[Bell Historians] My recent query

A Willis zen16073 at z...
Fri Jun 6 09:53:41 BST 2003

I understand that in the late 1500's most churches had from three to
> bells, but can't find out how they were typically tuned (except
that they
> used Just Intonation). Would it have been a series such as A B C D
E, or
> would it have been more like A B D E G ?

Fred Sharpe, (Church Bells of Berkshire, p.314) writes

As a result of selling the Great Bell [in 1614] the Dean and Canons [of
Windsor Castle] were left with a ring of bells, [1 - 5 of 6] with their
strike notes tuned in the Dorian Mode. Before the Reformation such tuning
was quite common, but the sixteenth century saw the abandonment of the
medieval modes or scales in favour of the major and minor scsles which are
in common use today. After the Reformation bellfounders seldom used any
other than the major scale. The Dorian ring in the Clewer tower was not
tolerated for long. In 1623 the chapter . . bought a new bell . . .
Anne Willis

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