Chiming machines

Bill Hibbert bill at h...
Thu May 27 08:23:33 BST 2004


> Can anyone tell me where other devices of this
> type can be found?

One of the most impressive I have seen is at the Munttoren, 
Amsterdam. I am relying on memory for my description of it. It was 
built by, or for, the Hemonys in the mid-17th century. The drum, 
which is cast in bell-metal and is several feet in diameter, 
apparently took two years to make, as each hole for a chiming peg, of 
which there must be thousands, had to be cut by hand. The machine has 
no fixed tunes, the carilloneur can insert pegs to play anything he 
likes, subject to the compass of the carillon and the circumference 
of the drum. Though now electrically powered, a substantial part of 
the original mechanism is still in use.

I have a recording I took on my visit of the machine playing the 
start of the Air from Bach's Goldberg variations, and very good it is 

Bill H

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