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Encyclopedia > Carillion
The Netherlands Carillon in Arlington, Virginia, USA

A carillon is a keyboard percussion instrument composed of a range of bells controlled by a keyboard. Carillons are normally housed in towers and are among the largest musical instruments in the world.


Carillons originated in the 15th century in Flanders, when bell-makers perfected their art to the point where bells could be cast with an exact tone. The greatest concentration of antique carillons is still found in Belgium, the Netherlands, and the northern regions of Germany and Poland, where they were commonly put in place by rich market towns as tokens of civic pride and status.


They were most often housed in church towers, clock towers, or on municipal buildings, and the same holds true for those carillons that have been installed in other parts of the world since the art of casting precisely tuned bells was rediscovered in the late 19th century. In Germany, such a carillon is also called a glockenspiel.


Since each separate note is produced by an individual bell, a carillon's musical range is determined by the number of bells it has. With fewer than 23 (two octaves), the instrument is considered a chime, not a true carillon. Average instruments have ranges of around four and a half octaves (47 bells), while the largest specimens, with as many as 77, can span six octaves. In comparison, standard grand pianos can play 88 different notes.

Enlarge
A carillon bell

Seated in a cabin beneath the bells, the carillonneur presses down, with a cupped hand or fist, on a series of baton-like keys arranged in the same pattern as a piano keyboard. The keys activate levers and wires that connect directly to the bells' clappers; thus, as with a piano, the carillonneur can vary the intensity of the note according to the force applied to the key. In addition to the manual keys, the heavier bells are also connected to a series of pedals, offering the carillonneur a choice of two ways of playing the lower notes.

Contents

Noted carillons

A carillon keyboard
Enlarge
A carillon keyboard

Noted carillons can be found in the following locations:


The Americas

Europe

Australia

Also of note:

  • Frank DellaPenna, founder of Cast in Bronze (http://www.castinbronze.com), is a notable carillon performer. His 35_bell instrument is particularly rare in that it is one of the very few travelling carillons that exist in the world.

External links





  Results from FactBites:
 
Carillion Construction v. Felix T+C Court 6 Nov 2000 (6178 words)
Carillion contends that it was compelled to enter into the agreement by a threat made on behalf of Felix that it would not continue to supply cladding units in accordance with the subcontract unless a final account sum of £ 3.2M.
Carillion noted that the Felix figure gave no credit for the £150,000 which Carillion believed was due on account of the glass that had been supplied by Felix and which did not conform to the specification.
Accordingly, Carillion must show that there was (a) pressure or a threat, (b) which was illegitimate, (c) the practical effect of which was that it had no practical choice but to enter into the agreement, and (d) which was a significant cause inducing it to enter into the contract.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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