Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/231

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BELLS.
219
 

finish in this way must have been considerable. The method now usually employed is to dispense with the operation of making the clay 'thickness' altogether, and to have a metal cope larger than the size of the bell, and lined with clay, in which the external model of the bell is then formed by an inverted sweep, acting on the inside surface; the cope is then turned over the core, and the exact model of the bell is represented, of course, by the space between them. The direct action of the sweep secures a more finished exterior surface than with the old hand-made cope; and another advantage is that the iron cope can be bolted down to a plate below the core, so as to render the whole thing perfectly steady for the casting, and greatly facilitate the process of getting it into the sand. The mould which gives the shape of the top of the bell, with the clapper-ring and the ears or 'canons' for fixing the bell to the stock, is added to the model by a separate process, and the whole is then imbedded in the sand of the casting-room with the mouth down-ward, and the metal run in and left to cool.

Bells have occasionally been used in the orchestra, though hardly in any sense which can justify their being included among orchestral instruments; since when used singly and sounded by swinging in the ordinary way, they are invariably intended to give what may be called 'local colour' to a dramatic scene; to suggest something beyond or apart from the orchestra, as the prison-bell in the 'Trovatore,' the goat-bell in 'Dinorah,' or the vesper-bell in Bennett's 'Paradise and the Peri' overture. Mozart has, however, used a frame of bells played by a keyboard like that of a pianoforte ('Glockenspiel') in the score of 'Die Zauberflöte,' to represent the effect of Papageno's bells which are visibly present in his head-dress, though actually played in the band. The same instrument has been used in a somewhat similar manner by one or two other operatic composers, but always for stage effect rather than for directly musical purposes. A recent idea of some English organ-builders has been the attachment of a scale of bells to an organ, which are sounded either alone or in combination with the ordinary stops on drawing a stop-head which brings them under the control of the keys; but the addition is completely out of keeping with the genius of the organ, and is available rather for 'sensational' effects than as a real addition to the proper range of the instrument. All these experiments only serve to confirm the opinion that bell-music does not belong to the region of musical art properly so called; and attempts to drag the bell from its proper sphere, and force from it an expression foreign to its nature, have never permanently succeeded.

[ H. H. S. ]

BELLS are rung in peal in the British Islands only, with the exception of one or two rings of bells in America and the Colonies. On the Continent they are simply clashed, being swung with a lever—the notes of the bells not being arranged in any special order. In our islands it is usual to tune bells in the diatonic scale, and they are then rung in order from the highest to the lowest.

To enable the ringers to do this with accuracy, and also to enable them to change the order in which the bells strike by proper methods (see Change-Ringing), bells are hung as shown in the accompanying illustrations:—

(Fig. 1.)

Page 231a (A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1).jpg

They are first carefully secured by iron bolts and braces through the ears or 'canons,' K, to the stock A (Fig. 1) which is fitted with axles or gudgeons of iron, M, working in brass or gunmetal bearings. The stock is fitted with a wheel, E, and a stay, B; and a ground pulley, N, is fixed to the floor of the belfry. By pulling the rope, F, the bell is gradually swung till she stands mouth upwards, as shown in Figs. 2 and 3, when she is maintained in this position by the stay B, and slider C, which prevent her from

(Fig. 2.)

Page 231b (A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1).jpg

falling over (or turning clean round). It will be seen that when the rope, F, has been pulled enough to bring the fillet or ' sallie pin,' G, down to the nearest point to the ground pulley, N, that it can reach, it would in swinging past that point raise the rope; this gives tie ringer a second pull, M will be seen by reference to Fig. 2, and this is called the 'hand-stroke' pull. Now by