The Arvella Schuller Carillon
By Rick Breitenbecher -
The Arvella Schuller Carillon was designed and cast by the Royal Eijsbouts Bell Foundry in Aasten, The Netherlands. It consists of 52 cast bronze tuned bells (four octaves), playable with expression from a manual clavier located in the Crean Tower on the Crystal Cathedral campus. This carillon is unique in that it's bells possess a slightly different tone (a 'major third' tone), which sets them apart from other carillon bells throughout the world. The largest of the bells, or the bourdon (low C) weighs about three tons, and is roughly the size of a Volkswagen Bug. The smallest bell, weighing approximately 15 lbs is about the size of a flower pot.
Collectively, the whole carillon weighs 19 tons. The carillonneur plays pressing down with closed fists (not hitting or punching, as is commonly thought) on wooden levers, or batons. Those are connected to wires, which are attached to a large round iron clappers inside the bells. The bells are bolted stationary, and don't move -
Carillons are considered the heaviest and loudest musical instrument on earth, capable of playing louder even than a pipe organ at triple forte. Standing next to ringing carillon bells can damage a person's hearing -
The Arvella Schuller Carillon is a wonderful musical addition to Garden Grove and all of Orange County. It's beautiful music wafts throughout the church campus, and is audible in the surrounding neighborhoods. No local university has one, no local church has one, and most importantly, Disneyland doesn't have one -