Change ringing, founding, etc.

Paul Poletti paul at
Mon Apr 3 09:57:23 BST 2006


I teach Acoustics/organology as the Superior School of music in
Barcelona (ESMUC). Last year I briefly described change ringing during
the session on the acoustics of bells, and the students where
absolutely fascinated, first by the concept, and second that it is
humanly possible to keep such a complex set of permutations going for
so long without everybody getting lost. This year I want to go into it
in more detail, but I can't find the information I need on the
internet. I've already received some information from the Campanology
group, and one of the members there recommended this list to me.

I have several questions specific to change ringing:

1. At what point within the rotation of the bell does the clapper
strike? I understand it is at the moment the bell becomes vertical
(mouth up) on the upswing, but what mechanism causes this?

2. Does the clapper remain in contact with the bell rim while the bell
is up, or is there some sort of spring the keeps it away after the
strike? It would seem as though if it stayed inn contact, it would
kill the vibration, or at the very least, make an annoying buzz.

3. When ringing a method, how does each ringer cause the temporal
advance or retard of his bell? Does he park it briefly at the top of
each swing for retard? Are the bells parked briefly on every rotation,
allow small vibration in the parking time? Or is it a matter of giving
the bell a little more or less speed during rotation?

Furthermore, here in Catalonia they ring bells by rotating them full
circle, continuously in the same direction. I've been told by some
that this is bad for the bells because the strike is harder and it
leads to premature cracking. Does anybody have any solid info on this?

Finally, I'm looking for some good pics of the founding process. I've
found lots on the web, but most of it is pretty low resolution, and
the pictures look miserable when blown up to slide show size. Anybody
know some better sources? Language is no problem, I can read most
major European languages (including Dutch/Flemish - I'm a naturalized
Dutch citizen).


Paul Poletti
Barcelona, Spain


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