A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Cambridge Quarters

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

CAMBRIDGE QUARTERS. The most frequent application in our own country of the principle of Carillons is in the short musical phrases which are used to mark the divisions of the hour. Among these the quarter-chimes of Cambridge or Westminster, and those of Doncaster have become most famous. There is an interesting account of the origin of the Cambridge or Westminster chimes. It is said that Dr. Jowett, Regius Professor of Law, was consulted by the University authorities on the subject of chimes for the clock of St. Mary's, Cambridge, and that he took a pupil of the Regius Professor of Music into his confidence. The pupil, who was no other than the afterwards famous Dr. Crotch, took the fifth bar of the opening symphony of Handel's 'I know that my Redeemer liveth,' and expanded it into the musical chime, which is as follows:—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \key d \major \relative f'' { fis4^"First quarter." e d a \bar "||" d fis^"Second quarter." e a, d e fis d \bar "||" fis d^"Third quarter." e a, a e' fis d fis e d a \bar "||" d fis^"Fourth quarter." e a, d e fis d fis d e a, a e' fis d \bar "||" d,1^"Hour." \bar "||" } }

The old 'Whittington' chimes, famous at one time in London

{ \time 6/8 \cadenzaOn \relative c'' { c8[ e g] f[ d b] d,[ f a] g[ e c] } }

have apparently become old-fashioned and out of date.

The chimes of the Royal Exchange (London) present the Cambridge arrangement; but with this difference, that bar 2 of the second quarter, and bar 2 of the third quarter, are transposed. It is generally considered that the old arrangement is best.

The Doncaster and Fredericton chimes are arranged to come in upon a set or ring of eight bells, whereas the Cambridge or Royal Exchange chimes need a set or part of a set of ten bells, and as so many churches have an octave of ringing bells the Doncaster arrangement has many advantages for the more general adoption, being arranged thus—

{ \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f \time 4/4 \relative b' { b^"First quarter." a g d \bar "||" g b^"Second quarter." a d, g a b g a^"Third quarter." d, b' g d a' b g b a g d \bar "||" c1^"Hour." \bar "||" } }
the fourth quarter being made up of the second quarter and the first two bars of the third quarter chimes.

[ S. B. G. ]