Perrin, Charnley and DePont

The full reference for this paper is: Perrin R., Charnley T., DePont J., “Normal Modes of the Modern EnglishChurch Bell”, Journal of Sound and Vibration 90(1), pp29-49 (1983) It is reprinted in Rossing’s ‘Acoustics of Bells’. The work is certainly the most comprehensive investigation into the modes of vibration of a bell. Over a period […]

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Terhardt and Seewan 1984

This paper was originally published as “Auditive und objective Bestimmung der Schlagtonhöhe von Historischen Kirchenglocken” in Acustica 1984 Vol. 54 pp. 129-144. I translated it from the original German into English in autumn 2003. It is published here with the kind permission of Prof. Ernst Terhardt. One of the objectives of work described in the […]

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Lehr’s paper on the theory of bell tuning

This paper, published in translation in Rossing’s book Acoustics of Bells is of interest for a number of reasons. Most importantly, it explains the physical processes involved in bell tuning and in particular where on the inside of the bell the tuner removes metal to tune particular partials. This information is derived from actual measurements on bells. […]

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Clinton Meneely’s 1935 speech

Clinton Meneely was the proprietor of a bellfoundry in Troy, in New York state in the US. There was a second Meneely foundry run by a relative of Clinton’s close by in Watervliet, West Troy. I am grateful to David Cawley for the following information: “It’s significant that it was Clinton Meneely (Troy Bell Foundry […]

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Coventry bells, and how they were lost

Coventry Cathedral has a fine peal of twelve bells (plus two semitones) cast by Gillett and Johnston in 1927 but not hung for ringing until 1986 because of structural problems with the tower. Coventry Cathedral was completely destroyed in an air raid on the night of 14/15 November 1940, apart from the tower, but the […]

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Simpson’s first paper

This paper, as published in The Pall Mall Magazine, was quite a handsome affair, and included a number of pictures which have not been included below. They were: A Bell by Messrs. Taylor, of Loughborough; St Mary’s Church, Stoke-by-Wayland (sic); Stoke-by-Wayland (sic) Church, Suffolk; Church of SS. Peter and Paul, Lavenham; Peal cast at Louvain […]

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On Bells, Lord Rayleigh, 1890

This article provides a fascinating insight into an early scientific investigations into bell vibrations and sound. In it Rayleigh explains the phenomenon of doublets, though they are not named as such; shows that the strike note of a church bell is an octave below the nominal; and investigates the vibration modes of the five lowest […]

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Classic papers on bell tuning

Here are some classic papers on bell tuning, plus a talk given by an American founder and an account of the Coventry court case. Many more papers are available in Rossing’s book Acoustics of Bells. The papers here have been selected because they show the historical development of understanding, and are out of copyright. On Bells, […]

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