Was Pen y Fai, but now back to Cambridge Quarters

Richard Offen richard at ...
Thu Jul 28 16:47:07 BST 2005

> My favorite is the fairly common 1,2,3,6 of 10 with the hour on 10, 
> partly because there's much more separation between the tonality of 
> the quarters and the tonality of the hour strike.
> Carl

Which is exactly the way it was composed!

Going back to the history of this chime, I found the following quote 
in Ellacombe's Church Bells of Somerset this morning:

"The following account of these chimes is extracted from The Rev. 
John Raven's "Church Bells of Cambridgeshire" ...

The history of these beautiful chimes, the melody of which has been 
copied over and over again, is well worth preserving: I am indebted 
for it to Mr Amps, the organist at King's College, who had it from 
his predecessor, Mr Pratt. About the time of these improvements [a 
new clock] Dr Jowett was Regius Professor of Laws, and Dr Randall 
Regius Professor of Music, and Crotch and Pratt, then mere lads, were 
his pupils. Dr Jowett was expert at practical mechanics, modelling, 
&c. He appears to have been consulted by the authorities of the 
University, and to have taken Crotch into his counsels. The latter 
may be credited with the idea of taking a movement in the fifth bar 
of the opening symphony of that most sublime air of Handel's, 'I know 
that my Redeemer liveth,' and by a system of variations, not unworthy 
of Fabian Stedman, expanding it into the annexed chime [the chime is 
annotated in stave notation and shows it set for 1, 2, 3, 6 and 10 of 
a ring of ten].

It was said by Mr Pratt, that when the chimes were first heard, they 
were thought so strange, that they were nicknamed "Jowett's 
Hornpipe." Very few, except those who had known Crotch, were aware 
that he had anything to do with their composition, and till they were 
copied for the Royal Exchange, their merits were but little 
appreciated; but now they sound from many towers, and are dear to 
many ears; and Crotch and Jowett may say, in the words of Aeneas,
'Quae regio in terris nostri non plena laboris'"

So there we are the history of the chimes as told by the Rev'ds 
Ellacombe and Raven!



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