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Wooden Bells PDF Print E-mail

     Traditional wooden bells are trapezium shaped wooden boxes with a wooden clapper inside. However, they can be without clappers too. The sound range depends on the size of the box.  The 2nd type wooden bells are used in ensemble. They are set in seven lines and toning from c1 till fl diatonically, further till e3 chromatically. The wooden bells’ frame is set in a stump’s side muffs.  In orchestra wooden bells has been used since 1947. It allows to play lively music, moreover, it is the loudest instrument in the orchestra.
     My own wooden bells consist of 36 boxes. I started to play them at Lithuanian Music Academy Klaipėda faculty and I always wanted to find a solution to compensate the insufficiency of traditional wooden bells’ sound range. I wanted my instrument to be fully effective, not just a nicely looking hybrid of some instrument. I widened the wooden bells range up to 36 sounds. I fixed the boxes the same way as international companies producing percussions do. The wooden bells started to sound louder and more sharply. In the future, I think, the range will be even wider. I do not use the stump (the drum). I adapted the instrument for solo performances and I play in a standing position. It is easier to play that way because entire body is free and my movements are more expressive. It is not a secret that a listener is fond not only of a sound but, also the view. At the bottom I fixed little wheels – it helps to move the instrument on/off stage.
     It is worth mentioning that, in old times in Lithuania, especially Samogitia, cowboys used little wooden bells while pasturing the cattle. Inside the wooden bell there were one or two wooden clappers. The bell was tied under e.g. a cow’s neck. And when an animal was mowing it sounded. That was how cowboys orientated among their cattle.