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St.Vincent's Petit and Fritsen
Fourteen Bell Chime

St. Vincent's has a "chime" of fourteen bells located in the free standing bell tower to the west side of the main church. The bells were installed in 1968 by the I.T.Verdin Company of Cincinnati.  A set of 14 bells is designated as a "chime", a set of 4 bells is a "peal", a set of 24 bells is a "carillon", and so on.  The bells, cast in Aarle-Rixtel, Holland by Petit and Fritsen, are stationary mounted in a steel frame and are rung by electromagnet strikers. The bells have a new control system and keyboard designed and installed by ChimeMaster Systems.

The bells are pitched with the lowest bell, the 1,000 pound "bourdon", sounding at A below middle C. The bell notes form an A major (F# minor) scale with two additional semitone pitches of G natural and D#.  This gives the bells the capability to also be played in the two other keys D major and E major.  Actually, the bells are played from a keyboard based on C so that the player sees the bells as a C major (A minor) scale, with the ability to play also in F and G major.

Each bronze bell in the chime was cast with a name of one of the saints molded into the bell metal,  which is an ancient bell making tradition.  The bourdon bell is named for St. Vincent de Paul.  When the bells are first cast the new bronze bell metal is a reflective shinny brass like color.  As the bells weather over time, exposed to the outside elements, the surface of the bell metal oxidizes and soon forms a velvety greenish protective surface.
 
 


Bell:
Bells Named for Saint:
Pitch:
14
St. Helen
E
13
St. John
D
12
St. Margaret
C#
11
St. Jane
B
10
St. Kathryn
A
9
St. Dennis
G#
8
St. Lawrence
G
7
St. Edward
F#
6
St. Hanora / St. Nora
(Mass Peal)
E
5
St. Brigid
D#
4
St. Patrick
D
3
St. Jude
(Angelus and Mass Peal)
C#
2
The Blessed Virgin Mary /
St. Joseph
B
1
St. Vincent de Paul
Easter Sunday, April 14, 1968
1,000 pound bourdon 
(Angelus, Mass Peal, 
Toll and Hour Strike)
A

 


 

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