The Sound of Bells

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Links to related websites

Roger Bailey's comprehensive pages of bellringing links:
Change Ringing Resources

Websites with lists of bell recordings on CD, some of which allow purchase by mail order:
Cantate Recordings (including a CD specially put together for public broadcast)
Hampshire Bells CD compiled by the Winchester and Portsmouth association
Bells of Somerset CD compiled by the Bath and Wells association
Guild of Carilloneurs of North America list of carillon recordings on CD and cassette
Comprehensive list of hand (not tower) bell recordings

This website created by John Ketteringham has links to a large number of bell recordings online:
Library of Bell Recordings


The Sound of Bells - Jottings from my experiences in the domain of the sound of bells; Jan Arts; Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 9:344 - 347, 1938, reprinted in Rossing p. 238 et seq

The Fourier Transform and its Applications; Ronald N. Bracewell; McGraw-Hill 2000

Pitch Perception of Complex Sounds: Nonlinearity Revisited; Gonzalez, Morettini, Sportolari, Rosso, Cartwright and Piro; In Proceedings of 2nd International Conference on Acoustic and Musical Research (CIARM), Ferrara, Italy, 19-21 May 1995, Ed. F. Pedrielli, pp. 319-327, 1995.

Nonlinear Dynamics of the Perceived Pitch of Complex Sounds; Cartwright, Gonzalez and Piro; Physical Review Letters, 82, 5389-5392, 1999. A very similar paper is available online at A New Nonlinear Model for Pitch PerceptionCartwright, Gonzalez and Piro; In `Statistical Mechanics of Biocomplexity', Eds. D. Reguera, M. Rubi, & J. Vilar, Lecture Notes in Physics vol. 527, pp. 205-216, Springer, 1999.

Village Bells; Sound and Meaning in the Nineteenth-century French Countryside; Alain Corbin, translated by Martin Thom; Papermac (Macmillan) 1999

The Bells and Belfries of Dorset; Christopher Dalton; Upper Court Press, Ullingswick, Hereford HR1 3JQ; Part I (A to G) 2000, Part II (H to S) 2001

The pitch perception of bell sounds; J. H. Eggen and A. J. M. Houtsma; Institut voor Perceptie Onderzoek, Annual Progress Report 21, 1986

Sussex Bells and Belfries; George Elphick; Phillimore 1970

The Craft of the Bellfounder; George Elphick; Phillimore 1988, pp. 89-108

An Introduction to Historical Tunings; Kyle Gann

Acoustical Investigations on Church Bells; M Grützmacher, W Kallenbach and E Nellessen, Akustica Untersuchengen an Kirchenglocken; Acustica 16: 34 - 45, 1965 / 66, reprinted in Rossing p. 91 et seq

On the Sensations of Tone; Hermann Helmholtz; (reprinted by) Dover Publications 1954

Master of My Art: The Taylor Bellfoundries 1784 - 1987; Trevor S. Jennings; John Taylor and Co. 1987

The Sound of Bells; David Kelly; The Ringing World 1997, pp. 239-40 (part 1), 394-7 (part 2), 631-2 & 749 (part 3), 871-2 (part 4); or revised 1999 on the Keltek Trust website

Contemporary Dutch Bell-Founding Art; A Lehr; Hedendaagse Nederlandse Klokkengietkunst, Neth. Acoust. Soc. Publ. No. 7, 1965, pp. 20-49, reprinted in Rossing p.191 et seq.

Partial groups in the bell sound; A Lehr; J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 79(6), 1984, pp. 2000 - 2011

On the Strike Note of Bells; E Meyer and J Klaes; Uber den Schlagton von Glocken, Naturwissenschaften 39:697 - 701, 1933, reprinted in Rossing p.229 et seq

Normal Modes of the Modern English Church Bell; Perrin, Charnley and DePont; Journal of Sound and Vibration (1983) 90(1), 29-49

On the Debossing, Annealing and Mounting of Bells; Perrin, Swallow, Charnley and Marshall; Journal of Sound and Vibration (1999) 227(2), 409-425

On Bells; Lord Rayleigh; The London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, Fifth Series, Vol. 29, No. 176, January 1890

Introduction to the Physics and Psychoacoustics of Music; J. Roederer; The English Universities Press; London 1973

Acoustics of Bells; Thomas D Rossing; Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1984

The Strike Note of Bells; J F Schouten and t'Hart; De Stagtoon van Klokken; Netherland Acoustical Society Publication no. 7 pp. 8 - 19, 1965, reprinted in Rossing p. 245 et seq

The Church Bells of Gloucestershire; M. Bliss and F. Sharpe; Alan Sutton (Gloucester), 1986

The Church Bells of Herefordshire; F. Sharpe; Smart and Company (Brackley) 1975

On Bell Tones; A. B. Simpson; The Pall Mall Magazine, Vol. VII, September to December 1895.

On Bell Tones No. II, A. B. Simpson; The Pall Mall Magazine, Vol. X, September to December 1896.

Surrey Bells and London Bell-Founders; J C L Stahlschmidt; Elliot Stock, London, 1884

Auditive und objective Bestimmung der Schlagtonhöhe von Historischen Kirchenglocken; E. Terhardt and M. Seewann; Acustica 1984 Vol. 54 pp. 129-144; translated by me as Aural and algorithmic determination of the strike note of historical church bells.

Prof. Ernst Terhardt, Technische Univerität München, Perception of Auditory Pitch (especially the sections on Strike note of bells and Octave Stretch).

Bells and Their Music; Wendell Westcott; G. P. Puttnam, New York, 1970.


Many people have helped form the ideas presented on this website. They include:

Thanks are due to them all. Errors and unsubstantiated opinions are mine, not theirs.


Last updated April 24, 2004. Site created by Bill Hibbert, Great Bookham, Surrey