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I figured out YouTube...
This past weekend Skitten and I went to NEFFA on Saturday and to the Arlington Street Church on Sunday. A more detailed weekend post will probably come later.

But the new thing is that I took some video on my iPhone, and learned some things in the post-process...

First, hold the phone in landscape mode, not portrait. I had to rotate all the videos I took 90 degrees so they'd be upright.

At NEFFA, my Morris side, Heartwood Morris, danced a set and I tried to video all the ones I didn't dance in. We danced Greencoats, Country Gardens, Wembley Trizzle, Vandals of Adderbury, and the Mizourka. I danced in 3 of the 5 so I only have video of Country Gardens and the Mizourka. I will upload the video of the Mizourka when I verify the spelling of the dance.

The next day, we went with Doc Kinne to the Arlington Street Church, the UU church in Boston that Doc both goes to and rings bells at. After the service, the three of us went up to the bell ringing room to see how its done. I'll post pictures later after I get them uploaded, but to get to the bell ringing room, you have to go up to the mezzanine/balcony area of the church, through a door leading behind the pipe organ, up a short step-ladder like set of steps into the entrance to the tower. There, you are faced with a steep, narrow stair which goes up to a window built into the 6-foot thick exterior stone wall (so the interior "sill" is big enough for two people to comfortably stand on. To get onto this landing, you have to duck under the second flight of stairs, which you also have to go up in order to reach the bell ringing room proper. These sets of stairs were built in the channel that used to hold the weights for the clock in the clock tower (which is now electric). While sturdy, they are steep and have handrails only on one side -- which aren't parallel to the stairs. The bell playing room itself is built on the old roof of the building. The bells themselves are two tall flights of stairs higher, the clock works a floor above that in the tower, and the cupola is a floor above that. Doc says that many able-bodied people look at the stairs and decide against climbing them.

The wonderful bit: Skitten climbed the stairs up to, and back down from, the bell ringing room with only minimal assistance (lots of time, but minimal assistance). And I've got video proof of it:

I also played the bells, but you can barely tell from the video Skitten recorded (apparently the ropes were more interesting than I was...

Doc also played the bells...

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Wow... those bells are very different from the ones that anarchist_nomad rings! Congratulations to Skitten (and to you as well!) for climbing all those stairs and ladders to get up there!

About 35 years ago, I went to apply for a job at the radio station that used to (and possibly still does) broadcast from Riverside Church in upper Manhattan. They weren't hiring technicians, but while I was there, I decided to see their famous bell tower. The first thing to see was the carillon, which is an enormous keyboard (with pedals like a pipe organ), connected by direct mechanical linkages (no power assist!) to the playable bells. There are also other bells that ring the time. I wanted to see the inside of the tower, however... not realizing until I'd started that I would have to climb a maze of stairs, ladders, rickety catwalks, and similar dubious pathways. Granted, I was a lot slimmer and fitter then... but this was the middle of July in NYC, with a temperature in the 90s and a humidity of about 90%. About a third of the way to the top, I was halfway up a ladder when the big bell right next to me started to swing. I barely had time to clutch the ladder as tightly as I could before it rang the hour... 3 o'clock, I think. After it stopped ringing, and after I'd stopped vibrating, I climbed back down and went home.

Glad your bell-tower experiences weren't anywhere near as traumatic as mine!

Russian bells, change ringing, carillon, and chimes all use different setups for playing the bells. Doc plays a Russian bells setup, Nomad rings the changes, and Cornell has a chimes setup, which has fewer bells than a carillon.

There are videos on YouTube of a Cornell Chimes concert, which I've only seen in person once. The stairs to the bell ringing room at Cornell are much easier to navigate (but many more stories) than the ones at Arlington St. Station. Of course, they hold regular concerts for the tourists.

So many different ways to play bells! Of course, "Russian bells" makes me think of "Carol Of The Bells" (which is actually Ukrainian - and based on a pre-Christian chant!). Since it's polyphonic, though, I don't think a person could actually play "Carol Of The Bells" on bells...

I bring you Carol of the Bells on carillon for 8 hands. Haven't listened to it, so I don't know how good it is.

Russian bells use ropes you pull out from the wall (as per my videos). Carillon uses a "keyboard" of levers you hit with a closed hand. Chimes (like the ones at Cornell) use levers they push down by grasping the lever handle. Change-ringing uses pull ropes you pull down.

That's not to mention hand bells...

That is an incredibly badly tuned carillon! Since a carillon is meant for playing melodies, the bells have to be tuned to produce only overtones that won't clash with each other (unlike change bells, which have very interesting overtone patterns). This set of carillon bells clashes horribly. (Have I ever mentioned that I have perfect pitch?)

I remember with pleasure (and some slight chagrin) anarchist_nomad's change-ringing workshop with handbells. I didn't find it anywhere near as easy as I'd expected (hence the chagrin), but squeektoy42 was in the handbell "choir" at Westminster Choir College, and played some pretty major gigs.

I may have to try that. Is the bit with hitting the sticks on each other ever done at full tempo? I'm not sure my martial-arts experience transfers, but it'd be fun if it did.



Different dances have different sticking, and it's done in time with the music (it is a dance, after all). The sticking is all choreographed.

This version of Country Gardens was choreographed by my team, so this is "full tempo".

Since the point of Morris dancing is to show off, the sticking is often complicated, showy, and sometimes fast. I've seen teams have a complicated sticking which they do one chorus of without music, so the synchronization of the clashes is highlighted. Similarly, it's not uncommon for a chorus to be done at double-speed, especially if it looks dangerous and difficult.

I don't knowif you've noticed.. but yahoo regfuses to play videos today... I'd like to request that I can have a copy of the video on my compouter so I can do with it whtas I wanto to do with it...
please? *tries to look highly adorable* :)

What's yahoo got to do with it? I'm not having any problem seeing them on LJ or on YouTube.

I want a copy of both videos because I can't see them nor can I do anything with them.

Wow nice! I wish I'd been there to play some bells.

Ayup. That's my Lupin Madblood haiku-battlehymn

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