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Moscow Bell Centre has been acting since 1995 by His Holiness, Holy Patriarchy of Moscow and all Russia Alekseys II blessing, with the aim of preparing highly qualified bell ringers for Russian Orthodox Church. All wishing to study, primarily those recommended by temples and monasteries, are accepted. The period of studies is 3 months. The program consists of theoretical courses, as well as practical studies of church toll. An official certificate is given after finishing studies.

The peculiarities of ringing beaters

Beaters ring is our ancient tradition. Recently the temples have begun using metallic beaters in the form of flat plates.

One of such beaters dignities is their quality of sounding. The beaters are made of rolled metal, which is more intimate and solid in comparison with bells founded material. It doesnt have abscesses, micro fissures; its more constant in gage, thats why beaters sound is usually pure (without aberration and croaking) and usually lasts for 1-2 minutes (10-30 seconds for good bells, according to their weight and quality). Not all bell-ringers can get used to such long beaters sounding (melodiousness").

The other beaters peculiarity is their sound which is lower than bells' one. As it was noticed in practice, low bells tones affect the person smoother than high. Thats why it was popular to found massive bells, of hundreds and thousands poods in weight (though there was an element of prestige here).

Beaters peculiarity is also concerned in the fact that the bell-ringer can choose the most melodious place for a verberation himself, putting the wanted overtone to the first place instead of the main one, though the basic tone is counted when beating to the centre.

Despite of existing canons and rules of orthodox ring, the bell-ringer has a wide range of means to transfer beaters ring to the real art. Choosing not only the bell loft with a corresponding range of beaters, but also varying the rhythm and sound colour in a certain verberation's place, as well as frequency spectra and verberations force, changing hammers of different weight and material according to the character of ring (celebratory, funeral, etc.), you can achieve different musical expression in the orthodox ring.

Undoubtedly, with beaters spreading in Russia, Both technology of their production and technology of ringing them will be perfected. Nowadays there exist some bell-ringers, who arent inferior to bell-ringers, playing the bells, in their mastery and ring's beauty on beaters.

All the objective suppositions tell that the tradition of (wooden and metallic) beaters use will exist in orthodox ring for a long time. Besides, I want to mark that the right to use beaters as well as bells in the orthodox ring, and the impossibility to contradistinguish them, is mentioned in the unique Canon of orthodox ring, approved by Synod Liturgical Committee and established by Holy Patriarch of Moscow and entire Russia Alexey II on August 26, 2002 (see the church rings Canon of the Russian Orthodox Church).

V. Sharikov

   common questions: info@bilo.ru
   director: bells-centre@yandex.ru
   the museum: museum@bilo.ru
   work: (495) 957-27-10,
   tel/fax: (495) 438-29-53,
   mobile: (903) 768-45-65
   113035, Moscow, Raushskaya embankment, house 26/1,
   the temple in honour of Saint Nikolay in Zayaitskoe (in the bell-tower).
   It works on weekdays from 10 till 19.