Bronze:  Bell metal composed of 80 % copper and 20 % tin.
Idiophone:  Bell-like instrument made from metal, glass, clay, wood or rock.
Campania:  Provence in Italy where bells were made and bell terminology began.
Campanology:  The study of bells.
Campanile:  A bell tower not connected to a church but a free standing structure.
Foundry:  A hot factory where metal is melted to make bells.
Grain scoop:  Chinese bells evolved of this utilitarian object turned upside down.
Chung:  In China a bell without a clapper during the late Chou dynasty.
Ling:  A bell with a clapper.
To:  A hand bell without a clapper.
Fen ling:  A wind bell with a clapper and metal plate.
Pien chung:  A chromatic series of 16 bells.


The 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 - 46 bells.
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.


Chime:  Small 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 repetition.
Pealing:   Groups of two or more free-swinging bells.
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 century.
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 ***

Daibasto 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 ship.

The TITANIC' S 3 Bells


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 never swing.


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 bow thickened.

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 the 20th.

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 (a method).

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 two strokes.

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.
The 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 Church.


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 rolls.

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 make bells.