[Bell Historians] Tuning forks.

David Bryant davidbryant at VGjNGPSV_mSh3zuo2yp9QhcMoh5unps41jmYvmrZ0FxBeO7uF_9jtUVv0aj_HCGPws1HKSIMWaEC5dEPFCjpjw.yahoo.invalid
Sat Apr 15 22:53:34 BST 2006

> You can shut your eyes but you cannot shut your ears.  You cannot see the
> sound coming from a bell!

Did anybody say that you could?

> Then please explain why the glorious sound of rings like Chewton Mendip,
> Clerkenwell,Wimborne, Truro, Beverley, Worcester etc and the immediate
> post war rings at Jewry, St Nicks,Liverpool,Evesham, Cripplegate, Bow is
> lacking in all the new peals over the past 30 years?  People are even
> reverting back to 'Gillett' profiles in an effort to try and squeeze some
> reasonable sound out!

The sound of a particular ring of bell is not just about the bells 
themselves. Tower acoustics are at least as important. Bells such as those 
you mention are all in acoustically very good towers, and have been around 
for long enough that they are well-known.

Towers with acoustics as good as these are relatively few, and it is rarely 
that an opportunity for a new ring of bells in one arises. When it does, it 
may take years for the ringing fraternity at large to become aware of them. 
I can think of some extremly good modern rings. - e.g. Carlisle (Taylor), or 
Crediton (Whitechapel).

> Are you trying to tell us Richard that a bell can now be tuned by solely
> looking at an electronic dial?

As you well know, that wasn't what Richard was saying at all. His point was 
that what matters is that the tuner knows what he is trying to achieve in 
terms of harmonic structure, and knows how to go about producing this. In 
order to do so he will need tools to measure the various partials, and 
whether this be tuning forks or electronic equipment doesn't seem, to me, to 
be particularly relevant.

I have watched bells being tuned at Taylor's, and the final approval is done 
by ear, not by what any machine says.

Why do you always assume that practices from 'the good old days', be it 
tuning methods or clapper material (I could be opening another can of worms 
here..) cannot be equalled today?



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