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Construction Of Large Tubular Bells - (Discussions with Art Krenzel)

-----Original Message-----
From: "Art Krenzel"
Sent: 07/01/03
Subject: Large Bells
I am interested in constructing large tubular bells from large pressure vessels which can measure 3 - 4 ft in diameter and 8 - 10 feet long.

Is there anywhere I can learn about tubular bells (one end open or both)?

Awesome ebook!

Dear Art

I'm really interested in your project, and would really appreciate you dropping me a note or two as you go to let me know how it is going, and how it works out. I have to say that I'm not sure where you might find helpful info for this particular type of instrument. Making of bells as in church bells etc is an art quite unique and independent from other instrument building. You might find some stuff if you check out history of the Russian bells in your local library.

I have had only a little experience mucking around with tuning bells and gongs and tubes etc. and from that there are some things that I can suggest you are likely to discover. I say "likely" because I have learnt above all, that with shaped metal all sorts of weird things can happen - it can be a bit unpredictable.

1. - the harder the metal you use the higher pitch and the longer the ring.
2. - Closed on one end is likely to give you a better result - pitch will usually be lower - this is kinda what I think would suit your containers as they are pretty wide for their height. That usually means a pretty highish pitch.
3. - You might try to flare one end (open end) of the tube a little to make it like a traditional bell shape. This should help lower the pitch as well, although there can be all sorts of effects depending on how you achieve the flare.

In general a traditional bell is really a differently designed instrument to a tubular bell. A tubular bell is easier to make/tune/play with notes close together - than traditional ones. They do however rely on being long and thin to get their pitch. Your containers seem a little short considering their diameter - so it may be that a kind of hybrid is in order.

Hope some of this is helpful - good luck, and hope to hear from you later on.

Jim McCarthy

answers by Jim MCCarthy - 07/01/2003

For more help on tubular bells you can email Jim.

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