Patterns in the Sand

Check out this demonstration of Chaldni plates! The demonstrator changes the frequency by changing the position of the bow and his finger at the edge. For every frequency a different sand pattern arises according to the vibration pattern of the plate. Where there are few vibrations, called nodes, the sand settles, and where there areContinue reading “Patterns in the Sand”

Jacob Van Eyck and the Hemony Brothers

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 butContinue reading “Jacob Van Eyck and the Hemony Brothers”

Jacob Van Eyck

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 tunedContinue reading “Jacob Van Eyck”

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”