Casting large bells is called bellfounding. A method of bellfounding called lost wax casting is presumed to date back nearly 5000 years according to Makezine. You read that correctly – a method used thousands of years ago is still used in present day to create the same items that were in use centuries ago.
Now that’s some staying power!
Many bells attached to a keyboard are called a carillon. Musicians who play this interesting instrument are called carillonneurs.
The tone of a bell is dictated by the bell’s size. If not bellfounded correctly, a bell may not be able to create the desired tone and may actually sound displeasing to the ear.
Church bells are used as forms of communication. In the past, bells would signify anything from a meeting for clergy or an emergency within a town. Today, church bells are typically used as calls to worship, or to celebrate something, or simply as a way to tell the time.
The bell shape is referred to as campaniform. Similarly, the study of bells and of bells ringing is referred to as campanology, according to Michigan State University.
Bells were once commonly baptized and used to fend off evil spirits. Special bells used to be used for the specific purpose of not only announcing death, but also keeping evil spirits away from the living.
The next time you hear a bell ring, consider the long, rich history of bells!