[Bell Historians] Earliest Semitone

David Bryant david at b...
Mon Jun 21 23:08:46 BST 2004

> Leeds Parish Church is well known for having had the first ever set of 
> thirteen bells (twelve plus 2#) cast and hung at one time. 
> BUT was this the first case of a sharp second? 


> When was the first flat sixth? 

Halifax, 1857. Although the bell which is now the flat 6th at Exeter was 
there before that (as a flat 4th), this existed as a historical survival 
rather than as a specifically-cast semitone bell. 

> Was there an earlier use of a semitone bell e.g 5# of an eight? 

Not apart from Exeter, and quite what that was used for before the bells 
were augmented to 12 in 1922 isn't clear. To get a minor eight, perhaps? 

For more information see my article on semitone bells. Go to 
http://www.bryantd.fsnet.co.uk/bell_historians. Click 'articles', then it's 
at the bottom of the list. 



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