Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How to Change the Pitch of Tubular Chimes

Tubular chimes are cut to a certain length, to play specific pitches. In order to change the pitch of a tubular chime, you must change the length of the tubing. Because it is impractical to change a pitch in the performance by modifying a single chime, tubular bells come with several preconfigured bars that allow you to change pitches and play a complete chromatic scale. Once you understand how the chimes work, you will be able to play any pitch you want, within a one-octave range.

  1. Determine what pitch you would like to sound when you hit the chimes. The main chimes in front move diatonically from middle C to the F approximately an octave and a fifth higher. The chimes in the back are chromatic, starting with C-sharp and D-sharp on the paired set and F-sharp, G-sharp, and A-sharp on the triple set.
  2. Using a hammer, hit the new pitch you would like to play, by hammering against the rim of the tubular chimes.
  3. Create a louder or softer sound, by changing the degree at which you hammer against the chimes. You can also place a cloth tied around the center of the chimes, to muffle the level of sound produced.
  4. Change the pitch of an individual chime, by ordering a replacement chime that plays the specific pitch you want. Remove the screw that holds the old chime in place. Then replace it with the new chime.