The bell is one of the oldest musical instrument in the world. Unconditionally bells have their own peculiarities in different countries. In Russian the word bell is spoken like kolokol. The etymology of this word dates back to the Old Indian word kalakalas, that means noise, shouts. In Greek the word kaleo means call. The Roman Catholics said kalare, that meant to assemble.


Ringing of bells makes always the feeling of magic strength, wizardry and mystery. This impression is made not so much by clam as by clash of the bell. Bells, which played a certain role in Russian history have given occasion to many beautiful legends.




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Rules of bells installation

The bell ringing will go right, only if all bells are properly located. Unfortunately, there is no uniform instruction which would allow to choose the true scheme of bells arrangement . To place bells correctly an expert should consider a set of various factors influencing propagation and purity of a sound. There are six main criteria which it is necessary to consider by drawing up of a scheme of bells hanging.

1) Acoustic
It is important to calculate, how the sound will travel round a belltower. For this purpose an expert can take several walks to figure out, where exactly bells will be located. After all it depends on the place, where a listener is standing, which bells have audible properties. If you walk slightly aside, one bell will appear hidden behind a column, and another, on the contrary, will surround with its open ringing. It is important to arrange bells so, that their ringing can most effectively accompany people entering and leaving church. If bells are arranged awry, their sounding will be corresponding. For example, if you arrange small bells too close, and the church bell will be inadvertently hidden behind columns, parishioners will hear only hysterical whistle instead of a good ringing. And the reason will be not the quality of the bells, but their incorrect location.

Certainly, there is a popular belief that low frequencies of a peal are capable to overcome obstacles, however the sound will overcome steadily lose the pressure. A bell will be well audible only there, from where it is possible to watch it, from that point which the sound reaches freely. It is necessary to choose bells which should be placed over an entrance to the temple especially carefully. From this place bells are audible in the best way. Think of sounding of bells during hierarchal services after all the sound of bells is a foremost greeting of church during a meeting with the Lord. The ringing from a belltower of the temple should leave the kindest impressions.

2) Musically harmonious
Bells should be conformable with each other, they should supplement each other, to be harmonious and tuned. It is necessary to pay a lot of attention to small bells. They can duplicate each other and if one of small bells sounds especially sharp, its sound can block sounding of other small bells. In order to avoid it, it is better to place bells correctly or to create some alternative sets of high-pitch bells.

Average bells can also be placed on a belfry differently. Some of them can be suspended only on different sides of a belltower. Sometimes bells become apparent, which absolutely do not comply with the general sounding. They should be simply excluded from the peal.

There is only one uniform rule for drawing up of the scheme of bells installation: bells with the highest sounding should be settled down to the right side of the bell-ringer, and bells with the lowest tone to the left of the bell-ringer. Bells should go one after another from the lowest tone to the highest one. However, owing to above-mentioned features of bells arrangement, this order can be broken.

3) Constructive
Bells are installed according to the scheme which shows how bells bearing/holding beams are located. If the belltower was constructed long ago, these beams are not dismantled. Ancient belltowers differ through complexity of an arrangement of bell bearing beams. They can have crisscrossing beams carried up by braces. There are also frame beams. To arrange on them bells correctly, the expert should understand an initial plan of builders. During construction of a new temple, namely the expert the bell ringer should draw up the scheme of future beams. According to his scheme builders should build in bell holding beams.

4) Architectural
The belltower is a major component of a general view of the temple. Bells are an independent adornment of a belfry, therefore it is important to place them taking into account the art composition. If you arrange bells in a chaotic order, they will make an impression of congestion of a peal circle, spoiling general impression from the temple ensemble. Bells should not only sound beautiful, but also be competently placed on a belltower, for example, to be evenly divided on the central axis of an aperture.

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5) Landscape
While planning of bells arrangement, it is necessary to keep in mind a district landscape: rivers, lakes, settlements nearby. It will help to avoid many problems, for example, connected with the fact, that a bell which appeared directly opposite to windows of a house, dont let its inhabitants to live quietly. The sound of bells should please, and not disturb people. Range of audibility of a peal depends on competence of bells arrangement while taking into account the landscape.

6) The cheme of a bell-ringer
Bells should be settled down so that it would be more convenient for the bell-ringer to exploit the peal. The arrangement of bells influences complexity of peals management, therefore in order to let the bell-ringer to operate all bells more easily, bells should be arranged correctly. It is necessary to make so that all bells could be operated by one bell ringer. The only exception could be swinging of a tongue to the both sides of a heavy church bell. Only a skilled expert can create such a scheme of a bells arrangement. We hope that advices given here for calculation of the scheme of bells placement will help those people, who needs to place bells by themselves, however we recommend to apply to experts.