Playing the carillon is a completely mechanical operation. The carillon console, sometimes referred to as a baton keyboard, has roughly the same principle as a piano keyboard ("white" keys for the diatonic tones and "black" keys for the chromatic tones) and consists of a manual keyboard and a pedal keyboard. Because the carillon is played with the fists, the keys are farther apart. Normally the compass is four octaves. The carillon console is generally installed under the smaller bells (treble) and above the heavier bells (bass).
The keys, both manual and pedal, are hinged at the rear of the keyboards. The carillonneur depresses the key, either using a fist on which it is the pinky that touches the key when playing one note, or using a hand spread open for playing multiple notes.
The keys are connected to the clappers of their respective bells. A wire or cable runs from each key through a system of levers called tumblers. The bell is mounted on a frame and does not move. The clapper hangs on the inside of the bell and is pulled, from the bottom, against the side of the bell. A spring is mounted to a solid surface on the other side of the clapper. After the bell is played, this spring quickly pulls the clapper back to its resting position.
The depth of the keyfall averages 4 to 5 cm. The force with which
the key is depressed determines the volume of the sound. Even the timbre
is affected depending on whether the carillonneur uses a firm or soft
touch because the overtones of a bell are elicited more with a short,
When playing the carillon, the carillonneur accentuates certain notes, for example, on the downbeat of a measure. In this case a dynamic accent is given by striking the keys harder. Depending on the musical genre, agogic accents can also be used in which the rhythmic emphasis of notes stresses their importance in the musical line.
|organization | information | concerts | publications | contact | home|