associated with the Bronze Age . The ancient Chinese
were superb founders, their craft reaching an apex
during the Chou dynasty (c. 1122-221 BC). Characteristic
were elliptical temple bells with exquisite symbolic
decorations cast onto their surfaces by the cire
perdue, or lost wax, process.
EUROPEAN BELL MAKING was originally a monastic craft.
Earliest Christian bells - iron plates hammered
square and riveted (resembling cowbells). Although
bronze casting was practiced in pre-Christian Europe,
it was not resumed to any extent until the 8th century.
In bell founding, molten metal (usually bronze)
is poured into a mold consisting of an inner core
and outer mold or cope contoured to a bell's profile.
Most molds are faced with loam, those for hhand
bellswith sand. The liquid metal, heated to about
1,100 C (2,000 F) enters a hole at the top while
being tamped (driven by a series of light blows)
down through another. To avoid undesirable porosity,
gases formed are allowed to escape. Cooling is carefully
controlled to prevent the outer surface from cooling
faster than the inner, thereby setting up a tension
leading to later cracking. Large bells require a
week or two to cool. When the mold is removed the
rough casting of the bell is sandblasted and polished.
If a certain pitch is required, small amounts of
metal are ground from the bell's inner wall as it
revolves. Bell metal, or bronze, is an alloy of
copper and tin. Tin content may range from 13 percent
in weight to 25 percent, rarely more. Tin increases
brittleness, and large bells contain less than small
ones do. Most carillon bells contain 20 percent.
Casting produced better toned bells by permitting
greater wall thickness and more precise control
of contour (now round). For centuries bells had
a convex wall of uniform thickness, a shape termed
a beehive or primitive bell. The wall was elongated
for use in bell towers, and the rim was reinforced
for more resonance and strength. Pitch was successfully
controlled by the 9th century, when tuned sets of
small bells (called cymbala) appeared.
By the 11th century, secular bell founders--often
itinerant--were active, becoming dominant by the
Renaissance. Lofty Gothic towers led to much larger,
more resonant bells and gave rise to an archaic
version of the present campaniform bell: tulip shaped
with a narrow, rounded top; a long, straight waist
spreading outward at the bottom; and a flared mouth,
or sound bow. By the 13th century this shape predominated.
In the 15th century a shape similar to the modern
Western one emerged, it was slowly transformed,
the waist becoming proportionately shorter and concave,
the top broader, the shoulder squared, and the sound
Bell founding attained considerable prestige, and
the introduction of gunpowder in the 14th century
added cannon making to the founder's output. The
founders of Belgium and the Netherlands surpassed
all others, their stature growing as the carillon
spread in that area in the 15th-18th century, their
craft culminating with the 17th-century Dutch founders
Franqois and Pierre lemony. The craft declined in
the 19th century, particularly in the ability to
tune accurately, but regained its excellence by
Russian bell founding dates from the 13th century,
and by the 16th, bells weighing many tons were made.
The world's largest bell, the Tsar Kolokol III (Tsar
Bell III) in Moscow, was cast in 1733-35, weighing
about 400,000 pounds (180,000 kilograms); broken
by fire in 1737, it never rang.
English founders traditionally paid little attention
to their bbellsinner tuning of the partials, because
their bell usages change ringing and chimes did
not involve harmony. In the 20th century they adopted
the partial tuning used in Belgium and The Netherlands.
CHANGE RINGING traditional English art of ringing
a set of tower bells in an intricate series of changes,
or mathematical permutations (different orderings
in the ringing sequence), by pulling ropes attached
to bell wheels. On five, six, or seven bells.
A Peal - the maximum number of permutations possible
(120, 720, and 5,040, respectively); on more than
seven bells, the full extent of possible changes
is impracticable, so that 5,000 or more changes
are said to constitute a peal. The number of possible
changes on any series of bells may be determined,
using the mathematical formula s. A touch is any
number short of a peal.
In ringing a peal, no bell moves more than one place
forward or backward in the ringing order in each
successive change, nor is it repeated or omitted,
nor is any sequence (change) repeated. A set, or
ring, of 4 bells is known as Minimus, or Singles;
5, Doubles; 6, Minor; 7, Triples; 8, Major; 9, Caters;
10, Royal; 11, Cinques; and 12, Maximus. A complete
peal of 4 bells (24 changes), requires about 30
seconds; one of 12 bells (479,001,600 changes),
about 40 years.
Method - is a system of permutation.
Exercise- the entire ringing fraternity.
Groups of swinging bells in English church towers
date from the 10th century, and, at least by the
15th, orderly ringing took place involving changing
note patterns. This practice evolved from first
rendering descending scales rounds. The practice
was stimulated by the Reformation in England, and
it remains particularly associated with the Anglican
church. By the 17th century, intricate mathematical
formulas had evolved.
Change ringing was originally a gentleman's recreation.
Its early participants, aristocrats and intelligentsia,
often students, were later joined by ecclesiastics,
labourers, and others. Women were excluded, and
participation was a mark of social status. The first
society, or ringing organization, the Ancient Society
of College Youths, was founded in 1637. The earliest
treatises on the subject were Fabian Stedman's Tintinnalogia
(1668) and his Campanologia (1677), which introduced
his Grandsire Method and his Stedman's Principle
When swung, change ringing bells rotate slightly
less than 360. A bell is gradually swung back and
forth until it reaches a nearly vertical balance
position with the mouth of the bell uppermost. Hand
stroke pull on the rope that rotates the bell almost
360 to the other balance position) alternates with
backstroke (a pull on the rope that returns the
bell to its initial position) A whole pull - two
successive revolutions In the ringing sequence a
bell makes three basic movements. (1) It "hunts,"
or changes position one place forward or backward
and continuing in the same direction. "Hunting up"
is moving toward last place, called "behind;" "hunting
down," toward first place, in which a bell "leads."
(2) It "dodges" by suddenly reversing course taking
a step backward in the hunt, then proceeding in
the original direction. (3) It "makes a place" by
remaining in the same position it occupied in the
previous change (also called "lying still"); this
term refers to a bell in an inside position, rather
than at lead or behind. A bell's movement is its
"duty," and various methods are identified by the
duty given each bell. In plain hunting, a bell moves
change by change toward last place, where it lies
behind for an additional stroke; it then moves toward
first place, where it leads for a whole pull, or
Change-ringing bells are relatively short with their
axis at mid waist for easier swinging. They are
tuned in just intonation (pitches derived from certain
ratios rather than from equal division of the octave).
Until the end of the 19th century, tuning of their
partials (component tones) was not seriously undertaken
and so lacked uniformity.
The tenor -largest and last bell in a ring; several
hundred pounds to two tons.
The treble - the smallest,.
White chapel Bell Foundry and John Taylor and Company-
two English founders who cast bells for change ringing.
A CHIME ...(from medieval Latin cymbala: "bells"),
set of stationary bells tuned in a musical series,
traditionally in diatonic sequence (seven-note scale)
plus a few accidentals (sharps and flats). The bells
generally number from 2 to 20 and, in the voorslags
(automatic clock chimes) of Belgium and The Netherlands,
can have a range of up to three octaves or more.
The bell chime's primary function is the automatic
play preceding the hour strike of a church or town-hall
tower clock to alert to its imminence; it may also
play on the half, quarter, and, sometimes, eighth
hour. A secondary role is the human play of simple
unhaun harmonizedodies. From the 13th century this
was done manually by pulling ropes attached to clappers
("clocking," now rare); from the late 18th century
by a keyboard of levers and sometimes pedals, called
a chime stand; and in the 20th century by an ivory
keyboard with electric action, often in conjunction
with automatic roll-play. To chime also refers to
the clock's striking of the bells or chimes and
to their music; in England, change-ringing bells
swinging in a limited arc rather than a full-circle
arc are said to chime.
The chime differs from a carillon in that its range
is more limited and may not have a full 12-note
(chromatic) scale. Until the 20th century its bells
generally lacked an inner tuning, or fixed mathematical
relationship of partials (component tones of a bell's
complex sound) to permit use of harmony; it also
lacks dynamic variation. But in Belgium and The
Netherlands, automatic clock chimes produce fully
harmonized music of considerable complexity, their
bells having an inner tuning. Universally, the clock-chiming
mechanism has been a drum pegged to trip levers
wired to the bell hammers; rotated by a suspended
weight, it is actuated by the clockworks.
The clock-chime tune most commonly heard in English-speaking
countries is the "Westminster Quarters" (originally
"Cambridge Quarters"), consisting of the four notes
E-D-C-G in various combination each quarter hour
Composed at Cambridge University by an organ student,
William Crotch, for use with the new clock at Great
St Mary's Church, in 1793, its subsequent use in
the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament, London
(1859), resulted in its present name. Also frequently
heard is the "ting-tang," or repeated alternation
of two notes, adopted at St. Paul's Cathedral, London.
Other chime tunes of note are the "Bells of Aberdovey,"
"Turn Again, Whittington," and "Holsworthy Tune."
STONE CHIMES - also called LITHOPHONE, a set of
struck sonorous stones (individually called phonoliths).
Such instruments can be found from the South Seas
and South America to Africa and the Far East. Stones
are used in Ethiopian and Coptic churches, for example,
as bells (dowel) as well as in sets of chimes
Chinese stone chimes - earliest chimes - sets of
L-shaped marble slabs suspended in wooden frames
and struck by mallets. Chinese bell chimes appeared
sometime before 2000 BC. From the Chou period (c.
1122-221 BC) both stone and bell chimes, suspended
in two rows of eight, have been prominent in Chinese
temple worship and in secular music. Later, bell
chimes were used in Korea, India, and Japan.
Western chime bells - In the 9th century, sequences
of small beehive-shaped bells, numbering 4 to 15,
were introduced in Western monasteries. like the
Chinese ones, were mounted on horizontal supports
to be struck with mallets. The instrument itself,
like the bells, was called a cymbala. In the 12th
century, cymbala were wired to organ keys, thus
forming the first organ chimes. The knowledge of
tuning acquired with the cymbala resulted in the
design of differently pitched bells placed in towers
and struck by jacquemarts, or clock jacks (usually
a pair of knights in armour), to mark the hours.
The introduction of the weight-driven tower clock
led to the invention of the pegged chiming barrel
in the 14th; by the 17th century about 500 European
chimes utilized this automatic action. Late in the
18th century a chime of 10 to 20 bells playable
from a wooden keyboard became fashionable in France
and Great Britain. In the U.S. between about 1850
and 1930, hundreds of such chimes were installed
in churches, town halls, and other towers.
Russian zvony ("chimes") are sets of stationary
bells rung by pulling ropes attached to clappers.
They date from the 9th century but are rarely heard
today. The zvon plays repetitious rhythmic patterns
that form a part of the liturgy of the Orthodox
CARILLON... musical instrument consisting of at least
23 cast bronze bells in fixed suspension, tuned in
chromatic order (i.e., in half steps) and capable
of concordant harmony when sounded together. Customarily
located in a tower, it is played from a clavier, or
keyboard, containing wooden levers and pedals wired
to clappers or, less commonly, from an ivory keyboard
with electric action operating the clappers; but only
the first method permits expression through variation
of touch. On some instruments a part of the range
is capable of automatic play by use of perforated
Most carillons encompass three to four octaves, a
few five and even six. Although the bourdon, or lowest
note, can be any pitch, it often sounds around middle
C. In heavy instruments the bell to produce this note
may weigh 6 to 8 tons, occasionally 10 or 12; the
world's heaviest, at the Riverside Church, New York
City, weighs 20 tons. Carillon bells diminish in size
and weight with the upward scale to extreme trebles
of about 20 pounds (9 kilograms). Playing large instruments--using
fists and feet--takes considerable physical exertion,
as clappers weighing as much as several hundred pounds
must be swung. (The heaviest clappers are counterbalanced.)
Most carillon music has been arranged for a specific
instrument by its player. Baroque music of the 17th
and 18th centuries adapts to bells; much of Vivaldi,
Couperin, Corelli, Handel, Bach, and Mozart is admirably
suited to carillon transcription. Nineteenth-century
Romantic music must be chosen selectively, and contemporary
music even more so. Improvisation is extensively employed,
particularlv on folk songs and other familiar themes.
The word carillon was originally applied in France
to four stationary clock bells (hence the medieval
Latin name quadrilionem) and later referred to any
group of fixed bells. During the 14th century a weight-driven
revolving pegged drum was invented that could be connected
to clockworks; the pegs tripped levers wired to hammers,
which in turn struck the bells. For the next 150 years,
clock chimes struck by this method produced simple
note sequences or melodies preceding the hour strike
in church and town-hall towers. Interest in the musical
potential of bells was greatest in Belgium and the
Netherlands, where bell founding had reached an advanced
stage and a bell profile had been developed that produced
a more musical sound than those of foreign founders.
The set of bells now known as a carillon originated
in Flanders, possibly at Aalst or Antwerp, in about
1480. The Flemish devised a wooden keyboard for use
alongside the chiming cylinder. This innovation became
popular throughout Belgium and the Netherlands and
northern France but was widely adopted elsewhere only
in modern times.
FRANCOIS AND PIERRE HEMONY - Carillon art reached
a pinnacle in the latter half of the 17th century
with the founders the Netherlands. They were the first
to tune the bells with precision, especially with
regard to a bell's inner tuning (i.e., of the partial
tones that make up a bell's complex sound), and thus
to put fully into practice the results of research
completed 200 years earlier. During the 19th century,
tuning techniques (but not the underlying theory)
were forgotten as orders for bells slackened; the
bells that were made were generally inferior, and
carillons fell into disrepair. The rediscovery of
the tuning process at the John Taylor and Company
foundry in Loughborough, Leicestershire, Eng., in
the 1890s initiated a revival of carillon art. Mechelen,
Belg., has been the focal point of the carillon since
the 16th century, the first post of municipal carillonneur
being established there in 1557, at St. Rombold's
Cathedral. Its carillon remains the world's best known.
Jef Denyn, who played there from 1881 to 1941, led
in the restoration of the art, establishing in 1922
the first carillon school and a publishing enterprise.
In the same year, the carillon was introduced to the
United States, where later the world's two largest,
each with 72 bells, were built for the Riverside Church
in New York City and for Rockefeller Chapel at the
University of Chicago.
In times of war, bells were melted down to make cannons;
but, in times of peace, cannons were melted down to