National Geographic : 1925 Mar
SINGI TG TO\VERS OF HOLLA D A TD BELGIUM 359 THE SIKGING 'fOWf;R OF ST. LAWRENCE'S CHURCH, ROTTERDAM In this towcr is a carillon of 39 bells, most of which \,"cre made ill 16()o by Frans HemollY. in trills, in sonorous chords, a quaint danc- ing train somewhat primitiYe, an echo of the ancient life of her people, making one smile and sigh at the same moment. \Ve mounted the circular stone stairway leading to the heights of tower after tower to see the bells of a carillon in all their heauty of decoration and arrangement. \Ve found ourselves among a great com- pany of bells, fixed upon a heavy frame- work and extending in parallel rows, tier abm-e tier. completely filling the great tower room. The little bells hang in the highest tier; the big bells just clear the floor; the intermediate sizes hang in tiers be- tween. The largest bell of all is taller than a tall man and it may weigh four, five, or even six or eight tons. The smallest bell has aheightof10or12 inches only and per- haps a weight of less than 20 pounds. Soon 0 u r search showed us that of greater consequence, howe\-er, than number, or size, or weight, is the pitch relationship of the bells; for the bells of a carillon always progress by regular semi tone or chromatic intervals. The carillon of St. Lawrence's tower has these intervals complete through more than three octaves, except that the two lowest semitones are lacking. CARILLOKS ARE PLAYED BY TOW1';R CLOCKS AND BY HAXD The arranaement and character of the bells had first attracted our attention. Then we began to study how the music Photogt'aph hom \Villiam Gorham Rice is produced. \\T e soon discovered that a carillon is played in t\\'O ways: First, automatically by a revolving barrel connected \\-ith a tower clock, which starts the music at the hour, the half hour. and at the quarters. and some- times eyen at the eighths (see page 36-1-). Second, by a trained musician, a caril- lonneur, seated at a keyboard like that of an organ. Six and eyen more notes can be struck in chorels on the carillon key- board, and, so delicate are the adjust- ments, that sustaining tones on the lighter bells are easily accomplished by "tremo- lando" (see page 367).