Old style tuning

Richard Offen richard.offen at o...
Fri Jun 4 11:43:29 BST 2004

--- In bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com, "Bill Hibbert" <bill at h...> 
> Richard:
> > where bells are tuned 'old style', the fact that the
> > hum notes are not two octaves below the nominals does
> > not necessarily mean that the bells are badly tuned.
> Just to leap briefly on a current hobby-horse: equating 'old style' 
> with seventh hums is a bit cavalier. Because of the huge volume of 
> Rudhall, Whitechapel and Warner bells for which this is true, 
> there's a temptation to think that everyone before 1896 cast sharp 
> hums. Possibly if one were to look at the number of founders aiming 
> for roughly octave hums, rather than the number of bells, a more 
> balanced picture would emerge.
> Bill H

Yes, I agree, but there are a huge number of bells, not just by the 
founders you mention from the 17th - 19th century that do not have 
octave hums and cannot be tuned as such. A great many of these 
bells have been tuned over the years at Taylors and Whitechapel with 
flattened seventh hums (Gilletts, certainly in later years after 
their experience at Thaxstead, only generally tuned the nominals of 
old bells), to to compare these with an octave datum line gives the 
impression that tuning has failed and I can think of many places 
where such tuning has been a huge success.


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