Monday, March 05, 2007

quadrilionem

iowabellsimage2

iowabellsimage1

from an album entitled "the bells of iowa state" containing three 78's, found at the flea on sunday. the discs contain recordings from the 1940's of the carillon at iowa state college, which was supposedly the first scientifically tuned chime of bells to leave europe. they are played here by professor ira schroeder.

the word carillon is french in origin, and is derived from medival latin quadrilionem (a quarternary), the carillons at the time being sounded on four bells (now known as a chime). the carillon at iowa state has 36 tuned bells.

some of the bells have inscriptions on their surfaces such as "my language is understood all over the world" hayden; and "harmonizing this earth with what we feel above" shelley. because of the ringing length of each note, and the potential for dissonant overtones (as well as what would appear to be the awkward physical handling of the instrument); the rhythmic structures of the melodies are really interesting... tentative at times and robotic at others...

click and listen to:
side 1,
side 2,
side 3,

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