The Moscow Bell Center

The Moscow Bell Center, located at the Church of St. Nicholas in Zayatskoe, and operating under the directorship of Victor Gregorievich Sharikov, was established in 1995 with the blessing of His All-Holiness Alexei II, Patriarch of Moscow, for the purpose of educating professional ringers for the Russian Orthodox Church.

Programs last either three or six months. They include theoretical and practical training in bell ringing on both bells and bilos (semantrons). Upon graduation, students receive official certification as church bell ringers.

Anyone may be admitted but, due to limited enrollment capacity, priority is given to persons with the recommendations of their churches or monasteries.

Additional activities of the Center include:

  1. Consultation in selecting and acquiring zvonnitsas and sets of bells for churches.
  2. Consultation in selecting and acquiring titanium bilos of up to 150 kg.
  3. Manufacture of moveable bell frames and construction of wooden bell towers.
  4. Transportation, lifting, installation, installation, and tuning of zvonnitsas, both for bells and bilos.
  5. Inspection and non-destructive scientific testing and repair of bells and bilos.
  6. Historical, acoustical, physical, chemical, and other scientific research on bells and bilos.
  7. Research in new technologies, constructions, and materials for the bell industry.
  8. Publishing of original video, audio, and photographic materials, books, and magazines, both separate publications and periodicals, on Orthodox ringing, bells, and bilos.
  9. Arranging and participation in concerts and other entertainments, and promoting church music.
  10. Additional educational activities: Museum of Orthodox Ringing, lectures, exhibitions, etc.
  11. Certification of bells and bilos, including acoustic certification.
  12. Assistance in acquiring accessories and tools for mounting bells and bilos: clappers, hammers, straps, bolts, pins, cables, hooks, etc.
  13. Assistance in finding hidden bells, crosses, censers, oklads, and other metallic church accessories, both underground, underwater, and in buildings by use of technical equipment.

Available Literature:

  1. Rostov Museum, Bells and Bell Towers of Rostov Veliki (Rostov, 1995, 248 pp.)
  2. V.V. Mishin, Bells of Russia (Moscow, 1995, 60 pp.) (color photoalbum)
  3. V.G. Sharikov, Use of Bilos in Orthodox Ringing (Moscow, 1996; 60 pp.)
  4. Moscow Bell Center, Orthodox Ringing (Moscow, 1997; 63 pp.) (poetry)
  5. A.S. Bochkov, Bell Zvons: Practical Manual for Orthodox Bell Ringers (Moscow, 1997; 133 pp.)
  6. V.G. Sharikov, Practical Manual for Ringers of Orthodox Churches (Moscow, 1997; 340 pp.)
  7. Russian Resurrection Magazine, No. 72 (on bells) (New York, 1998; 223 pp.)
  8. A.F. Bondarenko, Moscow Bells of the 17th Century (Moscow, 1998; 256 pp.)
  9. N. Olovyanishnikov, History of Bells and the Art of Casting Bells (1912, reprinted 1999; 450 pp.)
  10. A.B. Nikanorov, ed., The Music of Bells, Collected Researches and Materials (St. Petersburg, 1999; 272 pp.)
  11. Moscow Bell Center, Practical Recommendation for the Preservation and Conservation of Bells and Bilos, and Traditions of Orthodox Bell-Ringing (Moscow, 1999; 32 pp.)
  12. N.I. Kabanova, On the Tsar Bell, Crotals, the Bells of Valdai, Bilos, and the Trumpets of Jericho (1997; 48 pp.)
  13. A. Lehr, The Design of Rotating and Carillon Bells, Past and Present (1996; translation from English, Moscow Bell Center 1999; 70 pp.)
  14. A.B. Nikanorov, Bells and Zvons of Pskov Caves Monastery (2000; 192 pp.)

Availiable Audiotapes:

  1. The Bell-Tower of Ouspensky Cathedral of Rostov Kremlin (60 min.)
  2. The Bell-Tower of Theophany Patriarchal Cathedral of Yelokhovo (Moscow) (60 min.) These tapes contain the stories of these bell towers, their bells, and recordings of peals.