Whitechapel chime and chromatic notes

nigelsdtaylor nigeltaylor at k...
Mon Mar 17 13:26:00 GMT 2003

Andrew Aspland is half right on the subject of the "flat 6th" in the 
Whitechapel chime being a "sharp 7th". There is one tune which makes 
a brief key change from F# to Ab major, and this requires a "C" and 
not a "B#" as he states. The chime is tuned in equal temperament, and 
this interval (600 cents) is one of the few good compromise notes in 
this tuning, since it lies exactly mid-way between an augmented 4th 
(590 cents) and a diminished 5th (610 cents). If the chime were tuned 
just, the augmented 4th would be required for the key of Ab major and 
the diminished 5th for the key of G.
Andrew's remarks remind me of Dove's guide which lists the semitones 
at Worcester Cathedral as flat 4th, flat 6th, flat 8th; the flat 6th 
is correct, but the other semitone bells are a sharp 5th (B#) and 
sharp 9th (E#) to give a diatonc 8 in the key of C#.
Nigel Taylor

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