Proto-NBR and musical scales

Michael Wilby michael at
Fri Dec 1 14:49:30 GMT 2006

Without being critical of the work John Baldwin is undertaking, can I 
suggest there should be a review and common agreed standard around 
the recording of individual notes within the scale of a ring of bells?

I post two examples from the Dove website, one for a ring in C# and 
another for a ring with a tenor given as D#.  I seem to recall some 
discussion about how bell notes are listed a while back, but I think 
the two examples, especially the latter, demonstrate how difficult it 
can be to make any sense when using the "piano keyboard view" of a 

In the first example, the correct musical notation would have the 
second expressed as B# and the sixth as E#.  The latter example is a 
real confusion of keys, with some notes from the scale of D# 
(presumably as advised by the founder), and others from E-flat!  So 
you can either have it as (tenor first) D# E# Fx G# A# B# Cx D# E# Fx 
(where x denotes "double sharp"), or Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb F G, but not 
as-is.  To express either ring as currently published is musical 
nonsense, and while I'm sure there are good intentions behind 
recording bells thus, in practice it is dumbing-down and ultimately 
is not helpful.  

To the novice pianist, notes such as B# and E# don't *apparently* 
exist on a piano keyboard, but music written for piano in keys such 
as C# include B# and E# in their scores.  All stringed 
instrumentalists would have no problem in the concept of playing an 
E# if required!

Bells are musical instruments tuned to musical keys: let's notate 
them as such.



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