Value of Bells: Connection to Histories

The fourth main value of bells I perceive is their connection to histories. The first history I mean is the particular history of Western Europe. Today we are familiar with one main use of tower bells that dates to the middle ages—to signal to faithful Christians. For example, tower bells would signal when to prayContinue reading “Value of Bells: Connection to Histories”

Value of Bells: Public Sound Art

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 particularContinue 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 (atContinue reading “Value of Bells: Soundmark”

Value of Bells: Serendipitous Beauty

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 sheContinue reading “Value of Bells: Serendipitous Beauty”

Kindred Spirits

Up in Quebec, kindred spirits–Daniel Désormiers, Steffen Jowett, François Mathieu, and Michael Rowan–are also advocating for tower bells. A few quotes from an interview struck me. Rev. G. Malcolm Sinclair of the Metropolitan United in downtown Toronto says, “Instead of people saying, ‘We are part of this community, and the church speaks for us,’” soon, he says,Continue reading “Kindred Spirits”