A carillon of 44 Bells

It was with precise calculations and functional hanging of the bells that it was possible to install a carillon of 44 bells with handplay traction, a computer activated player and cylinder peg drum within a space of two square yards! To accomplish this, the bellframe was constructed to hang four levels from four brass beams. The bolting of directional cranks was needed for handplay of the carillon, so welded supports for the solenoid hammers and the strike hammers from the cylinder peg drum were implemented. The six largest bells are hung at the uppermost level. The base bell of this Carillon had to be G2 and weighed 205 pounds.

The bells

In autumn of 1998, the 44 Barneveld bells were cast. Of these, fourteen bells are embossed with ornamentation and founders inscription. The musical range of the carillon is G2 thru D6. The total weight of all bells is 2,288 pounds. The bells are tuned in one fifth decimal, (comma) – midtuning, a tuning such as Gottfried Silbermann always used with new organs and harpsichords.

Clapper and Hammers

The clappers and hammers were made by the blacksmith Rombout in Buurmalsen, and designed entirely as they were in the 17th century . (like other examples produced in the 17th century). The hammer barrels were made in one piece with pivoting bushings. The ornamental strikers were secured onto the barrels with wedges. The hammers were installed on outer side of the bells, so that they can be seen by the public.

The handplay

Since the available space within the keyboard room was very limited, this called for a shortened 4-octave clavier (with hand baton C over foot pedal C) and then the center dimensions of the foot pedals needed to be closer. The clavier dimension were actually scaled down. The player bench was also made smaller. The Carillonneur has to close the trapdoor and place the bench over the trapdoor to sit correctly in front of the clavier. This clavier is totally made of oak wood as well as the hand play batons. To eliminate any secondary noise of the clavier, sound dampening bushings were used. Intonation was also very important. The handplay is installed with the use of directional bell cranks.

Cylinder drum activation

The cylinder type drum was made in 1910 by Leon van Rie from Horlogerie Monumentale et Carillons te Quaregnon les Mons in Belgium. The drum had 30 bars and 21 tracks with addition up to 60 bars.(and was extended to 60 bars). The original slide notes are not available anymore. Remaining antique staff notes are currently being used. The drum is electric motor driven and every half hour has an impulse is generated to the master clock from the computer player. Stored melodies can play after the striking of the hour and half hour. The drum is changeable to angled tumbler action whereby 34 hammers can be used for (I would say: by 20 levers, this is hard to explain without pictures)20 levers.??? Twenty-one bells are outfitted with hammers and thirteen bells with double hammers. All of the 34 active striking hammers are connected as to the broek system. Due to the limited space most hammers are “broek” connected four times. Some even have six “broek” connections. All wire length from clavier room are also made with “broek” system because the umbrella groove guiding the keyboard wires are not perpendicular from clavier room into the bell area.

The computer player

This has a modern Petit & Fritsen computerized player installed. The 26 solenoid strikers are solidly bolted in the bell frame within the bell chamber. This computer player is used for weddings and many other special occasions.

An integral miniature

In this extremely small space, the easiest handplay carillon in the world is made inclusive of two automatic playing functions. The instrument is very compactly built. Within an available space of a square yard, One hardly can stand in a space of two square yards, however the there hangs 44 cast bronze carillon bells completely installed with clappers, hammers springs and a crossing of transmission wire linkages. This carillon is most certainly functional, effective and reliably contructed.