Chiming scales / earliest rings

oakcroft13 bill at h...
Fri Sep 6 22:37:01 BST 2002

David Cawley:
> St Lawrence Ipswich
> three of them by Basyers of Norwich (i.e.1424-1513)
> one by William Chamberlain of London c1440

Roy Tricker's 'Ipswich Churches Ancient and Modern' says of St 
Lawrence 'The five bells are a complete pre-reformation ring. The 
only other ring of five bells in England is at [St Barts, London].

One correspondent suggested the early scales to which bells would be 
tuned were modes which did not correspond to our diatonic scale based 
on C. I have heard that the earliest western scale, the Gam, 
comprised the six notes do, re, mi, fa, so, la in Tonic Sol-Fa, with 
the semitone always between mi and fa. This scale was supposedly 
invented by Guido (990-1050) and was in use up to about 1500. A 
reference on this which I have not personally checked is: Lloyd L. S. 
and Boyle, H. Intervals, Scales, and Temperaments. New York: St. 
Martin's Press, 1979.

Bill H

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