[Bell Historians] So called 'Simpson' tuning

David Bryant djb122 at y...
Fri Feb 15 22:31:42 GMT 2002

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looking at Jenning's hsitory of the foundry, it says that Simpson wrote so =
Taylors in 1894 about the tuning of Chichester Cathedral hour bells, and as=
a result was invited to visit the foundry. The book implies, although it d=
oesn't say specifically, that Simpson visited during this year - in any cas=
e it wasn't earlier. This really goes to prove what Bill has suggested as a=
result of his analyses of early 1890s Taylor rings, namely that Taylor's w=
ere in advance of Simpson. There is a whole chapter on the matter in Jennin=
gs's book (Master of my art) and this makes fascinating reading - I must re=
-read it again more carefully...

I fully agree with Bill that 'true-harmonic' is the correct term, it's just=
that 'Simpson' has such general usage and it's difficult to get out of the=
habit of using it.

Bill's comments on the fact that Taylor bells got musically better in the e=
arly decades of the 20th century highlights the point that those bells with=
the most accurate tuning are not necessarily the best sounding. Personally=
I don't think there is anything to beat Beverley Minster (1896 and 1901), =
and I prefer the Mark I Taylor profile bells cast before 1925 when they cha=
nged the profile slightly - the mark II bells are characterised by more rou=
nded shoulders and more steeply sloped crowns. The latter are probably more=
accurately tuned, but do they sound better? I think not, although many are=
just as good.

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