Acoustics also leads to questions of Tradition: How does a bell
for Orthodox worship express the ethos and vision of Orthodox liturgical
Finally, the pragmatic questions: What bells are available
and would fit your budget? What sequence
would make a good set? And here you will also want to know about
Let's start to look at these issues by comparing bells to icons:
Bell manufacturing should be supervised by professional ringers
who can test the quality of each bell and make sure not only of
its own quality, but also that it fits the other bells of the set
for which it is destined. Of course, this choice requires that the
foundry be casting more than one or two bells of any given size
at a time! But it's important to know that even if a bell sounds
beautiful in itself, that does not necessarily mean it will sound
great with another.
Manufacturers that practice this control are very few, and those
that cast enough bells to offer this kind of selection are not so
many either only Russia's premiere foundries, in fact, can
provide such choice. Who is casting your bell? What kind of expertise
and choice do they offer?
Blagovest Bells is proud to be a member of the Campanological
Arts Association of Russia, which is the foremost bell testing,
certification, and training organization in the entire Orthodox
world, enjoying both Russian governmental and patriarchal endorsement.
Our foundries not only employ professional ringers, they
train professional ringers! And we sell only award-winning
bells that have AKIR's full approval!
the foundry know what it's doing?
What kind of tradition and experience does the foundry have?
Is it experienced in bell-making?
Do they really know what they're doing when they set
out to cast a bell of a certain weight and pitch?
Are they experienced in bells?
How do they stand up to their competition? Or have they
never benefitted from the critique of strong competitors?
Would you buy icons from an artist who hadn't
trained in the traditions of iconography, even if he were otherwise
sound of a liturgical bell:
Is the bell in tune? With the flavor of tradition?
Does the bell sound beautiful?
Even if it sounds good, does it have the machined precision of
a modern European bell or does it have the distinctive, mellow,
'strawberry red' (krasniy or malinoviy) tone of a
traditional Russian bell?
And if the iconographer introduced foreign
elements into the composition?
is the look of an Orthodox liturgical bell?
What's the quality of the decoration, iconography and inscriptions?
Have you ever seen a Faberge egg?
The decoration on a liturgical bell should certainly not be less
than aesthetically pleasing; in fact, it should be more. A bell
is a singing icon so it's good to ask whether the visual
icons on it are worthy of the name also.
Do they fit your tonal, budgetary, and other considerations?
Each foundry uses its own distinctive style and profile. For instance,
Vera bells tend to be more ornate than Pyatkov; Pyatkov bells tend
to run slightly heavier than Litex. Some foundries allow icons on
small bells; others will cast them only bells of 100 kg or more.
Some give a high, elegant polish to their bells; others prefer a
look that's more unfinished and 'mediaeval'.
Whatever your specifications though, and regardless of the foundry,
we import only the best sounding bells Russia has ever made.
Check out the specifications
of the bells available from each foundry.
of tones: What bells do I need for my set?
In the final analysis, your main consideration in buying new bells
is going to be tone sequence.
Do you have an existing bell of good quality which you intend to