[Bell Historians] Birmingham University

Carl Scott Zimmerman csz_stl at KT1Aeh4v_LzAj0vbYQSK7OJP9waZHun05MEShdoI0SkH1rTZJt41kp9Z26Pq1JDshcO0jrZL4lBAp-A.yahoo.invalid
Fri Oct 22 22:16:46 BST 2010

At 17:30 +0100 2010/10/22, Richard Smith wrote:
>steven_blakemore at nCItVLM7k5z-bahNfbxTAEKNct3eqQZvYUyUbps1jpRpDOQPPA-RDFwXbLrdA-JVpoilxqjZm5DOq_Suj2K-qxO6.yahoo.invalid wrote:
>>  Thank you very much, for your reply. one last question!
>>  "The notes of the bells are as nos. 1, 2, 3, 6 and 10 of a
>>  ring of ten in G." does this mean there is a full circle
>>  ring of ten, or have I got the wrong end of the stick?
>It means there are five bells.  They have the notes G, D, G,
>A, B, which are notes that bells 10, 6, 3, 2 and 1 from a
>ring of ten have.  These are the five notes needed to sound
>the Cambridge quarters (sometimes also called the
>Westminster chimes).

It also means that the hour strike is at the octave below the final 
note of the quarter strike.  While this is probably the most common 
arrangement for Cambridge (Westminster) quarters, it is not the only 

To strike this quarter-chime tune on a ring or chime which doesn't 
have ten notes available, the arrangement is to put the hour strike 
at the musical interval of a fifth below the final note of the 
quarter strike.  In ringing terminology, the notes are as nos. 
2,3,4,7 and 8 of a ring of 8.

In a really low-cost clock-chime, using only four bells, the hour 
strike is on the lowest of the quarter bells, which places it as the 
musical interval of a fourth below the final note of the quarter 

There are rare instances where the hour strike is at a different 
musical interval below the lowest of the quarter bells.  One such 
instance is the very heavy G&J clock-chime at Colorado College (see 
http://www.gcna.org/data/NAOtherGreatBells.html#CO1 and the 
associated links), where the interval is a diminished octave.

I would welcome details of other Cambridge (Westminster) 
quarter-chimes where the musical interval of the hour strike is 


P.S. Chris Pickford's excellent article reports that the fourth 
quarter bell has two chiming hammers.  I suppose that this was done 
because on such heavy bells the repetition between the last note of 
the 4th phrase and the first note of the 5th phrase would otherwise 
be unstable.  (The repetition between the first and last notes of the 
third phrase is apparently not so troublesome.)  I've never seen such 
an arrangement on lighter weight clock-chimes, and wonder how 
prevalent it might be.


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