‘… the heaviest of all extant musical instruments’

According to Wikipedia, the Carillon is ‘the heaviest of all extant musical instruments’, comprising of ‘at least 23 cast bronze, cup-shaped bells, which are played serially to produce a melody, or sounded together to play a chord’. Most remarkable of all, the Carillon is played by a ‘Carillonneur‘ using a special keyboard. Yale University’s Memorial Carillon consists of 54 bells cast by the Loughborough Bell Foundry run by the Taylor family since the 1780s and the world’s largest foundry. You can even play with a Virtual Carillon (created by Matthew Wrather, Class of 2002). A ‘Great Bell‘ is ‘arbitrarily defined as a tower bell which weighs at least 4 tonnes’. The British cathedral with the most number of bells is York Minster with fifty-six (the largest of which, Great Peter, was also cast at John Taylor’s, as were the bells at Gravesend, seen above, from the Church Bells of Kent website, complete with soundclips). Another library of bell recordings. London’s oldest foundry is the Whitechapel. There are plenty of places to ring bells in London, including the Garlickhythe Guild, and aficionados read Ringing World, ‘the weekly journal for bell ringers since 1911’.

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