Jacob Van Eyck and the Hemony Brothers

Jacob van Eyck and Hemonys

It’s hard to underestimate the standing of the Hemony brothers—Pierre and François Hemony—in the carillon world. With the likely help of Jacob Van Eyck, they were the first European bell founders to effectively tune the lower five partials in bells. Before them, an instrument of well-tuned bells was a dream that many strived for but … Continue reading Jacob Van Eyck and the Hemony Brothers

Jacob Van Eyck

Jacob van Eyck and Hemonys

Today’s account comes courtesy to us from Luc Rombot’s masterful Singing Bronze: A History of Carillon Music.* I highly recommend his book for any reader interested in the history of bells. It’s a recent publication, so you can still easily purchase it online! We’ve seen the five lowest overtones in a bell that are tuned … Continue reading Jacob Van Eyck

American Chimes

Chimes in nineteenth-century American churches rang out hymns to their communities to praise God and to make the Sunday services more jubilant. Seems logical, right? Bzzz. Wrong. (That was my “error buzzer” there, did you see that?) According to Percival Price in Bells & Man,* this was not the primary aim of these instruments consisting … Continue reading American Chimes

The Bell Grooves

Inside of bells

Courtesy of the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, MA, we have a marvelous picture of the inside of several super shiny bells. Now why would there be those grooves inside the bell? To tune them, of course! Remember the five lowest partials in a bell? The bell founders tune those partials by shaving off … Continue reading The Bell Grooves

The Note that Wasn’t There, Part II

It turns out I need to do some correcting with my blog post about the bell’s strike note. A commenter (thanks BDF!) asked if other musical instruments besides bells had a similar phantom-like note, and that prompted me to find this surprising tidbit. When we hear musical sounds that conform to the natural harmonic series, … Continue reading The Note that Wasn’t There, Part II

Proclaiming Liberty, part III

So…what does the Liberty Bell SOUND like? Thanks to a research team of grad students at Pennsylvania State University, we’ve got an educated guess! Hmm. That’s an interesting sound, isn’t it? Kind of crunchy. A neutral observer would say that it doesn’t follow the typical profile of partials in bells. Others may put it another … Continue reading Proclaiming Liberty, part III