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Klimin Evgenii

Timbral classification of historical Russian bells


Klimin Evgenii (2014) "Timbral classification of historical Russian bells ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia V : Voprosi istorii i teorii hristianskogo iskusstva, 2014, vol. 16, pp. 182-203 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturV201416.182-203

Abstract

Traditional Russian chimes compose from sounds of bells, which are diff erent both by pitch and timbre. This means that we have no unified ideal type of bells in Russia, like in Europe, but there’s diversity of timbres. Overwhelmed majority of historical bells was melted in Soviet times and ringing was suppressed by 70 years. As result, we lost an idea of traditional bell’s sounds and their types. Studying of main types of bell timbers is one of the first we need for full-fledged restoration of Russian chimes in the present. Characteristic of bell’s sound in this case have to take into account many parameters: chord of basic spectral tones, amplitude ratio for single overtones and their groups, character of attack, timbre mutations in decay, common intensity of decay and other. It has also to be based both by audition and objective acoustic data. Proceed from these 118 historical bells was divided into two classes, named class A and class B with some groups inside each of them. Bells of A class are typical for XVI — fi rst half XVII cent. Sound of these bells is muffl ed, not too long, with distinct dissonance between overtones. Some bells close to them by sound were casted in XVIII century and later with geometrical shapes, typical for class B. This mean, fi rstly, that one spectral type can be reached by different ways in accordance with mathematical theories. Secondly that this timbre type could be stayed actual for Russian chimes many centuries in spite of craft evolution. Sound of B class bells is bright, long, melodious, with reach ting modulation. This is classical type for orthodox chimes, native for Russia from the second half of XVII century up to present. Detailed classifi cation is based on chord of lowest tones, well audible middle overtones and character of attack. Present article suggest also some ideas about European and local issues of Russian bell’s types.

Keywords

bells, campanology, Russian chimes, Russian bells, Pskov bells, Moscow bells, acoustics of bells, spectral analysis, history of bell casting, M. P. Musorgsky.

References


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Information about the author

Klimin Evgenii