Tubular bells (also known as chimes) are musical instruments in the percussion family. Each bell is a metal tube, 30–38 mm (1¼–1½ inches) in diameter, tuned by altering its length. Its standard range is from C4-F5, though many professional instruments reach G5 (see photo). Tubular bells are often replaced by studio chimes, which are a smaller and usually less expensive instrument. Studio chimes are similar in appearance to tubular bells, but each bell has a smaller diameter than the corresponding bell on tubular bells.
Tubular bells are sometimes struck on the top edge of the tube with a rawhide- or plastic-headed hammer. Often, a sustain pedal will be attached to allow extended ringing of the bells. They can also be bowed at the bottom of the tube to produce a very loud, very high-pitched overtone.
Tubular bells have been popularized in western culture by the song "Carol of the Bells", and the Mike Oldfield album Tubular Bells and its sequels, the latter best known as the opening theme from The Exorcist.
The tubes used provide a purer tone than solid cylindrical chimes, such as those on a mark tree.
Chimes are often used in concert band pieces (e.g. "Eiger" by James Swearingen). Most composers write Chimes under the category of Percussion > Mallet Percussion. It rarely plays melody, mostly a bass that brings out some color but sometimes has some solos or solis, often very simple.
In tubular bells, modes 4, 5, and 6 appear to determine the strike tone and have frequencies in the ratios 92:112:132, or 81:121:169, "which are close enough to the ratios 2:3:4 for the ear to consider them nearly harmonic and to use them as a basis for establishing a virtual pitch," presumably on 2. Play
Other articles related to "tubular bells":
... The Complete Tubular Bells is a compilation album that comprises the three main releases under the name of Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield, released in 2003 alongside ... This box set includes Tubular Bells 2003 (a re-recording of the original Tubular Bells), Tubular Bells II and Tubular Bells III ... included, the same that was released with the album Tubular Bells 2003 ...
... in 1973 (and probably completed in 1974), after the label's first and highly successful release, Tubular Bells (1973) by Mike Oldfield, and was one of several ... Since the title Tubular Bells was initially better known to the general public than the name of its artist, Virgin Records decided that Clearlight Symphony would ... should become side one, partly to promote Gong, and partly because it was closer in style to Tubular Bells with its symphonic structure (and like that album, contains no percussion in most sections), while the other ...
... An example of tubular bells used as church bells is St ... Alban's Anglican Church in Copenhagen ...
... Tubular Bells II 20th Anniversary Tour was Oldfield's first tour of the 1990s, following the Discovery Tour 1984 ... It promoted the sequel to his debut album Tubular Bells, Tubular Bells II ... did not perform until the premiere of his next Tubular Bells album, Tubular Bells III ...
... Following the release of his debut solo album in 1973, Tubular Bells, Oldfield performed a premiere concert in London ... the 1990s Oldfield toured twice, for Tubular Bells II and Live Then Now 1999, the later promoted both the Guitars and Tubular Bells III albums ...
Famous quotes containing the word bells:
“Pancakes and fritters,
Say the bells of St. Peters.
Two sticks and an apple,
Say the bells of Whitechapel.
Kettles and pans,
Say the bells of St. Anns.”
—Unknown. The Bells of London (l. 712)