Ding Dong! From Tubular Bells to Taco Bell (just kidding) these iconic instruments are massive!

I am referring here to the carillon, which is an assemblage of varied dimensions and numbers of cast bronze bells and is one of the largest musical instruments in the world.

A carillon is a musical instrument that, like the church bell, is housed in the bell tower of various churches and municipal buildings. Carillons are actually the second largest musical instrument still in existence, next to the largest pipe organs.

They are generally comprised of a minimum of 23 bronze bells with a traditional cup shape, and they are usually controlled by a keyboard. The keys mechanically activate various levers and wires that connect to the bell’s clappers that will strike the bell allowing the performer to control the intensity of notes and play melodies or chords. Concert carillons typically have a minimum of 48 bells, and while these are not particularly common, there are several dozen of them in the United States alone.

Rockefeller Memorial Chapel at University of Chicago hosts one of these massive instruments. It has 72 bronze bells that combine to weigh 100 tons.
The largest concert carillon is in the world is located in Taejon, South Korea, with 78 bells.

While I love to make unique windbells and chimes… at my age I think creating a carillon would be a bit beyond my range of possibilities. Guess this Virginia boy will just stick with the smaller stuff.