Technical Discussions of the Acoustics of Bells

Some Articles:

"On Bell Tones", a paper published by Canon A.B. Simpson in The Pall Mall Magazine, Vol. VII, Sep-Dec 1895, pp. 183-194.

On Bell Tones, II, continuation of Canon A.B. Simpson's paper, in The Pall Mall Magazine, Vol. X, Sep-Dec 1896, pp. 150 - 155.

"The Investigation of Acoustical Characteristic of Russian Bells", .pdf reprint of a paper presented at the 108th Convention of the Audio Engineering Society, February 19-22, 2000, Paris, France, by I.Aldoshina (Saint Petersburg State University of Telekommunication) and A.Nicanorov (Russian Institute History of Arts, Saint Petersburg).

"Acoustics of Eastern and Western Bells, Old and New", a Lay Language Paper preented at the 133rd Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America by Thomas D. Rossing (Physics Department, Northern Illinois University)

"Contemporary Dutch Bell-Founding Art", by A. Lehr as "Hedendaagse Nederlandse Klokkengietkunst," in Neth. Acoust. Soc. Publ. No.7, 1965, pp. 20-49, and translated by R. Selman and T. Marton. A paper, published in translation in Rossing, Acoustics of Bells, of interest for a number of reasons. Most importantly, it explains the physical processes involved in bell tuning and in particular where on the inside of the bell the tuner removes metal to tune particular partials. This information is derived from actual measurements on bells. Lehr proposes a partial classification scheme (rather less robust than that of Perrin and Charnley) and goes some way towards explaining how partials other than the 'Simpson' partials matter to the timbre of a bell. He also supplies some information on the amplitude of partials. The historical introduction gives insight into the importance of profile development to improvements in bell sound.

Strike Note of Bells, by Ernst Terhardt: part of a paper on the Perception of Auditory Pitch.which can be found in its entirety at /persons/ter.html . "The sound of bells, and how it is perceived, is of high significance for the understanding of auditory perception, in particular, pitch perception. As was pointed out in the topic definition of pitch, pitch is a multiple auditory attribute, and the sound of a bell makes this drastically apparent. A considerable number of spectral pitches can be "heard out" which correspond to the frequencies of the bell's eigen-oscillations. Besides these "analytic" auditory aspects of the sound, there is a "holistic" one, namely, the auditory percept of a musical pitch that is more or less pronounced and fairly unambiguous - depending on the quality of the bell. That holistic pitch, which by the ear is associated with the sound immediately after the strike, has traditionally been termed the strike note. Explanation of the strike not is not trivial, as will become apparent...".