The Ethos of Liturgical Art
and the Aesthetics of Orthodox Bells

This can be seen in the traditional approach to the tuning of Russian bells. Although they are cast for a specific tone-- and that tone is achieved-- nevertheless they are allowed to retain their distinctive voices, and the bell-ringer works with those.

We were speaking with Bishop Tikhon of Los Angeles once, about the bells at Holy Virgin Cathedral, which were purchased some years ago from a European firm. "They're a little too finely tuned for Russian bells," he commented.

He was pointing to the fact that Russian bells retain a more organic sound and (to use a technical musical term) "funky" sound-- we ourselves have sometimes used the expression, "granola tuning".

As Christos Yannaras writes, in Byzantine art, "[man's] life and his art were a study of the world, an expression of respect for the world. With his body and his art he studied the life of the world, not doing it violence but taking part in it, in harmony with the natural rhythm of life– birth, growth, fruition, decay and death, the changing seasons and the whole working of creation."

This eucharistic use...