[Bell Historians] Stretch tuning

Alan Buswell aaj.buswell at 3cm5PXs0ReqV6LU6Ae1nvD9zqlPNTF7sym4boLRlyUAjRMDAF1uceFSyGM_0HhzqlJANwDGKl_3x1wt4905eGJQ.yahoo.invalid
Wed Dec 5 09:52:20 GMT 2007

Give me the names of G&J carillons and I will give their frequencies.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Carl S Zimmerman 
  To: Bell Historians List 
  Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2007 7:19 PM
  Subject: RE: [Bell Historians] Stretch tuning

  Bill Hibbert asked,
  >Does anyone have first-hand (or at least reliable) knowledge of how
  >Taylors did their stretch tuning in the 1950s and 1960s?

  and other messages seem to show that the first stretch-tuned Taylor 
  rings were Evesham in 1951 and Liverpool (Pier Head) in 1952. This 
  fits with remarks in Bill's online article "Bell pitch and nominal 

  I first heard of stretch tuning in 1967 in a very different context, 
  when Frederick C. Mayer spoke informally to the GCNA Congress at 
  Princeton University. Mayer had been organist of the Cadet Chapel at 
  West Point Military Academy for more than half his life (1911-1954), 
  and had supervised its enlargement into what has been billed as the 
  largest working church organ in the world (4/380). For much of his 
  working life, he was also a highly respected organ designer and 
  consultant, and this led to his becoming a carillon consultant as 
  well. By the time of the Princeton Congress, he was quite elderly 
  and somewhat frail, but nevertheless spoke with enthusiasm and vigor 
  about his involvement in the development of some of the great 
  English-made carillons of the 1920s and 30s, and especially about the 
  importance of stretch tuning in the trebles of larger instruments 
  (four octaves or more). I recall very distinctly Mayer's stress on 
  the fact that the perfectly tuned trebles of the very first large 
  modern carillons sounded flat to the ear, making stretch tuning 
  necessary to produce a good musical effect. (It's unfortunate that 
  no record of Mayer's remarks was made.)

  Nowadays, stretch tuning seems to be widely accepted for use on 
  several different kinds of instruments. Even so, it seems to be 
  generally restricted to the outer ends of large-compass instruments 
  (piano, harp), and the details of its use vary with the type of 

  With that background, I ask,

  1. What was Taylors' rationale for applying stretch tuning to a 
  compass as small as an octave, or a ring of 12?

  2. When did Taylors begin to apply stretch tuning to carillon bells?

  3. To what extent is stretch tuning found in the work of G&J and of 
  Whitechapel? (rings, chimes and carillons)


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