Use of pitch standards by foundries
bill at h...
Fri Jun 28 22:47:34 BST 2002
Michael Wilby asks when the foundries adopted pitch standards. Though
I can't answer this question directly, I can give two pieces of
I understand that at Whitechapel it was common practice a hunderd
years ago to tune bells by filing up a set of tuning forks to the
flattest bell in the peal after casting and then tuning the bells to
I have seen at Taylors a set of books, copied out I think by Paul
Taylor, giving the correct frequencies for equal tempered intervals
based on a wide range of base frequencies separated by one or two Hz.
This suggests that in both cases they tuned bells as they found them
rather than aiming for particular absolute frequencies.
Steve Ivin suggests that carillons might be tuned to some absolute
pitch standard. I have not analysed enough carillons to make any
meaningful comment, but note that most (modern) carillons are
transposing instruments, where the nominal names given to the notes
on the keyboard is usually different to the actual pitch of the bells.
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