Bells Across the Land 2015, Part II

Ever have those days where you think “Ack! I forgot my camera, and I really need it now!” Of course you don’t—you’ve joined the 21st century and have your phone, computer, and camera all rolled up into one device. I’m still stuck in 1999 with my technology. I forgot my camera yesterday, and so failedContinue reading “Bells Across the Land 2015, Part II”

Bells Across the Land 2015

On April 9th, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant in Appomattox, Virginia, symbolically ending the Civil War. Next week, exactly 150 years later, bells will ring out across the United States at 3:00 EDT to commemorate the end of this war. The National Park Service is leading the effort inContinue reading “Bells Across the Land 2015”

The Wedding Bells of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Part II

So what’s the solution to our tuning problem introduced in my last blog post? On the one hand, if we tune the five lowest partials in all the bells to perfect equal temperament tuning, we will avoid beats (an unpleasant effect resulting from tones very close together in frequency sounding simultaneously) when different bells ringContinue reading “The Wedding Bells of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Part II”

The Wedding Bells of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Part I

Remember those countless years ago when the bells of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London pealed out for Prince Charles’ and Princess Diana’s wedding? I sure don’t; I was a toddler. My mom says she watched it, though, so I might have caught some glimpses of it. You can hear the full range of the twelveContinue reading “The Wedding Bells of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Part I”

The Sensation of Earth

NPR’s All Tech Considered on Monday tuned me into a recent bell performance at UC-Berkeley. “Natural Frequencies” features carillon bells played via a computer program that uses seismological data to generate the music. Two live carillon performers play the bells at the same time.That kind of project takes a lot of manpower, and a wholeContinue reading “The Sensation of Earth”