Lipping/skirting (was Kidderminster trebles)

Carl S Zimmerman csz_stl at s...
Thu May 1 15:34:12 BST 2003

This process was attempted by van Bergen of Heiligerlee when they 
mis-cast the next-to-largest bell of the carillon for Concordia 
Seminary in St.Louis. I presume that they decided that it was too 
expensive to recast such a large bell. Unfortunately, the result of 
the operation was merely to "improve" the tone from (I presume) 
absolutely appalling to just very very bad. Carillonists who have 
played here would probably agree that it is the worst bell in any 
20th-c. carillon. (Some 18th & 19th c. instruments are worse, 
though.) And the shape of the butchered lip is downright ugly.

The situation was exacerbated some years ago when a renovation that 
replaced the keyboard and transmission also replaced the clapper on 
this bell with one that was more in scale with the adjacent clappers. 
(The original clapper had been only about half the weight of its 
neighbors.) That just made the awful sound louder.

It's too bad, because the rest of the bells are actually pretty 
decent (4+ octaves in concert pitch), and the tower & location are 
simply splendid. Unfortunately, the cost of getting that bell out of 
the tower now in order recast it would be enormous. So this carillon 
gets much less use than it otherwise might.

At 22:37 +0100 2003/04/30, David Bryant wrote:
>For Jim - lipping is skirting, i.e. removing the lip to sharpen the note.
>Apparently (if I remember what I was told correctly) the aim is to raise the
>nominal, make the hum sharp and the fundamental flat in each bell. This was
>told to me this morning by a very reliable source.

=Carl Scott Zimmerman= Co-Webmaster:
Voicemail: +1-314-361-5194 (home) mailto:csz_stl at s...
Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - 19th c. home of up to 33 bell foundries

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