Author(s): John Harrison
Handel called Britain 'The Ringing Isle' because he heard bells ringing everywhere he went. Behind the quintessentially English sound of bells ringing lies a unique way of hanging bells and a special way of ringing them that evolved in the late sixteenth century. Ringing has since developed and spread, with some 6,000 towers worldwide with bells hung in the English style, and most of them in England. Over 40,000 active ringers keep alive the traditions and skills of change ringing that have been handed down over many generations. The book is an introduction to the world of bells and bell-ringing. It explains how bells are made and how a ringing installation works. It explains the nature of change ringing, which has mathematical as well as musical aspects. It provides insights into the ringing community its origins and culture as well as its relationships with the Church and the community.
This book will have appeal for anyone who has heard the church bells on a sunny evening and wondered who is ringing them, how they are playing them, and why.
John Harrison has been a bellringer for over fifty years and is a member of the Central Council of Bell Ringers. For many years he has actively promoted the wider public understanding of ringing, having given talks to over 3,000 people in local groups and schools, and he has also published numerous books and articles.
Bells and Bell-hanging / Change Ringing / Evolution of English-style Ringing / Ringing and the Church / Modern Ringing / Ringing Terminology / Further Reading / Useful Websites / Places to Visit / Index