Re (3): [Bell Historians] Bootle (Everton) and Fenham

s.ivin at n... s.ivin at n...
Thu Sep 30 07:45:39 BST 2004

> I found this. Is this good enough?

Well, it has nothing to say about 'Old Concert Pitch'.

The point I was rather elliptically driving at is, in plain terms, what the hell
does it mean when WBF repeatedly refer to it. In the absence of an answer from
Nigel, we can only deduce from his last posting that he refers to A452, which
represents the dizzy heights to which it rose during the last half of the 19th

The effect is that a bell of a note qualified by 'O C P' is about half a
semitone higher than the same note in modern (A440) parlance. (OK - 46.58 cents
higher, to save you another posting!)

Maybe one day we shall elicit a response, but the fact seems to be that beyond
Whitechapel it has no precise and universally recognised meaning.

Another peculiar illogicality which is emerging is the dreaded Kirnberger III
scale. The whole point of these historic temperaments was that each key was
playable (as opposed to meantone) _but_ each key signature differred from the
rest in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Now we hear that such and such a ring of
bells is tuned in Kirnberger III, which _ought_ to mean that different intervals
ought to be found between the bells according to the pitch - i.e. Swineshead (RW p 800)
keynote F-49c might be expected to use the K III F or E scale intervals, and
Milton, Berks keynote B, the B scale intervals, but in practice both use the
C scale intervals. I ask you! (It is also arguable that if one must pick a single
scale for the preferred one, then the G intervals are a rather better choice.)

Steve (of unequal temperament)

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