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Bells Quizzes, Trivia and Puzzles
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Bells Trivia

Bells Trivia Quizzes

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7 Bells quizzes and 75 Bells trivia questions.
Hells Bells
  Hells Bells   popular trivia quiz  
Photo Quiz
 10 Qns
Bells are one of mankind's oldest instruments. They have been used for religious celebrations, as an alarm, and simply to make music. Let's see what you know about this wonderful percussion instrument.
Average, 10 Qns, dcpddc478, Mar 02 24
Mar 02 24
849 plays
  Bells and Bellringing    
Multiple Choice
 15 Qns
One of my interests is church bellringing, and as there isn't yet a specific quiz about it on this site, I thought I'd do one. Even if you are not a ringer, please have a go and maybe learn a thing or two about this fascinating activity.
Tough, 15 Qns, stedman, Dec 02 07
stedman editor
675 plays
  Peal, Ring and Chime   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Bells in many forms have become a part of both classical and popular music. Can you identify these instruments that all either are, contain or resemble bells?
Average, 10 Qns, WesleyCrusher, Jul 19 12
WesleyCrusher editor
194 plays
  A 200-Ton Instrument: The Carillon   top quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
The heaviest of all instruments, the carillon has a distinguished history spanning nearly nine centuries. These general questions pay tribute to this remarkable instrument.
Average, 10 Qns, Gheelnory, Dec 02 07
Gheelnory gold member
289 plays
  Can You Ever Have Too Much Cowbell?    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
I think the humble cowbell can really make a song special. All the questions are about songs which make use of this wonderful percussion instrument.
Tough, 10 Qns, thula2, Feb 14 16
149 plays
  The Prescription is Cowbell!    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
This quiz is dedicated to the most underrated instrument in music--the cowbell! I will name a great band or solo artist and four of their songs, and you will try to identify the only one which features cowbell. Have YOU got the fever?
Difficult, 10 Qns, stuthehistoryguy, Mar 08 09
stuthehistoryguy gold member
324 plays
  Ring My Bell    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Test your knowledge of English Handbell terminology and lore...who knows, you might decide to give these unique instruments a try and make some beautiful music!
Tough, 10 Qns, belle_a_cello, Dec 02 07
290 plays
trivia question Quick Question
Modern handbells made by bell foundries such as Schulmerich, Malmark and White Chapel are cast of a bronze alloy comprised of:

From Quiz "Ring My Bell"

Bells Trivia Questions

1. A carillon is a musical instrument composed of at least 23 cup-shaped bells. If fewer than 23 bells are present, the resulting instrument is called a:

From Quiz
A 200-Ton Instrument: The Carillon

Answer: chime

A further definitional requirement, as codified by the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA), is that the bells be "arranged in chromatic series and played from a keyboard permitting control of expression through variation of touch..." These clauses prevent any mere collection of 23 bells from being called "a carillon".

2. English handbells were originally brought to America in the mid-1800s by:

From Quiz Ring My Bell

Answer: P. T. Barnum

Barnum discovered handbells and ringers in Wales. He dressed the ringers in Swiss costumes (to further his sales pitch) and booked them on an American tour, ca. 1840s. Some people still think that handbells are Swiss...a tribute to the legacy of a powerful salesman and showman. Barnum also promoted soprano Jenny Lind. Annie Oakley belongs to the legacy of the Wild West Show and Franz Liszt was a 19th century phenomenon in his own right. The Liszt craze was known as Lisztomania and to my knowledge received no help from P. T.

3. What is the technical term for "the art and science of ringing bells using rope and wheel"?

From Quiz Bells and Bellringing

Answer: Campanology

Most ringers don't actually use the word: they just call it bellringing!

4. Motley Crüe's 1981 debut album features copious amounts of cowbell on songs like "Live Wire", "Come on and Dance", "Public Enemy #1", "Starry Eyes", and the title track. What's the title of the album?

From Quiz Can You Ever Have Too Much Cowbell?

Answer: Too Fast For Love

I've never come across an album with as much cowbell on as "Too Fast For Love". In fact, it comes close to having too much cowbell, but not quite. I wonder if Tommy Lee had just bought one the day they started recording? It's a fantastic debut and one of my favourite albums of the era, not only for the cowbell but also the raw sound and artless songs. The three red herrings are all 1981 debut albums: "Welcome to Hell" is English metal pioneers Venom's statement of intent. "A New Form of Beauty" is actually a collection of singles released by Irish avant-garde pop group Virgin Prunes. The singles were apparently meant to make up a whole project called "A New Form of Beauty". "In the Garden" is Eurythmics' debut album.

5. The carillon is played from a keyboard; the player uses fists and feet to sound the bells. This player is most commonly known by what name?

From Quiz A 200-Ton Instrument: The Carillon

Answer: Carillonneur or carillonist

The term "carillonneur", derived from the French language, is preferred not only by European players but by many North American players, as shown by the name of the best-known players' association, the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America.

6. The English handbell evolved as an instrument to be used for practicing:

From Quiz Ring My Bell

Answer: change ringing of tower bells

In 17th century England, change ringing (mathematical formulae of bell tones...i.e. Westminster Chimes heard in your clock or your doorbell) was performed by ringers playing the tower bells in the church belfries. Drawbacks to change ringing rehearsals included cold, drafty belfries in which to rehearse and annoyed townspeople who didn't like all the noise. So a portable (and quieter) alternative evolved in the form of the tuned handbell. Many pubs in 17th, 18th and 19th century England had sets of handbells available so that the change ringers could sit by the fire, purchase a pint or two apiece, and practice their changes. Eventually the melodic potential for the handbell was realized and non-change music was developed for the instruments.

7. What girl's name is also commonly given to the woollen furry section of a bellrope?

From Quiz Bells and Bellringing

Answer: Sally

No-one really knows why it is called that. There are other, local terms for it; one I have occasionally heard is "tuffin".

8. "The Hook" from Stephen Malkmus's eponymous debut solo album uses the cowbell alongside other wonderful percussion instruments. Prior to going solo, which American group, also heavy cowbell users, was Malkmus a member of?

From Quiz Can You Ever Have Too Much Cowbell?

Answer: Pavement

There's quite a lot of interesting sounds going on "The Hook" although the basic song is very straightforward. The cowbell really makes it though. Malkmus was a founding member of Pavement and played on all their stuff until they broke up in 1999. Pavement were quite adventurous as far as percussion goes and even had a member, Bob Nastanovich, whose main role originally was to help the wayward drummer in time. The Fall's frontman Mark E. Smith has been rather rude about Pavement on several occasions. His main gripe seems to be the allegation that Pavement were just Fall-wannabes. The Fall also dabbled in the art of the cowbell, a great example being on "Mere Pseud Mag. Ed" from the fantastic album "Hex Enduction Hour".

9. The carillon originated in the twelfth century, in the Low Countries; the creators sought a way to use bells to accomplish what goal?

From Quiz A 200-Ton Instrument: The Carillon

Answer: Make concordant harmonies

In Europe, single bells had long been used to call the populace to church services; it was natural that as the art of casting bells improved, the use of multiple bells of differing pitch would become a sign of increasing wealth and prestige, as well as of a cultural taste for more musical sophistication.

10. Modern handbells made by bell foundries such as Schulmerich, Malmark and White Chapel are cast of a bronze alloy comprised of:

From Quiz Ring My Bell

Answer: copper and tin

The alloy for Schulmerich and Malmark bells (American) is 80% copper and 20% tin. Whitechapel handbells (English) also have zinc in the alloy. Other famous bells made by the Whitechapel foundry include Big Ben, the Liberty Bell, the bells of Westminster Abbey and "The Clock Bells" of London's St. Paul's Cathedral.

11. What is the name for changes rung on twelve working bells?

From Quiz Bells and Bellringing

Answer: Maximus

Royal is rung on ten bells, Major on eight, and Minor on six.

12. A cowbell introduces the song "Rawhide", which opens Scott Walker's only album released in the 1980s. What's the name of this 1984 masterpiece?

From Quiz Can You Ever Have Too Much Cowbell?

Answer: Climate of Hunter

In 1984, Scott Walker was forty years old. He had found fame with The Walker Brothers in the 1960s, then embarked on a fascinating but erratic solo career, reformed The Walker Brothers and disbanded them again, and disappeared almost completely off the radar. His next move was to set the standard by which his future career would be judged. In fact, he'd already laid down the avant-garde gauntlet on the last Walker Brothers album, "Nite Flights", but this was the start of something very, very different from the mawkish stuff he'd ended up doing in the 1970s. The cowbell introduction to "Rawhide" is an apt beginning to a groundbreaking album. About the red herrings, which were all released in 1984: "Grace Under Pressure" is Rush's tenth studio album and saw the band experimenting with new sounds. "Defenders of the Faith" is Judas Priest's ninth album and the end of an era as on their next outing, "Turbo", they would experiment with new sounds too. "Make It Big" was Wham!'s second album and one of the year's top-sellers.

13. Crucial to the development of the carillon was the discovery of a method of reliably doing what?

From Quiz A 200-Ton Instrument: The Carillon

Answer: Casting bells that were tuned to particular pitches

The history of bell-casting is long and intricate; many advances made over the centuries were lost when the craftsmen responsible for new tuning methods died. Bell-casting techniques were commonly kept secret by these craftsmen. It was not until the nineteenth century that well-tuned bells (and the knowledge of how to create them) became widely available.

14. Handbells are tuned and voiced as part of the casting process. The optimum strike point is found on the __________ of the bell.

From Quiz Ring My Bell

Answer: waist

The waist of the bell is found just below the lip (open edge) where the bell begins to flare. A small jeweler's mark etched on the inside of the bell casting indicates the optimum strike point of the clapper for the best sound. The fundamental and the 12th overtone are the only partials of the bell tone which are tuned into the casting. The composition of the alloy and the special tuning gives the instrument it's unique timbre.

15. And what is the name for changes rung on seven working bells?

From Quiz Bells and Bellringing

Answer: Triples

In so-called "odd-bell" methods, the heaviest bell, or tenor, rings at the end of the row throughout. Doubles is rung with five working bells, caters with nine and cinques with eleven.

16. "Mississippi Queen" by Mountain must be one of the most easily recognizable cowbell songs in popular music. The band's drummer played it on the original recording included on the group's debut album "Climbing!" (1970), but what's his name?

From Quiz Can You Ever Have Too Much Cowbell?

Answer: Corky Laing

According to legend, Corky Laing's cowbell intro wasn't supposed to be in the song at all but bassist Felix Pappalardi, who was also the band's producer, decided to leave it in, thus making cowbell history. When Mountain broke up due to Pappalardi's drug problems, Mountain guitarist/singer Leslie West and Corky Laing hooked up with ex-Cream bassist Jack Bruce as the unimaginatively named West, Bruce and Laing for two studio albums. Mike D of the Beastie Boys sampled "Mississippi Queen" on the track "Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun" from the album "Paul's Boutique" (1989).

17. This technique is achieved by laterally striking the bell on the padded table. A light touch is required in order to attain the unique sound and not damage the bell.

From Quiz Ring My Bell

Answer: martellato

The basic martellato strike has a totally damped sound after the intitial strike. Variations on the martellato technique include the martellato lift or mart-lift. The martellato lift continues to ring (vibrate) after the initial strike because the ringer lifts the bell off the padded table. Be sure to strike only the padded surface of the table!

18. In a ring of bells, what is the name given to the bell with the highest note?

From Quiz Bells and Bellringing

Answer: treble

The treble is usually - but not always - the lightest bell, while the tenor, with the lowest note, is the heaviest.

19. Another instrument using metal plates to produce a bell-like sound is the celesta. It is unique among bell-like percussion instruments in the way it is played. Which instrument does it most resemble in shape and play technique?

From Quiz Peal, Ring and Chime

Answer: An upright piano

A celesta (also spelled celeste) is built like a piano with a standard keyboard triggering hammers which in turn then strike the metal plates. Due to the plates being housed in an enclosure and the hammers having soft felt heads (like those of a piano), the resulting sound is softer than that of a glockenspiel. The celesta is most famously heard on the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" ballet and in John Williams' scores for the first two "Harry Potter" movies.

20. A carillon's musical range is determined by the number of bells it contains. The range of a standard piano is 88 notes; a carillon having a range of at least 47 bells (notes) is called what?

From Quiz A 200-Ton Instrument: The Carillon

Answer: A concert carillon

The 47-bell size is generally considered to be the world standard (unofficially); this is important to composers of carillon music, as naturally they want to produce pieces that can be played on as many instruments as possible.

21. This handbell technique is used to approximate the undamped sound one hears in tower bell ringing.

From Quiz Ring My Bell

Answer: laissez vibrer

Laissez vibrer means to let the bell continue to vibrate after ringing. Normal procedure is to ring the bell for only the note value indicated (quarter note, half note, etc.) and then damp or stop the sound. A laissez vibrer marking suspends the normal rules of damping until further notice. Tower bells are rung "laissez vibrer" because of the safety factor. Pity the poor ringer who tries to damp one of those monsters!

22. To the nearest hundredweight, how heavy is the tenor at Liverpool Cathedral?

From Quiz Bells and Bellringing

Answer: 82

The weight of a church bell is commonly expressed in terms of hundredweight, quarters and pounds. At the time of writing (August 2002), Liverpool has the heaviest ring of bells in the world, and this is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

23. One of my favourite heavy metal tracks which makes good use of the cowbell is "Megalomania". It was on the British band's sixth album, released in 1975. What's the name of the band?

From Quiz Can You Ever Have Too Much Cowbell?

Answer: Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath's sound can be so overwhelmingly heavy that I'm not sure if Bill Ward used much cowbell or not. He certainly did on "Megalomania" and all Sabs fans just wait with bated breath for the moment it kicks in to signal a change of pace. It's one of those special moments you look forward to in a song you know inside out. Of all the choices only the Sabs formed in England. Accept, who aren't averse to a bit of cowbell, formed in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, in 1976. A fantastic low-key use of cowbell can be found on the track is "Don't Go Stealing My Soul Away" from 1982. Long Island tarts Twisted Sister brought the cowbell back to the fore with their hit "We're Not Gonna Take It" in 1984. Californian rockers Van Halen's 1979 hot song "Dance the Night Away" also sports a nice bit of cowbell.

24. Back to regular bells: Tuned cowbells have also made their way to the classical orchestra, used especially by romantic era composers. Which composer particularly emphasized this instrument in his "Alpine Symphony"?

From Quiz Peal, Ring and Chime

Answer: Richard Strauss

In spite of being called a symphony, this work is actually a tone poem without defined movements. Instead, it consists of twenty-two sections together describing a mountain hike in the Alps. The iconic cowbells are just one of several evocative instruments in this work that also calls for theatrical wind and thunder machines as well as a large orchestra (the brass section alone has 32 players), a celesta and an organ. Most sets of tuned cowbells for orchestral use do not have clappers but are typically mounted in xylophone fashion and played by striking with sticks, allowing for a wider dynamic and tonal expression than the standard hand-ringing.

25. The weight of a carillon is the total weight of its component bells. The largest carillon bell at the turn of the Millennium was in New York's Riverside Church; its weight and diameter were about:

From Quiz A 200-Ton Instrument: The Carillon

Answer: 20 tons and 10 feet

The Riverside carillon is not only distinguished by having the largest carillon bell, but by being one of the largest carillons by bell-count (74) in the world. It was paid for by the wealthy Rockefeller family.

26. This technique is used primarily in the higher treble bells and is closely related to 4 in-hand ringing.

From Quiz Ring My Bell

Answer: shelley ringing

In 1976, a young high school bell ringer named Shelley Weaver was having a difficult time making the bell changes required of her assignment in a piece of music. She put two bells together in one hand and voila, problem solved. The other ringers began talking about "shelley-ing" the bells when they needed to use the same technique and the art of shelley ringing was born. To execute a shelly ring, two bells are picked up so that the clappers of both are facing forward. When the ringer rings them, both bells sound simultaneously. In 4 in-hand ringing, one bell is rolled so that the clappers face different directions. This enables the ringer to ring the bells separately while holding both in one hand.

27. In what year was the first recorded true peal of more than 5000 changes rung?

From Quiz Bells and Bellringing

Answer: 1715

Rung at St Peter Mancroft, Norwich. Some earlier attempts had used false compositions, in which changes were repeated.

28. Cowbell classic "The Beast" is on this London group's eponymous debut album from 1978 which also featured the much more widely-known "Another Girl, Another Planet". What's the name of the group?

From Quiz Can You Ever Have Too Much Cowbell?

Answer: The Only Ones

How The Only Ones aren't better known than they actually are is a mystery of popular music. Their debut album should have been a classic, and "The Beast" should be on everybody's list of favourite cowbell songs. Of the red herrings, both UFO and Status Quo were formed in London. "Let It Roll" from "Force It" is my favourite UFO cowbell song, and "I'm Giving Up My Worryin'" from the mighty Quo's 1978 album "If You Can't Stand the Heat..." is a great example of old-fashioned cowbell. In 1987 Guns N' Roses went straight into the cowbell hall of fame with "Night Train" from their debut album "Appetite For Destruction".

29. Technically, handbells are considered to be "transposed instruments" (the written notation is indicated at a different place on the staff from where they actually sound). In which key are handbells notated?

From Quiz Ring My Bell

Answer: concert C, an octave lower

Although notated in the key of C, concert pitch, handbells are written one octave below where they actually sound. In handbell notation, notated middle C (called C5) is heard as the C an 8ve above middle C. Regardless of notation idioms, handbells are beautiful when heard alone or in combination with other instruments.

30. And what method was rung for the peal in question seven?

From Quiz Bells and Bellringing

Answer: Plain Bob Triples

Grandsire Triples was not rung to a peal until three years later, in 1718, also at St Peter Mancroft. Double Norwich was first pealed at another Norwich tower, St Michael & All Angels, Coslany, in 1741. Cambridge was not pealed until 1873, at Benington in Hertfordshire, owing to the difficulty in getting a true composition.

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Last Updated Apr 13 2024 5:49 AM
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