Additional Math Pages & Resources

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ring Them Bells, Part I

Time is a concept we discuss in math class. Students learn how to tell time, and to read a clock or watch. The word clock comes from a Latin word clocca. Related words that mean bell include the French cloche, Latin glocio, Saxon clugga and German glocke.

Why are bells related to clocks? Because before we had watches we could inspect, or towers clocks with hands that people could look up to see, we rang bells to inform people of the time.

Here's a video I made when on vacation in a tiny village in northeastern France, about 10 years ago. We were rudely awakened by this bell. It tolled for a long time to get everyone up out of bed.

My latest Watch and Clock Collector magazine has an article on tower bells. These are the varieties that were mentioned:
  • Carillon
  • Chimes
  • Change Ringing Bells
  • Peals
  • Clock Chimes
  • Tubular Bells
  • Great Bell

I went to a website on Change Ringing and learned this is "a team sport; a highly coordinated musical performance; an antique art; a demanding exercise that involves a group of people ringing rhythmically a set of tuned bells through a  series of changing sequences that are determined by mathematical  principles and executed according to learned patterns."

Whew! I did see the word mathematics in there though, so I thought why not tackle Bells in my blog?

Here are some change ringers pulling on their ropes.

We'll look into bells a bit more in the next few days.

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