[Bell Historians] Lucy tuning

Roderic Bickerton rodbick at HnJgbJXZzfMazumcVSnHM-Cy7wvqqB7EOEXQTHSZ7BwJ5fMwjb3XlTgIpRC-EJBA1gAXoSW3ALBiO8whTA.yahoo.invalid
Sun Oct 18 11:57:23 BST 2009

This sounds like a very good case for modern computer modelling. Now widely
accepted as a very practical way of examine the behavior of anything to
difficult to be subject of practical examination. the modelling of castings,
accurate prediction of resonances positions of nodes and the like has been
extensively researched so there is a lot of software around.I would think to
move forward, one would need to discover someone professionally
working in this aria. There is that Australian set up that produce strange
"bells" by computer modeling, and then produce the
actual hardware from the model, presumably by some sort of NC mechieneing.

2009/10/17 Carl Scott Zimmerman <csz_stl at fYrYyjKkUI1rFHpaokqN1GhyPjT1a2bIOyumj4btbKSFSVRELRg5du60vd8MxgdcfjJ5QvN2THN5g34.yahoo.invalid>

> Aside from a few quotations from John 'Longitude' Harrison's
> writings, there is nothing to be found at lucytune.com on the subject
> of bells. I do not think that the question of applicability of Lucy
> tuning to bells can be seriously debated until its proponent
> addresses three matters which markedly distinguish bells from all
> other tuned instruments.
> Firstly, bell tuning is irreversible. One cannot experiment with the
> diameter of a bell in the same way that one experiments with the
> tension of a vibrating string (as in a piano or violin) or the length
> of a vibrating column of air (as in an organ pipe). Just consider
> how limited our understanding of musical temperaments might be if it
> were necessary to construct a piano from scratch to test each new
> proposed variation!
> Secondly, there is that famous (or infamous) partial tone which is
> unique to bells, and which is now standardised at the minor third
> (though in untuned bells it can vary widely). It is arguably the
> greatest single factor in influencing the writing and arranging of
> good music for the carillon, and is widely acknowledged to be of some
> importance in almost all other modern bell instruments.
> Thirdly, the partial tones of a bell must be individually tuned; they
> do not fall into place automatically with the tuning of a fundamental
> frequency, as is the case with all musical instruments which are
> strung or blown.
> These three matters are well known to all who have studied bell
> tuning to any significant extent. (That includes most of the
> subscribers to this List, I'm sure!) But they are irrelevant to all
> discussions of musical temperament which are based on instruments
> which are normally heard in the concert hall. Thus they are little
> known (if at all) to many quite competent musicians whose expertise
> is confined to those more conventional musical instruments.
> These matters may have been considered to some degree by the few
> people who have actually worked on tuning bells to various
> temperaments. However, I'm not aware of that, and would like to know
> more about what has been done in that area. Without solidly based
> information about the applicability of these matters, I could not
> support the use of an untried musical temperament.
> Carl
> As a postscript, I should mention the infamous carillon of
> Nieuwpoort, Belgium, constructed by Michiels in 1952. Its keyboard
> has two rows of "black" keys, connected to separate sets of semitone
> bells. One set is supposed to be the sharps and the other set the
> flats, yielding a diachromatic temperament of some sort.
> Unfortunately, the tuning of the bells is so abysmally poor that the
> instrument utterly failed to achieve its intended goal. It is, so
> far as I know, played in the same way as any other carillon, ignoring
> the second row of black keys.
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