[Bell Historians] Rings of 12 - Keynotes

Michael Wilby michael_wilby at y...
Mon Sep 9 16:40:56 BST 2002

I agree that there should be a degree of uniformity
over the classification of key, and thus the most
commonly used ones would be Ab, Bb, C#, Eb, F#. There
is a difficulty in trying to be absolutely rigid with
this when classifying the pitches of bells within a
ring. For instance in a twelve in the key of C#, the
3rd and 10th strike the "absolute" note F natural,
however this would be a musically incorrect
classification as Fn is not in the key of C# - these
bells should properly be described as E#. It is only
since fixed-pitch instruments (eg pianos, etc) were
tuned to equal temperament (someone correct me if I'm
not quite right here) that (eg) E#/Fn have become the
same note ON THOSE INSTRUMENTS; many musicians,
especially string players, etc., will tell you that
there is a difference between the two notes, and this
is often reflected in the way they are played.

Probably the best solution is to limit the key
signatures used to the most common ones, but within
that describe the note of each bell in terms of the
specified key.

Aren't there some carillons with twice the number of
"black notes" to facilitate playing in all these
proper keys?


Do You Yahoo!?
Everything you'll ever need on one web page
from News and Sport to Email and Music Charts

More information about the Bell-historians mailing list