Peal of bells was always of great importance in Russia as well in ecclesiastical as in laical life. Bells ring, when a child is born, and we can hear their sounds, when one leaves this world. Chime(s) is an integral part of church service, it invites believing in a temple for a general prayer. The bell voice opens and closes a liturgy. It is difficult for a Christian to imagine his life without peal. The bell-ringing is a means of dialogue of a person and God, it is a converging point between God and people.
An icon is named as a prayer in paint, a temple – a prayer in a stone, then a bell is a prayer in music. The originality of bell music leaves indifferent neither a believing person nor somebody, who is far from church life. The originality of peal consists first of all in uniqueness of each bell ensemble. Formation of bell selection has been lasting for centuries, addition of any new bell changed the ringing, sometimes – very appreciable. Therefore a belfry by every temple had its unique voice. If there were more bells in a chime, their ringing appeared more richly. The bell foundry in Voronezh offers bell selections of following weight categories: 4kg, 8kg, 19kg, 32kg, 62kg, 155kg, 250kg, 420kg, 700kg, 1200kg, 2200kg.
It is considered that traditionally Russian Orthodox Church selection of bells consists of three groups: big, average and small bells. Small bells are named as high-pitch bells or descanters. Their voices beautify a peal and create the rhythmic pattern. The voice of high-pitch bells represents a trill which is an art frame of the ringing. Thanks to a variety of the trill, the ringing is full of bright splashes and inflexions. Small bells execute the shortest duration of chime and they require delicate handling. In an orthodox selection there are two high-pitch bells – according to the Rostov tradition, three –to the northern tradition, four – to the Moscow tradition. This group of bells will be operated by the right hand of a bell ringer. Weight of high-pitch bells ranges from 4 to 18 kgs.
Average bells are named low-pitch bells or alto. The basic melody of ringing is played by low-pitch bells. The quantity of these bells in a selection isn't limited, but there should be not less than two. They find place on a belfry by means of drafts which last from languages of bells to the panel operating the chime. The bell ringer carries out control of a group of low-pitch bells with help of the left hand. The weight of bells of the given group fluctuates from 35 to 250 kg. If a bell selection is large, more heavy bells of low-pitch groups can be used there. Big or bass bells are church bells
A church bell is the largest one in a standard orthodox bell selection. Just as in the case of high-pitch and low-pitch bells, the quantity of church-going bells can fluctuate from one to five. Most often there are belfries with one or two church bells. The basic rhythm in a peal is set by big bells, their low overtone makes the ringing more powerful and beautiful. The character of the chime, its force and greatness depends on how much harmonious the bass bell is. If a church bell is very big, the tone will be moderated, and the ringing will be triumphant and severe. Church bells of the smaller size chime more joyfully and brightly.
Bell selections cast in our foundry, are famous for their celebratory mellow chime, the ringing of bells sounds major becase of thick-walled bell profile and endurance of canons of bells molding. The profile of our bells is created on the basis of exact copies of bells of the 16th century From the New maiden monastery.
The chime of the church bell has an alarm value, more often it is used for convocation of believers to a church service. church bells are divided into the following kinds - a celebratory bell. It rings in days of great holidays;
- The Sunday bell rings on Sundays and on holidays;
- The fast bell plays a role of a church bell in days of the Lent;
- The polyunctuous bell rings in days of polyunctuous Divine service;
- An every day bell is used in week-days of a week.
In a peal each group of bells – church bells, average bells and small bells – has its own parties of sounding supplementing each other and creating an overall picture of the chime.
Each of three groups is necessary for creation of a real, beautiful peal and demands a great attention during belfry selection. We are glad to invite you to the bell foundry in Voronezh to let you enjoy singing of real orthodox bells.