Lord Grimthorpe and thick bells
bill at h...
Fri Jun 28 22:59:34 BST 2002
David Cawley makes some interesting observations on the thick designs
of Lord Grimthorpe. I'm about to make an obvious point, but no-one
has made it yet, so here goes.
A dominant characteristic of 19th century bells which are either over
or underweight compared with the norm is that they are not true-
harmonic. Bells I have looked at which are excessively thin or thick
usually have partials all over the place and as a result have a most
unfortunate sound. This can be seen time and time again just between
the trebles and tenors of 19th century peals.
I have not analysed any ringing bells with Grimthorpe profiles (I
guess I should go to Mirfield) but feel fairly safe in assuming what
I would find.
The skill which Taylors and Gillets and finally Whitechapel learned,
was to cast bells to different profiles and thicknesses while keeping
them true-harmonic. (As an aside, because Continental founders never
had the problem of having to produce heavy trebles to ring with
tenors, they never had this problem in the first place).
When the founders produce true-harmonic bells with different
profiles, there is still a difference in the sound - thin bells
produce a sound I call the 'tin-can' effect. However, because the
bells are true harmonic we tend not to complain, and perhaps some
people even prefer it.
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