[Bell Historians] Bowell & centre holes

Benjamin Kipling bdk at b...
Thu Jan 27 22:53:56 GMT 2005

>>I sometimes wonder if the likes of Bowell and Warners struggled with harmonic >>tuning for so long just because they were trying to follow Canon Simpson's advice, >>without realising that Simpson was a bit wide of the mark as regards where to tune >>to control which partials. 
> (John Bryant) 
>Is it known whether they were trying to follow Simpson's ideas to the letter and get a >major third tierce rather than a minor third? 

If they did, they weren't often very close, although Bill Hibbert has analysed a wider range of bells than I have and should be able to confirm or deny this. Sharp Tierces tend to go with sharp Hums, or sometimes sharp Fundamentals (/Primes/2nd partials/Extras/whatever else you want to call them). Until the last quarter century or so, the closest anyone seems to have got in producing a major thirds bell with Hum & Fundamental in tune were some of the early G & J efforts, and they were nearer major than minor but still not quite there. 

What Canon Simpson actually said on the subject was: 

#That in a peal of (say) eight bells, the " thirds " should be all major or all minor. This #is considered correct; but we should rather like to hear a peal in which the "thirds" #of the treble 4th, 5th and tenor bells are "major," and those of the rest "minor." 

As far as I know, nobody has produced a peal of eight where bells 1,4,5 & 8 have major thirds and the rest have minor thirds (and all eight have Hums and Fundamentals in tune). The Tierces would effectively go down the notes of the front eight of a ten, and I personally wouldn't bee too keen on the idea, but I suppose it would be an interesting experiment. The Tierces of the early G&J peals were often rather wild, but tended to progress from minor thirds front bells to major thirds (ish) back bells. 

Benjamin Kipling


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