|| Bells’ certification
Since 1998 by temples’ and museums' request the Bell Centre began implementing the All-Russia certification program for old and new bells to determine their technical, acoustic and artistic characteristics and their historical value.
The very first steps showed the value of the job begun. However, a lot of bell-ringers and museum employees ask us to tell the usefulness of bells’ certification in details.
Firstly, this program is concerned with church bells, which have historical value. Each from this bells should have a certificate, where it’s condition at the moment of certification and all the future changes should be marked.
Such certificate’s form has been worked out by Moscow Bell Centre specialists and contains the following sections:
1. Main characteristics: Bell’s type, its geometrical sizes, artistic decoration, weight, material, condition, sounding’s peculiarities, the data about the bell founder and bell’s owner, its historical value appreciation.
2. Bell’s photo or draft.
3. Bell’s frequency spectra for the moment of beating.
4. Frequency spectra for established main tone.
5. The diagram of sound damping at time.
6. Prophylactic and repair works.
Secondly, bells are musical percussion instruments with a self-sounding body. That’s why it’s necessary to keep the historically valuable bells correctly, limiting their mechanical wear, in order to support their working condition.
This moment is very important. As the bell ring is a special tradition in our orthodox life. All Russians should be interested in its keeping and continuation. There are hundreds of historically valuable bells in temples’, monasteries’ and museums’ care. Their exploitation requires more careful attitude than new bells’ usage. Besides, there’s a tendency among museums to pass the old bells to temples for the church ring. And what’s a shame, when you learn that historically valuable bells go out after a time or disappear forever.
What’s the use of bell’s certificate for the bell’s owner or keeper?
1. This will increase the record of existing bells, allow determining their historical value more exactly, and have exact data for bell’s search and identification in cases of thefts.
2. Having bell’s frequency spectra for the moment of verberation and established main tone, the bell-ringer can make ring’s composition more successfully, taking every bell’s sounding to consideration. He also can successfully choose a bell loft or additional bells for it.
3. The first signs of bell’s break are the changes in its sounding: the sound becomes hollow, inharmonious, trembling, sounding’s duration lessens quickly. In this case you can receive the exact data about the beginning of destruction process (even with no splits visible) only comparing its acoustic characteristics with previous measures, marked in the certificate.
4. In case of sound defect’s finding the bell is sentenced to complex defectologic inspection to determine its reparability. You can objectively appreciate the quality of repaired bells only comparing acoustic characteristics before and after the restoration.
As you see, the data, marked in bell’s certificate, carry informal character and can be very useful in process of its exploitation. Bell’s characteristics can be taken at the very place of their setting. After the official execution, bell’s certificate is passed to its owner or keeper, and kept in temple’s, monastery's or museum’s archive.