G&J tuning

Richard Offen richard.offen at o...
Tue Jun 15 15:16:14 BST 2004

--- In bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com, "Bill Hibbert" <bill at h...> 
> I am following this discussion with great interest, and learning 
> fast. Some questions and points of interest:
> David Cawley:
> > St Nicolas Leicester bourdon had 15 partials tuned.
> This is quite unusual: was it just that 15 partial frequencies were 
> noted, or that there was some actual attempt to tune them?

Not sure what date the Leicester bell was tuned, but certainly by the 
late 1940s G & J were experimenting with upper partial tuning 
(subject of many conversations with Wally). Michael Howard was 
particularly keen on this. 

They had also returned to experimenting with getting major third 
bells - Wally told me that they spoilt the large Freedom Bell they 
cast for Germany trying to achieve a major third in it, but as it was 
never going to be rung with anything else, let it leave the foundry 
as it was (could Dickon find us the tuning figures for this bell? I 
did see them in Wally's book, but cannot, for the life of me, 
remember anything about them!) 

G & J were particularly keen to get the upper partials spot on in 
their carillon bells. These partials are much more prominant in 
stationary bells than swinging ones, where the Doppler effect dampens 
them out. To my knowledge, they were certainly tuning (and 
succeeding to get right) the three major thirds above the nominal, 
octave fifth, octave nominal and the super octaves in bigger bells.


More information about the Bell-historians mailing list