What is a Carillon?

A carillon is a large musical instrument that produces sound by striking a set of chromatically tuned bronze bells. Most carillons are housed in a tower that is part of a church, a municipal center, or that is surrounded by a park. A carillon shares characteristics of a piano by allowing the player to express dynamic variation through touch, and shares characteristics of an organ by providing foot pedals to operate the lower (and heavier) bells. By definition, a carillon must have at least 23 bells. An instrument with fewer bells is called a chime.

To become more familiar with the carillon as an instrument and how it is played, please visit the following sites:

GCNA - The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America

The World Carillon Federation

The Carillon: Vermeer's Musical Companion

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