Leicester St Nicholas
bill at h...
Mon Jun 28 15:23:37 BST 2004
Many thanks to David Cawley for posting G&J's tuning figures for this
bell. I think they tell us a lot about how G&J were tuning at the
Richard Offen has already explained the terms 'with itself' and 'with
peal' for the figures of this bell, I will only add that the planned
nominal of 652 Hz is exactly an E related to A=435Hz; G&J were
obviously using this older pitch standard, still used by some
continental founders today.
To illuminate what I say below, I have uploaded a
spreadsheet 'Leicester St. Nicholas.xls' to the files area with all
the key figures.
The bell as cast is about a tone sharp of the intended pitch. It has
a slightly sharp prime and a very sharp hum, both of which came into
line during the tuning. The tierce was planned, and tuned, to be
just, not equal.
The figures for the low five partials include a fractional part (e.g.
163+1/9). My guess, unless anyone knows better, is that these are
beat rates to a standard fork (in the example, one beat in nine
The higher partials for which a 'with peal' figure is given are very
interesting: they are the 'strike' partials giving rise to the strike
note. I guess G&J had latched on to their significance, or did they
just pick the partials at simple intervals above the nominal? Their
planned figures for these partials are optimistic. These partials go
up relative to the nominal when metal is removed during tuning,
whereas their plan has the octave nominal going down to the exact
To note frequencies for all these partials using forks must have been
a lengthy task, and would have required good knowledge of the
location of the nodes for each vibration.
I have tried to work out the abbreviations for the higher partial
names. Some are a pure guess on my part.
C.P. is probably crown partial - so called because the partial is
easiest to detect in the crown.
A, B and C are the three main partials lying between nominal and
superquint, known sometimes as the tenth, first eleventh and second
eleventh. Carillon experts tell me that, in a true-harmonic bell
otherwise tuned spot on, the position of these three partials has a
big effect on the sound of the bell.
OU is the superquint. Could this be a transcription error for OV,
meaning octave fifth?
ON is the octave nominal. It looks as if the tuner found four
different candidate partials for this in the untuned bell.
HF is probably the high or higher fifth.
4N is the double octave nominal, i.e. roughly four times the nominal
The other partials (V.I, I.X, OPV and ?+VI) I can't help with.
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