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Value of Bells: Public Sound Art

a stone made campanile

I have already touched on the third value of bells for us today—as public sound art. The sounds of tower bells are the aural equivalent to the visual arts on display in public. As public visual arts provide an aesthetic experience for the entire community, so the same goes for the sounds, and in particular … Continue reading Value of Bells: Public Sound Art

Value of Bells: Soundmark

R. Murray Schafer (no relation) coined the term soundmark, meaning a sound unique to an area, analogous to a landmark. Taking it a step further, Schafer argued that soundmarks should be preserved, since they define the acoustics of the surrounding community. And I agree! Tower bells fit this description. Bells are not so ubiquitous (at … Continue reading Value of Bells: Soundmark

Value of Bells: Serendipitous Beauty

photo of church tower

For the next few days, I’ll post on the most important reasons for bells in our current time. I look forward to your responses in the comments! One reason I think tower bells are important today is the occasion they provide for serendipitous beauty. A passerby is walking along, minding her own business, when she … Continue reading Value of Bells: Serendipitous Beauty

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Exit Strategy [Update]

Now that we've had a few days to examine the dress, the flowers, the fascinators, etc. of the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, let's take a listen to their exit out of St. George's Chapel in Windsor. https://youtu.be/vn2rSYxjqaI?t=1h5m3s I hear the guard announcing the couple, people cheering, a woman(?) screaming (really not … Continue reading Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Exit Strategy [Update]

Two Chicago Bell Festivals in May

Friends, we have two bell festivals, one on change ringing and one on the carillon, coming up here in the month of May. First, the 6th Annual Illinois Tower Bell Bash will take place May 19-20. Ringers will gather to ring changes (what else?) at the Mitchell Tower at the University of Chicago on Saturday … Continue reading Two Chicago Bell Festivals in May

The Oldest Bell in Chicago

On Sunday, December 10th, the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour in Chicago celebrated the 40th anniversary of the installation of their single bell. This is no ordinary bell, however. This bell was bought from St. Mary’s Parish Church in Everton, Bedfordshire, England. Misfortune for St. Mary’s meant a welcome opportunity for the Church of Our … Continue reading The Oldest Bell in Chicago

All Saints St. Anthony Catholic Church, Chicago

Dear readers, All Saints St. Anthony Catholic Church in Chicago has not one bell tower, but two! The one on the left is leased by T-Mobile for their use. The one on the right has the good stuff...three bells cast by McShane of Baltimore in 1914. They were installed shortly after the church was erected. … Continue reading All Saints St. Anthony Catholic Church, Chicago

First Lutheran Church of the Trinity, Chicago

First Lutheran Church of the Trinity

I found another church here in Chicago that rings the bells during the Lord's Prayer--First Lutheran Church of the Trinity. Perhaps this is a specifically Lutheran tradition? This Lutheran church was the third in the city and the first one south of the Chicago River. The church formed in 1865, although the current building they … Continue reading First Lutheran Church of the Trinity, Chicago