Ghent Cathedral bells ring out Bob Carter’s Peal

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Bob Carter’s Peal, a clock tune composed in memory of the late Professor Bob Carter, seems to have gone viral. In no time at all, Douglas Field put together a YouTube video showing various bell-towers and mechanical clocks accompanying the piano version of the Peal (hear it here).


Professor Robert Carter: may he rest in peace

Mike Haseler, the Scottish skeptic, arranged a souped-up version, which, from one direction, Zayn reworked as a virtuoso funk shuffle (hear it at links below: it’s awesome).

But now, from another direction altogether, what I had hoped has happened. Lou Mackenzie, in the noble tradition of Edinburgh polymaths, has worked for weeks to tune the waveforms of the ancient bells of Ghent Cathedral. He has used the tuned waveforms to play Bob Carter’s Peal as it was intended to be played – as a stately clock-tune on cathedral bells.

Lou has succeeded in retaining the authentic sound of the real cathedral bells. His virtual carillon is light-years ahead of the pasteurized bell-sounds that are commercially available. Some of the Ghent bells, particularly in the bass register, sound just a little off key, for that is what real bells do.

This is partly because the bells are very old, and partly because the harmonics of bells are extremely complex. The note that is struck when the clapper meets the bell is not necessarily the note that continues to sound. Often a secondary note is heard.


Ghent Cathedral

The Classical Turmuhrglockenspielsonatine (literally “Tower clock bell play short composition in several movements”) is in four movements. The second and third movements are respectively twice and thrice the length of the first, and the fourth movement, rung out before the hour-bell strikes, is movements 1-3 strung together.

The reason for this repetition can be seen when one realizes how much space read-only memory used to take up before the age of electronics. Huge cam-drums are programmable by arranging the cams to strike any desired sequence of notes. For clock-tunes, the cam-drum rotates twice an hour.


18th-century ROM: the cam-drum of the Ghent carillon

Now all we need is a genius to take the four movements of the Ghent version of Bob Carter’s Peal, add a suitable hour-bell, and set up an electronic carillon to ring out the Peal in his memory every quarter of an hour. Which version do you prefer?

Carillons are rare in Britain because our ancestors invented the sliding detent that allowed each bell to swing through 380 degrees, coming to rest mouth upward. A tug on the bell-rope brings the bell through just over a full circle, allowing the experienced bell-ringer (they don’t like to be called campanologists) to time the strike precisely. This allows what is called “change-ringing” – playing the bells in a precise sequence.

Because each bell takes time to revolve through 360 degrees, it cannot sound again until at least two other bells have sounded. This restriction gave rise to one of the oldest uses of deterministic combinatorics in deciding the order in which all possible sequences of n bells can be sounded.

English change-ringing, which is practiced throughout the Anglosphere, is vastly superior to the unholy jangling that is the best that most Continental bell-towers can manage, with each bell swinging only through 120 degrees at a rate determined by its weight.

As an alternative to the jangling, carillons became commonplace in Europe, especially in the German-speaking countries. Electronic carillons are spreading rapidly, but – until Lou Mackenzie came along and did the job properly – their bells did not sound like real bells.

When the climate scam finishes dying, as the gap between profitably exaggerated prediction and unexciting real-world observation widens beyond all possibility of data-tampering, the few good and brave scientists like Bob Carter will deservedly be remembered for all they did to try to defend the reputation of the scientific method against the hateful political forces that came so very close to destroying it. Long may his Peal ring out in his honor.


Bob Carter heard me playing this piano

Audio clips of the different renditions are below. Click the arrow to play.

104 thoughts on “Ghent Cathedral bells ring out Bob Carter’s Peal

  1. I used to sit in the Carillion Bar in Haarlem, listening to the carillion in St Bavo Cathedral playing an hour of peels (must have been electronic). Fine beer, hot bitterballen, and free entertainment – what more do you need on a sunny afternoon?

    A stirling effort by all concerned in this enterprise, and may the peels sound out their message of firm defiance for years to come. (I was told that some of the St Bavo peels were similarly based on tunes of defiance against the Spanish who had besieged the city, which was stoutly defended by general Rippada.)


    • Unfortunately Captain Ripperda was beheaded after Haarlem was starved into submission and a relief force ambushed and wiped out. As a Calvinist econoclast, he had previously purged the church of its statues and altar. Don’t know if he would appreciate the stained glass window there commemorating the siege.

      • I wrote that on a phone, hence the autofilled misspelling of iconoclast.

        Bob Carter was an iconoclast in its modern, favorable sense.

        The climate angle on the Haarlem siege is that the town held out so long because it was resupplied over a shallow frozen lake, which has since been drained, so we don’t know if it would still freeze solid now. The late 16th century was not as cold as the late 17th century and some intervals later in the LIA, but probably still colder than now.

  2. The ending paragraph (of article) rings out truth and great respect.

    The pianoforte version is simply wonderful.


  3. What a beautiful way to remember Bob Carter. Lord Monckton is a man of many talents.

    A peal to authority!

    Sorry, couldn’t resist it

  4. Fabulous. A wonderful tribute. I bet the Potsdam Climate Pontificators will be frothing into their carbon free Kool-ades.

  5. Living only 50 km from Ghent, thought for a minute from the title that they were really ringing the bells in memory of the late Bob Carter…
    I may hope one day they will indeed ring the (real) bells in honor for a great man who did stand up against the distortion of science… Until then we have to do it with the electronic versions…

    Many of the larger churches and some belfry towers (Bruges) here still have carilloneurs which occasionally ring the bells themselves, not an easy job and needs a lot of hand and foot power – and synchronization of the handles…
    In several towns the carillons are hand played an hour on several days a week all year round and in summer one can have a drink on one of the many terraces in Antwerp on the Great Market before the 16th century town hall to listen to the carillon of the 13th century St, Mary’s Cathedral every Monday evening…

  6. Douglas Field put together a YouTube video showing various bell-towers and mechanical clocks accompanying the piano version of the Peal (hear it here).

    I couldn’t find the video, is it not public yet?

      • Dear Lord Monckton,

        Thank you for posting the youtube link. I wanted so very much to hear and WUWT (including the links to music in the main post) is not “working” for me this past week like it used to.

        Lovely melody. Clear, positive, precise, with just the slightest hint of touching poignancy in only a chord or two, it nicely says, “Bob Carter, a Scientist and a Gentleman; we miss you,” with the final whole-note chords softly saying, “rest in peace.”

        The song and its subject are worthy of an orchestral arrangement (well, if Frank Mills’ “Music Box Dancer” was, this is!). Personally (just my preference, I tend to like to slow down the tempo on most songs…. I can easily get TOOoooooo…… contemplative, however… lol), I would have preferred a slower tempo. I have no metronome with me here, so I’ll just say, a tempo about 40% slower (or 60% of the current tempo).

        Has echoes of Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” Thus, an orchestral arrangement for this could, I think, be quite readily adapted to your music. A second “verse” using a soprano on “Ah” might be a nice variation. “Ah,” for, while lyrics started to form in my mind (for they song is “lyrical”), I think it would end up sounding too much like a Gordon Lightfoot ballad (which are all well and good, but, too over-the-top/cheesy for Bob Carter’s “story,” I think — and I feel pretty certain that Dr. Carter would NOT like that — at — all, heh).

        Okay! Enough blah, blah, blah from me.

        Thank you, Christopher Monckton, for sharing your fitting tribute with us all.

        Oh, one more thing: while the video’s images were charming, I would prefer to have (with the slower tempo, too — AND any text left up for reading much longer that the text at the beginning of Mr. Field’s video) only images of Bob Carter, through the years… . He was quite a guy. A true hero.

        Sincerely yours,


    • I, too, like number 2 the bell version because 1/ it is slower and more thoughtful & 2/ more authentic to the idea of turmuhrglockenspiel (clock tower bell play)
      A great piece to remember Bob Carter – a quiet honest scientist/ geologist

  7. “The note that is struck when the clapper meets the bell is not necessarily the note that continues to sound.”

    Even where it is struck makes a big difference in its path to its eigenmodes .

    Reminds me of a grainy b&w film I saw while hanging out with the math dept when I was supposed to be in experimental psych grad school : Can one hear the shape of a drum ? . It must have an interview with Mark Kak about his paper .

    Same math applies of course to bells .

  8. [Lou Mackenzie’s] virtual carillon is light-years ahead of the pasteurized bell-sounds that are commercially available.

    Amen. His version is delightful.

  9. “as the gap between profitably exaggerated prediction and unexciting real-world observation widens beyond all possibility of data-tampering”

    – That´s a beautiful phrase

    (Sorry that I´m more into the beauty of of words than the beauty of music).

  10. A quote from Bob Carter, for you, Christopher Monckton:

    “by Bob Carter, March 11, 2009 …

    … The Heartland-2 climate conference was brought to a close with a rousing closing address by Lord Christopher Monckton, …

    Lord Monckton concluded with some comments that will serve well as an epitaph for the entire Heartland-2 climate conference. “There was no climate crisis, there is no climate crisis, and there will be no climate crisis”, he said. “The correct solution to global warming is to have the courage to do nothing”.

    (Source: )

      • Dear Science or Fiction,

        Thank you for your kind words. None of the above (but, good guesses). I just happened (God’s providence, imo) to come upon that quote less than 24 hours before reading Monckton’s post.

        You are a generous person of obviously excellent social skills to compliment me. I’m so glad that you were pleased. YOU have a fine memory to recall that quote!


      • Nigel,

        Wish I could take credit for inventing the apt neologism purposely, but it was purely an accident, wrought by uncaught autofill.

  11. The whole section is a beauty:
    “When the climate scam finishes dying, as the gap between profitably exaggerated prediction and unexciting real-world observation widens beyond all possibility of data-tampering, the few good and brave scientists like Bob Carter will deservedly be remembered for all they did to try to defend the reputation of the scientific method against the hateful political forces that came so very close to destroying it. Long may his Peal ring out in his honor.”

  12. A great and truly musical tribute to the memory of Bob Carter. Lord Monckton is a continual source of surprise and inspiration. The music works well under many arrangements and deserves orchestration.

  13. First, I like the charming idea to honor Bob Carter with this pleasant bell-music. Thus – Many thanks indeed to Lord Monckton and all people who perform this tune in remembrance of a fearless and truthful scientist! Consequently I hope, that this melody will be performed by a carillonneur on real bells as soon as possible.

    But since I have some knowledge of bells I like to comment about two quotes above:

    Quote 1: “English change-ringing, which is practiced throughout the Anglosphere, is vastly superior to the unholy jangling that is the best that most Continental bell-towers can manage, with each bell swinging only through 120 degrees at a rate determined by its weight.”

    This claim is not a universal accepted fact but just a matter of taste. Most European campanologists have a quite different opinion, because the sound quality of bells rung in the change ringing mode is much inferior compared with free jangling bells since the clapper remains touching the strike point after the impact during the 360° round which suppresses the hum of many important partial tones and the clapper produces an additional rattling noise. In order to hide these drawbacks, change ringing is performed so quick as possible so that one can’t hear the real sound quality of every single bell at all. Thus, change ringing has more the character of a sport than of a musical performance.
    Besides the much better sound quality of free jangling bell, their music is not “unholy” but fascinating, because their constantly changing strike melodies, together with a given chord-pattern, perform music in the so-called “Minimal Music” style of such popular composers like Philip Glass or Steve Reich.

    Quote 2: As an alternative to the jangling, carillons became commonplace in Europe, especially in the German-speaking countries.

    That’s wrong: The real home countries of the carillon are not German speaking nations, but the Dutch and Flemish Netherlands and northern France and French-speaking Belgium. The German speaking nations imported higher numbers of carillons only since the 20th century (similar as the US, Canada and some other countries) after the second revival of the instrument before and especially after WW1.
    And: Carillons were never intended to be an “alternative” to the normal jangling ringing. In all classical home regions of the carillon you will find the charming peal of free jangling and therefore gloriously sounding bells as well.

    • Gentle Tramp,

      I was not sure about Quote 2, but you nailed it. Most of the belfry and church towers with carillon are indeed in the Netherlands, Flanders, Wallonia and Northern France, where the latter was formerly part of the county of Flanders…
      We have here even one of the few schools in the world where one can learn to be a carilloneur on the real stuff…

  14. Wow again Lord Monckton. I liked all three versions! Loved the first piano one that captivated me in the first place the ‘bell’ one would be great if it could be used in a real bell tower somewhere- in Queensland?) Just to poke it up the nose of some unmentionable folk there. The third was ‘funky’ and fun.
    Anyway yet again thanks for what you did for Bob.

    • I wonder if Douglas would be willing to make a new version of his YouTube video, using the .MP3 sound files of all three variants of Bob Carter’s Peal? If so, I’ll gladly write the introductory text explaining what the peal is for, and also a catchy title to attract hits. Contact me at if the idea appeals.

      We are now working on finding an appropriate hour-bell, making 12 sound-files (one for each hour), and then putting the entire package together as an electronic carillon that can be played on nothing more complex than a speaker-horn mounted behind louvers in the gable of any house, perhaps with a clock-face on the outside. The system would be driven by a small computer.

      • Ha ha m’lord. I was going to do just that – but I can’t download your sound files from WUWT. My previous effort relied on copying you original piano version from WUWT – with the lower quality sound that you noticed! Be happy to oblige if I can get the quality of sound needed,

  15. I’m a bit stumped at how many people Bob Carter’s work impacted. He was a lecturer of mine for a few years and always a proper Gentleman, in belted brown shorts with high socks and a white shirt. He wore it like a uniform. He was nothing special even, he just had lots of historical science development as a foundation for the sedimentary and cyclic marine transgression/regression concepts he taught so well. He had a great way of putting things into context and to scale, as in time-scale. I always enjoyed his detailed lectures but he really was nothing out of the ordinary. He was just a regular Prof who surprisingly, got fed up with the media/IPCC BS about CO2 induced runaway Green House effect, and actually spoke up against the spreading deep stupor that was pretending to represent THE scientific understanding that we had and to speak for palaeoclimate science. The nerve of these frauds.

    Bob was one of those really organized blokes who had copious actual observations and data to draw on, that the IPCC and Greenhouse media posers were clearly completely oblivious to, and also didn’t want to hear spoken of, or written about, or the public inform as to what a fraud and scam was be promulgated, especially by the hapless deliberately ignorant ABC, SBS and BOM, in Australia.

    To click with a ‘mouse’, on a pretend ‘button’, on a large flat panel screen and hear a clear recording of a huge machine using bells to chime out a requiem to Bob (and his socks), from a Cathedral tower on another continent, is slightly disconcerting.

    I can’t but chortle … considerably.

    Thanks Bob, we’re not likely to forget you.

    • Hi Unmentionable
      It wasn’t the student body at James Cook that I was referring to – as I hope you might have guessed but those who carried out the excommunication.

    • When I decided it was time to join the climate change fray, Bob was the first “new” scientist I came across via one of his youtube videos explaining and defending the scientific method. I too have great respect for that and my first web page on the subject was about half on scientific method and half on climate. I exchanged some Email with Bob about my page and eventually met him at a couple ICCCs.

      That, and his ability to avoid and ignore the useless petty attacks, name calling, and more serious attacks that are rife in this debate is what made him such a useful person.

  16. Beautiful tribute to your friend and comrade-in-arms. Thank you Christopher. Would you mind if one of my daughters danced to this music for her choreographic competition? I would explain the context to her to inform her dance.

      • Thank you, Christopher, I’ll make sure the Peal is announced by its title at the competition. My daughter loved the music (especially the bells version) and is keen to use it for her ballet dance.

  17. Piano version wins hands down for me.
    HOW can I get it into my mobile phone for the ring tone?
    problem will also be not wanting to answer until the tunes finished;-)
    I tried following someones instruction before to upload to pc ..all I got was the wuwt page savedNOT the music

    and PS MODS>>>
    for the last couple of days no stars to rate are showing..just me? or anyone else having issues too??

    • Me, too. But, I’m having other troubles that make me think it’s my personal computer issue: 1) I have to log in every time a change a thread on WUWT, starting about a week ago; 2) I have to log into youtube EVERY time I access it, now; 3) I have to log into another site I have an account on, now; 4) no stars, so I can’t rate WUWT; 5) I can’t make audio files play via links on WUWT (or one other website’s that I tried it on); and 6) when I enter my e mail address and name into WUWT’s Reply info. box, it “bounces” slightly (yes, really) as I type in the blanks. I have no idea. I’ve tried fiddling with the Internet Options (Programs — Manage Add-ons) on the Tools menu that appears when you click on the little gear symbol (upper right), tried that AND powering down/re-booting. Nothing works. If it doesn’t get worse, I can live with it (sigh).’

      I hope, oz (glad you spoke up) that you’re issue is resolved (or WUWT’s is).

      Ian L McQueen is also having issues (see his comment here: )

      • hm… Windows? Did you try another browser? (It all looks browser-related). If it persists look for a windows (or PC) savvy person, a good virus-check, something, I wouldn’t like to type my login codes “in fishy circumstances” all the time…

  18. For many years a mid-day bell concert rang out from the University of Washington’s (Seattle) bell tower, played daily by a blind man named George Bailey. When it was explained to a visitor that Bailey was blind, the visitor explained, “Blind? My god, I thought he was deaf!!”

    Monckton’s wonderfully thoughtful tribute to his friend, notwithstanding, I couldn’t resist cueing up and old memory.

  19. Mr. Layman here.
    Those of us that fall into the category of “Layman” don’t always know the names of those whose impact puts us in their debt.
    We often don’t know until we hear from those who do.
    A fitting tribute.
    Thank you pursuing it.
    (Not to take away from his tribute but perhaps a “jingle” could be added at the end for those other “unknowns” such as “REP”?)

  20. This is all beautiful, but there are a few inaccuracies in the article.

    First and foremost: the Ghent Cathedral does not have a carillon… It’s actually the Belfry of Ghent (which can be seen in the picture, to the right side of the cathedral) that is home to the town’s carillon.
    (The cathedral, on the other hand, is famous for its polyptych altarpiece by the Van Eyck brothers.)

    Then the author says that “carillons became commonplace in Europe, especially in the German-speaking countries”. Actually, that should read the Dutch-speaking countries or the Low Countries, as can be seen here : .
    (Flanders+Brussels : 4.8 carillons/1,000 km² **
    The Netherlands : 4.4 /1,000 km² **
    North of France: 2.6 /1,000 km²). There is no mention of any German-speaking country in that table.

    • True, there are many carillons in France and quite a few in the Netherlands. But there are quite a few carillons in Germany, including those of Berlin (Tiergarten); Bonn-Beuel (Church of St Joseph); Dresden (Zwinger Palace); Erfurt (Bartolomaeus Tower); Geisa (Church of Sts Philip and Jacob); Kiel (Kieler Kloster); Meissen (Church of Our Lady); Munich (Church of Our Lady of Succour); Schwarzenberg (Porcelain carillon); Halle an der Saale (Red Tower with 76 bells, the world’s second-largest carillon). And Bob Carter’s Peal is written in the manner of Johann Sebastian Bach.

      • And the convention in the United Kingdom is to refer to the bells of a campanile as the bells of the adjacent cathedral or church, except where the campanile has nothing whatsoever to do with the adjacent cathedral or church.

        Joseph Mallord William Turner, the watercolorist, painted a picture entitled “Ghent: St Bavon’s Cathedral and Belfry”.

        So let us not pick nits.

      • Yes – and you will find even more carillons in Germany in the map on this site here:

        But the carillon was invented in the 17th century and all these instruments in Germany are from the 20th Century and even some from the beginning of the 21st!

        There were only a handful of baroque (17th/18th century) carillons (imported from their original homeland in the Low Countries) in Germany. But they usually did not survive the British and US area bombings of WW2 (e.g. the instruments in Berlin, Potsdam or Darmstadt). The only exception to this rule is the still baroque “Glockenspiel” of Salzburg; see here:

        Thus – it is quite obvious that the carillon was invented and originally prevalent in the Low Countries and not in Germany or any other German speaking regions. So My Lord – be not sheepish and admit this little error of yours… ;-)

        The only thing, which is important here is that your charming clock-bell-music, is a very amiable and generous courtesy for your friend and true scientist Bob Carter!

        BTW: Why do you not ask one of the carillonneurs of the UK to play this music piece live for a audio recording? I’m sure that it would sound even better with real carillon bells, especially if you want to create an electronic and virtual tower-clock with such a recording. You will find a list of British carillons here:

      • That’s 48 carillons in Germany, and 289 in the Low Countries (= 185 Netherlands, 66 Flanders+Brussels, 23 Wallonia, 15 North of France).
        Surface area about a fifth of Germany (?).

        Just saying. Not meaning to pick nits. WUWT-readers are keen on facts and figures. We may as well get them straight.

      • There are far more carillons in Germany and her German-speaking neighbors than are generally supposed or listed, and old ones re being restored and new ones erected all the time. I came across one just the other day that appears on no list of carillons. One might quibble pedantically with the word “especially in Germany” in the head posting, but – I repeat – the clock tune was written in the manner of Johann Sebastian Bach.

      • Mr Norekens can pick all the nits he wants, but in doing so he amuses only himself. He has quibbled at frankly tedious length about the single word “especially” in the head posting. But he has now confirmed that there are at least 48 carillons known to him in Germany, and I know of a good many more in Germany, and in other German-speaking nations, come to that.

        But Bach was not Flemish, Dutch or French. He was German. And it was Bach whose style I was striving to emulate in Bob Carter’s Peal. So Germany was the appropriate country to mention. A simple statement by Mr Norekens to the effect that there are many carillons elsewhere in Europe would have been quite enough.

      • Amazing that so many survived RAF Bomber Command’s repeated attempts to destroy them, or have been rebuilt. Bomber Harris’ March 1942 raid on the strategically unimportant but culturally significant, beautiful Medieval Hanseatic city of Lubeck bagged the oldest German carillon, dating from 1508. Many others followed.

      • Mr Monckton seems to have a very hard time admitting two simple factual mistakes. Mixing up Dutch and Deutsch is not an inexcusable error for an Englishman. And the Ghent Cathedral is right next to the Belfry, so that too is pardonable.
        Besides, what’s important is the music and the intention of it. So yes, in that way, I was nitpicking.

        But Mr Monckton could have had the grace to smile and admit his mistakes. To err is human, to admit is divine. Or should I say noble?

        Instead, Mr Monckton seems to demand some statement by me. Indeed, there are carillons elsewhere in Europe (and outside… 30 countries worldwide, actually). I posted a link to the numbers, didn’t I ? (There are 23 in Denmark and 164 in …the USA.). Is that sufficient?

        Instead, Mr Monckton keeps repeating that J.S. Bach (who was not mentioned in the article) was German. Well duh… But how is that relevant to the flawed assertion that “carillons became commonplace in Europe, especially in the German-speaking countries“?

      • I hope that readers who have battled through thus far will not have been too bored by Mr Norekens’ nit-picking. He and one or two others here seem to have missed the point of the head posting, which was to pass on some charming new musical ways of celebrating the life of Bob Carter.

        Now, having said he has given us the number of carillons in Germany, not apparently having noticed that the head posting refers to the German-speaking countries, he complains at my mention of Bach, who was German-speaking,as were an appreciable fraction of the Classical composers – think Beethoven, Schubert (much underrated), Schumann and the incomparable Mozart.

        Lovers of Classical music will at once recognise that Bach was the inspiration for Bob Carter’s Peal.

        Mr Norekens, who would have had a kindlier response to his fatuous quibble about my use of the word “especially” in the head posting if he had been civil about it instead of pompously supercilious, now demands to know how the acoustician tuned the waveforms of the bells. That, no doubt, is proprietary information. And, since Mr Norekens will merely pick some more nits if I tell him, I will respect the craftsman’s confidentiality.

        What I will say is that to be begin with the bells were, through the best part of a millennium of wear and tear, rather badly out of tune. One of the bells, for instance, a 12th-century specimen, had had a hole drilled in it, giving it a sound somewhere between a growl and a clonk. The acoustician speculates that the hole may have been drilled in the bell precisely to achieve this distinct but not very pleasant sound, perhaps so that it could thus be clearly distinguished from all the others and used as an alarum bell. It was almost a semitone out of true.

        Accordingly, the waveforms were tuned one at a time, but, at my request, not to perfection. I wanted to retain something of the atmosphere of a real bell tower. The acoustician has done that well, though I propose to get a little more tweaking done here and there, particularly in the lower register, where the bells have endured the worst wear and tear over the centuries, causing some particularly difficult sympathetic resonances.

        Another friend having died recently, I have composed a second clock tune, this time confining the more complex and transiently dissonant minor-key harmonics to a few transition passages. When I get time to prepare and edit a MIDI file in the studio for the acoustician to work with, we shall see whether the different compositional style translates well to the Ghent carillon.

        In yet a third clock tune, for a nephew-in-law’s wedding, I shall make good use of the Alberti bass played not in fifths as usual but in octaves, as Beethoven did at one or two points in the third movement of the Appassionata sonata. On the piano, it sounds very handsome and warmly resonant, and it attracted a lot of favourable attention when I demonstrated it at a piano auction recently. I am hoping that something of this rather unusual but wonderful sound will translate successfully to the bells.

      • Talk about “pompously supercilious”….

        Mr Monckton may feel that my initial remarks concern side issues, and they do. But apparently they are important enough to him to get all defensive about. “Thanks for pointing that out” would have ended the (non-)argument, and there would have been no need for this shameful interlude of irrelevant drivel.
        But I guess vanity got in the way.
        Vanitas vanitatum, omnia vanitas…

        The rest is food for a psychologist.

        Mr Monckton says that I amuse only myself. He may be right. In that I do amuse myself…
        I’m afraid the same cannot be said about him. My impression is that he only embarrasses himself.
        Which is a pity, now that he appears to finally have done something in honour of someone other than the incomparable “Lord Monckton of Brenchley” himself. And just now that his clock tune has “gone viral“! His words, of course.

      • Some linguists consider Netherlandish a Low German dialect with a government. It’s not all that different from Standard High German as some other dialects, such as that of Cologne or Swiss cantons.

        A Bernese friend of mine who naturally knows her own Swiss dialect and standard German (plus French, English and to a lesser extent Spanish), says that she can understand Dutch.

  21. Carillon music always takes me back to Uni, where I would lounge nearby the bell tower with my ever present Cafe Au Lait in hand.

  22. Separate bell towers are common in Italy; Pisa (the “Leaning Tower”) is the most famous. It’s still regarded as the home of the adjacent cathedral’s bells.

  23. Thanks to Raymond I have been able to download all three versions of Chris’s music as mp3’s. So I have updated the piano version here using the good quality sound. Also I think that the reason that so many people prefer the piano version is that it allows rubato while the ‘bell’ version cannot really do this.
    I notice also that the ‘bell’ version is a bit longer than the others. Should I do the ‘bell version I would need to make a totally different copy that recognised both the strict time and the length.

    Raymond February 28, 2016 at 11:56 am
    Those who have wget, for instance Linux users, can download the tunes as follows:

    • Thank you for the new version.

      With a live performance by a human carillonneur on a good carillon with a special baton keyboard you could have rubato and all that…
      See here:

      So – the best way to get a musical and nice real bell version would be to find a human carillonneur for an artistic performance instead of the rigid playing of an automatic carillon or the nice but somewhat unreal and inflexible electronic-bell version…

      Here is the website of the World Federation of Carillonneurs WCF to find such an interpreter:

      • @ Gentle Tramp

        You wrote :
        “BTW: Why do you not ask one of the carillonneurs of the UK to play this music piece live for a audio recording? I’m sure that it would sound even better with real carillon bells”
        and also :
        “…an artistic performance instead of the rigid playing of an automatic carillon or the nice but somewhat unreal and inflexible electronic-bell version…”

        You didn’t read the article though did you ?
        These ARE recordings of the ACTUAL bells of Ghent Carillon !
        They were played by a Human and are only “electronic” in so far as all recordings are electronic, but are played individually, albeit by the usual means of recording those waveforms with a microphone on a recording media, and then played back…….(gasp, shock, horror) From a Machine !!! – A Machine operated by a Human Operator. Frankly machines do not “care” about bells, or even “know” about bells, other than what Human operators desire and have programmed into them. Even an actual solo bell, by itself is a MACHINE. It is a machine designed to make a familiar noise, but which can only be “heard” by “EARS”, and then only if connected to that other electro-chemical machine that we Humans like to call “The Brain”. So these may not be exact faithful representations so far as you are concerned, but hey Gentle Tramp, why not tramp off to some of these places you mention, with your trusty tape recorder, and microphone, and get cracking. There is nobody stopping you.

        Why does Lord Monckton “have to do” all these things that you all suggest. Why don’t you critics, and detractors, get off your backsides and do these things you suggest yourselves ? However this isn’t as easy as it may at first sight appear to the uninitiated.

        LET US NOT FORGET – This was a tribute to a friend, and yes a great man, Professor Carter didn’t have to take the direction he did, and to challenge the Australian B.o.M. and the UN Establishment, over the lies they appeared to be peddling, BUT HE DID ! – Professor Carter could have just knuckled under, and taken the massive grants that were available to promote the CO2 hokum, and Global Warming Frauds, BUT HE DIDN’T !

        We don’t have to turn every thread at this site into a nit-picking argument do we ?

      • Hi Gentle
        Thanks for the references. As a matter of fact I have been looking as ways of illustrating Chris’s ‘Bell’ version and have found interesting material that I could use for that. It needs to be quite different from the piano version. I will check out the the references you give here before I attempt my ‘bell’ one. It would be great if Chris could get his music played on a carillon – my choice is somewhere very close to James Cook University! It might be an hourly reminder to some people of what they have lost.

      • High Plains Drifter February 29, 2016 at 5:11 pm
        “….You didn’t read the article though did you ? These ARE recordings of the ACTUAL bells of Ghent Carillon ! They were played by a Human …”

        Now the article states: “Lou Mackenzie (…) has worked for weeks to tune the waveforms of the ancient bells of Ghent Cathedral. He has used the tuned waveforms to play Bob Carter’s Peal as it was intended to be played …”

        I can see why someone would think that this is a (marvellous) piece of electronic “handiwork”. What exactly did Lou Mackenzie do and how did he do it ?

    • Thanks for that, Douglas Field, for actually getting off of your backside and doing something real to promote the tune, and Bob’s lifetime of achievements, as noted in the brief resume of his academic career below that video.

      However I take issue with your assertions about the bell version of the tune. Actually though Lord Monckton composed and played the tune on a piano, and in an accomplished fashion, of that there is no doubt, he did make it quite clear that this was meant to played on Clock Tower Bells. Not actually having a clock tower in his garden, he couldn’t actually compose with and actual carillon himself, except in his own mind’s ear.

      You wrote; “I notice also that the ‘bell’ version is a bit longer than the others. Should I do the ‘bell version I would need to make a totally different copy that recognised both the strict time and the length.” however you also wrote that many prefer the piano version because it “allows rubato while the ‘bell’ version cannot”.

      Logically, those two statements are at odds with each other. It will be better understood if we look at the actual musical instructions, which Lord Monckton gave on his sheet music.

      videlicet :
      Allegretto cantabile
      Senza sordini quasi campanile lontano

      So then these are traditional Italian Musical instructions.

      Allegretto = fairly quick, faster than Andante and usually slower than Allegro
      (Andante = moderately slow, at walking pace & Allegro = fast )
      Cantabile = in a singing style
      Senza sordini quasi campanile lontano = Without muting, almost like a distant steeple

      We see from these instructions, that Lord Monckton intended a great deal of latitude in the timing of the piece. Allegretto is a vague subjective term and allows for slight variations in tempo, as actually you did suggest, when you wrote “rubato”. Bells have a timing of their own, dependent upon their moment of inertia and weight. This does lead to a certain amount of rubato, and in Lord Mockton’s example they are not strictly on beat, which is the very definition of rubato actually.

      Again so if you want to make a video with the soundtrack of the bells, yes it will require to be longer, but instead of remaking the bells tune to fit in with your video montage, you ought to lengthen your montage to fit with the actual time of the longer bells piece. There is no “the strict time and the length” for this piece, and as the musical instructions demonstrate, quite a wide latitude in tempo is possible, even preferable.

      Finally this, though many people may well prefer the piano version, played by Lord Monckton himself, we are assured, it must surely be the case that the Ghent Bells version (and turn down the volume as though a “distant steeple”) must surely be more true to the intention of the printed musical instructions.

      • Well High
        I don’t need a lecture. I just do pictures. If someone likes them as sees a connection well and good otherwise it’s no big deal. I may or may not do the ‘bells’ version – it may or may not connect with a particular tempo – it might have been talking about some other aspect that interested me in what Lord Monckton was saying. That’s all.

      • OK, just do what suits you. Still the remarks were not just directed at yourself, and meant to be informative for all the readers in here. I am fed up with the carpers and detractors, who have plenty of suggestions, but who don’t actually do anything. At least YOU actually did do something. Don’t take any criticism too personally friend. And hey we all need lecturing to don’t we? That’s why we are in here, to read lectures on the myriad subjects which the knowledgeable authors in here write. On that we can agree surely ?

    • Douglas Field has made an excellent new version of his video of clock towers with the piano music in the background. The sound quality is now excellent, and the pictures accompanying the melody do a fine job of evoking the clock chiming its little tune every quarter of an hour. I hope that one day there will be a clock tower somewhere that will play Bob Carter’s Peal.

      • Well Lord Monckton I finally decided to do a ‘visualisation’ of the Bell version after all. And to post it here. I have tried to include representation of the mechanical ‘drum’ that you featured as well as the human hand controlled device. There is also an interesting portable version! So it could even be available anywhere in the world. Perhaps on the James Cook campus?

  24. Beautiful composition, Lord Monckton – this gentle peal is a fitting tribute to a peaceful warrior for truth.

    If anyone is interested in the history of the probable invention of the “ROM” peg cam drum mechanism, I would recommend John North’s God’s Clockmaker: Richard Wallingford and the Invention of Time about the abbot of St. Alban’s monastery (b. 1292- d. 1336) who likely invented both the first mechanical clock (and thus the verge-and-foliot escapement mechanism) and the pegged barrel mechanism for bell-ringing.

  25. To whom it may concern:

    It is a pity that some people are psychologically not able to admit and correct some minor errors despite the valuable principle here in the wuwt forum, to try to be as accurate as possible, even if this means to correct oneself sometimes.

    Likewise lamentable are people who cannot distinguish between qualified & well-intentioned advice and destructive remarks of “carpers and detractors”.

    Consequently, I will “molest” such people no longer in this wuwt thread because it is pointless.

    Nevertheless, I hope that this gracious and musical memorial for Bob Carter will become widely known and popular, and even ring out from a real bell tower or carillon some day in the future. Many thanks to all who will support this noble project for Bob Carter.

  26. I had the pleasure of climbing this bell tower recently. Awesome. The day before, I was in The Netherlands in awe of the engineering that is easily containing the North Sea… despite “runaway sea level rise”.

    • Mary Brown’s point is valuable. The Pause indicates that such global warming as is likely to occur will do so at a far more temperate pace than originally feared. We have plenty of time to adapt. The Dutch, whose government panicked and believed Al Gore’s drivel about sea-level rise, built hundreds of miles of sea defences 20 ft high.

  27. Hi ‘High’
    Here’s a little clip that I did this morning after brekky just for you. I hope that you have the humour to cope with this bit of fun!

    • Now you are just being silly Douglas. How is this so called “bit of fun” going to add to the total sum of knowledge in this article? Who are these people meant to be, one has a vague resemblance to Lord Monckton (is that meant to be you). I am not offended by your pathetic attempt at satire and puerile huffiness. For goodness sake grow up, and act your age.

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