Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Tubular bells (also known as chimes) are musical instruments in the percussion family. Each bell is a metal, typically brass, tube, 1¼–1½ inches in diameter, tuned by altering its length. Tubular bells are typically hung vertically in chromatic sets of 1½ octaves with a range from C5 to F6. Two-octave sets that extend to F4 do exist, but they are extremely heavy and not commonly used. A standard set of brass tubular bells can be seen here .
Tubular bells are typically struck on the top edge of the tube with a rawhide- or plastic-headed hammer. They are commonly used to mimic the sound of heavy and impractical church bells in programmatic classical music pieces such as Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, Sousa's "Liberty Bell" March and Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. Tubular bells are used in popular music, as well. Mike Oldfield used tubular bells in his 1973 debut album, Tubular Bells, the title song of which was used as part of the score for The Exorcist.
The tubes used provide a purer tone than solid cylindrical chimes, such those on a mark tree.
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