VIENNA ACADEMY > Percussion > Bells > Tubular bells > BRIEF DESCRIPTION
BRIEF DESCRIPTION  
 

Tubular bells
German: Röhrenglocken
Italian: Campane tubolari
French: Cloches, tubes de cloches
 

Of the various types of bell that have been used in the orchestra over the centuries the tubular bells, arranged chromatically as symphonic chimes, have become part of standard instrumentation in the modern opera and symphony orchestra. Their main role was to act as a substitute for bells in the orchestra, but nowadays their timbre is valued in its own right. Tubular bells were developed as an easily portable instrument for everyday use in the orchestra. Their sound was intended to be as close as possible to church bells, a target that they never reached, however. They are used in the higher register, while the lower register is covered by the bell plates, although the sound characteristics of the two instruments are very different. In the past, solid steel bars were also used as bell substitutes.

Classification
Idiophone, percussion tube, percussion instrument with definite pitch. When arranged in keyboard fashion they are also classed as a mallet-played instrument

Stand
Metal frame on wheels
Height: 180–220 cm (depending on the range)

Tubes
Steel, chrome finished brass; diameter: 3–4 cm; wall thickness: 1–2 cm
Length varies according to pitch: approx. 75 cm (F5, shortest tube) – approx. 155 cm (C4, longest tube)

Tuning
According to the orchestral tuning norms, a rack is generally tuned to 442 hertz

Suspension rails

Damper pedal
Damper pedal rod, pedal crossbar

Weight
With frame: approx. 84–100 kg (1¬Ĺ octaves)

Chime mallets
Oak, plywood, plastic, rubber
Handle length approx. 25–30 cm
Hammer head (diameter): 3–4.5 cm
Length: 11 cm 

Various other mallets