Perfect Note, Clearly Sounded.
These bells are musical instruments which are usually found in larger sets and glockenspiels. The bell, which originates in the Middle Ages owes its name to their unmistakable form: it's called a beehive bell in German and a 'Cup-Bell' in English because it looks like an upside down cup.
In contrast to church bells, whose concave shapes produce complex chords, the cup bell generates a single, very clear note if it is manufactured to very high standards. The manufacturer of this bell uses bell metal, a kind of bronze whose tin component must be very pure (usually 99.99%, which is far higher than industrial standards). The bell is cast in a sand mould in which each bell is poured individually. The bell receives its pure sound in the careful reprocessing of the blank which starts out about a half tone higher as the finished bell. Only by ' removing the casting crust by hand, leaving the inside alone, and by polishing does the note drop in tone a bit, finally producing the exact note by the manual interventions of a craftsman.
From percussion to casting.
It all started with a shockingly high-cost estimate. Quite a few years ago, the manufacturer, a trained percussionist, wanted to have a glockenspiel of his own design for his professional work. The cost estimate of the manufacturer was more than 20,000 DM. This was more than the budget would allow by a factor of ten. So, he turned to his family, which had operated a foundry going back four generations. The percussionist had, in fact, learned the trade before he decided to make music. With support from his grandfather and father and a Slovak family of moulders his family had also known for generations, the musical and scientific expert for historical percussion founded his own bell foundry and specialised in medieval bell shapes. The foundry now supplies renowned orchestras and ensembles, while the cup bells are often sold individually, as the 'house bell', as a supper bell or the bell rung on Christmas Eve calling those gathered to the exchange of gifts, or simply as a present for occasions like weddings or baptisms (an engraver can inscribe a name and date).
Article Number 89089
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