Carillon Towers

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The largest instrument in the world involves at least twenty-three bells mounted at the top of a tower. These instruments are called carillons, more commonly known as bell towers. The most famous portrayal of these towers is in Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, when the hunchback swings down the bell rope to rescue a woman from death. The law of sanctuary stated that anybody being persecuted by their own country could find refuge and protection in the church. Carillons have been an important part of communities for centuries. Bell towers have been around for over five centuries, the first recorded one dating back to 1510 A.D. The bell tower was created in the Netherlands when rural towns were competing to have the most extravagant and elegant public clocks. While trying to one up each other, the clock builders began installing more and more bells, then found ways for people to play them by hand (Biemiller). Small Dutch towns used the carillons on market day to play traditional folk songs while the townspeople were shopping and running errands. The music had to be loud enough that the sound could be heard over the noise, while still being enjoyable for the people. The carillons were common enough that they were often used for more significant purposes. Catholic Church bells were rung to ward away evil spirits. For tax collection purposes, a town's boundaries were often defined by the reach of its bells' voices (Santiago). It was said that good bells and good schools were the sign of a well-run city (Guild). To be considered a carillon, the bell tower must have at least twenty-three bells, which includes a two octave scale. If they have less bells than that, they are just considered a chime. The average carillon has fo... ... middle of paper ... ...e Arvella Schuller Carillon.” Crystal Cathedral. n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2013. Biemiller, Lawrence. "Sweet Carillon." Chronicle Of Higher Education 50.5 (2003): A64.Academic Search Premier. Web. 19 Dec. 2013. Brigham Young University. “Centennial Carillon Bell Tower.” Y Facts. 2011. n.p. Web. 19 Dec. 2013. Guild of Carillonneurs in North America. “Carillon History.” About Carillons, 2012. n.p. Web. 19 Dec. 2013. Hoover Institution. “The history of the Hoover Carillon.” 2013. Stanford University. Web. 19 Dec. 2013. Hyechon. “Hyechon Tower.” 2005. Hyechon. Web. 19 Dec. 2013. Lipka, Sara. "Serenading The Citizens Of The Netherlands." Chronicle Of Higher Education 51.9 (2004): A52-A53. Academic Search Premier. Web. 19 Dec. 2013. Santiago, Chiori. "Carillons: Making Heavy-Metal Music With Staying Power." Smithsonian 25.8 (1994): 112. Academic Search Premier. Web. 19 Dec. 2013.

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