[Bell Historians] Accoustics and tone

John Norris JRN at N...
Tue Mar 30 00:32:33 BST 2004

On Mon 29 Mar, Andrew Wilby wrote:
> In the same way as if you lie in a bath and hum around a bit you can find
> the resonant frequency of the bath tub, I suspect that some bell tower will
> have a resonant frequency or several.
> If the ring of bells matches those resonances then you should expect to hear
> a resonant and amplified sound.
> Any reason why not? Any probable examples?

Many years ago I saw a short film purporting to show that cracks in a
foreign bell tower were caused by the tower resonating at the frequency of
its single bell when the latter was rung. I wasn't wholly convinced; surely
the tower would have a much lower resonant frequency? 

No doubt the material in a tower affects the perceived sound of the bells
but as for any resonance effect might it not be due to air columns rather
than the structure - the organ pipe effect rather than the triangle?

John Norris

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