Historical methods of bell tuning

Bill Hibbert bill at TmM2tXobUBErM_R9Ba1CgdYtxO--V3UC3jMTP15OA1JVymRWdIxn8K-U1ZzNt7uI5WyA2wc-zV7r3wFx.yahoo.invalid
Wed Aug 2 10:10:10 BST 2006

Lawrence, thanks for the suggested links. They didn't quite answer my 
question, which was about the detail of how historic bell tuners went 
about their work. However, all the sites were interesting, especially 
http://www.hibberts.co.uk/ which was the most comprehensive and 
authoritative account of bell acoustics I have ever read . . . :-)

I suspect that the methods used in the past were regarded by founders 
as trade secrets, and therefore were not written down or communicated.

One associated question that fascinates is when bellfounders became 
aware of partial tones. The Hemonys and Van Eyck knew, of course, but 
the practical application of the knowledge died with them. The earliest 
written reference I have found is Helmholtz (1877), who appears to be 
quoting other earlier German sources. Does anyone know if any UK 
founders were aware of partial tones in the 18th or early 19th 
centuries? The written descriptions and drawing of the Rudhall tuning 
achine suggests it could only remove metal near the soundbow, i.e. was 
only used for tuning nominals.


Bill H


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