[Bell Historians] Pitch of bells

Chris Pickford c.j.pickford at t...
Mon Jun 23 22:00:18 BST 2003

Bill's posting is very topical. I'm just back from Birmingham and a visit to the University clock tower - wonderful! As we stood back on the ground and listened to the clock strike 11 on Big Joe (121 cwt in G - or just a touch above), Richard Jones astutely observed "why can one always hear a strong fourth in big bells?" - this being distinctly audible as we spoke.

Also found another Charles Carr true-harmonic bell (29.25" in C) in the chapel at St.Paul's Convent is Selly Park

A rather good day for tonal delights

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Bill Hibbert 
To: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com 
Sent: Monday, June 23, 2003 8:45 PM
Subject: [Bell Historians] Pitch of bells

This is a slightly tongue-in-cheek post, reminiscent of the G-sharp 
versus A-flat debate!

I hope my RW article shows that the link between nominal frequency 
and bell pitch is not as certain as we all believed. The biggest 
discrepancy I have seen so far in a 'normal' sized bell is Southwold 
treble, where the difference is about 1/3 of a semitone.

However, we all know that in big bells the 'secondary strike' gives a 
much larger divergence. On what basis do we describe a bell such as 
Big Ben as E + 27 (i.e. 335.1 Hz) when the note we hear is clearly 
the A above this? :-)

Bill H

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