From Academic Kids
A carillon is a keyboard percussion instrument composed of a range of bells controlled by a keyboard. Carillons are normally housed in towers and are among the largest musical instruments in the world.
Carillons originated in the 15th century in Flanders, when bell-makers perfected their art to the point where bells could be cast with an exact tone. The greatest concentration of antique carillons is still found in Belgium, the Netherlands, and the northern regions of France, Germany and Poland, where they were commonly put in place by rich market towns as tokens of civic pride and status.
They were most often housed in church towers, clock towers, or on municipal buildings, and the same holds true for those carillons that have been installed in other parts of the world since the art of casting precisely tuned bells was rediscovered in the late 19th century. In Germany, such a carillon is also called a glockenspiel.
Since each separate note is produced by an individual bell, a carillon's musical range is determined by the number of bells it has. With fewer than 23 (two octaves), the instrument is considered a chime, not a true carillon. Average instruments have ranges of around four and a half octaves (47 bells), while the largest specimens, with as many as 77, can span six octaves. In comparison, standard grand pianos can play 88 different notes.
Seated in a cabin beneath the bells, the carillonneur presses down, with a cupped hand or fist, on a series of baton-like keys arranged in the same pattern as a piano keyboard. The keys activate levers and wires that connect directly to the bells' clappers; thus, as with a piano, the carillonneur can vary the intensity of the note according to the force applied to the key. In addition to the manual keys, the heavier bells are also connected to a series of pedals, offering the carillonneur a choice of two ways of playing the lower notes.
Noted carillons can be found in the following locations:
- Guelph, Ontario: St George's Church, 1926, 23 bells.
- Hamilton, Ontario: Cathedral of Christ the King, 1933, 23 bells.
- Montreal, Quebec: The Carillon of St. Joseph's Oratory. A 56-bell carillon installed in 1956.
- Montreal, Quebec: St Joseph's Oratory, 1955-6, 56 bells.
- Niagara Falls, Ontario: Rainbow Tower, 1947, 55 bells.
- Ottawa, Ontario: The Peace Tower carillon, at the Parliament of Canada, 1927, 53 bells.
- Ottawa, Ontario: St-Jean-Baptiste Church, 1940, 47 bells, inactive.
- Simcoe, Ontario: Norfolk War Memorial, 1925, 23 bells.
- Toronto, Ontario: Hart House, Soldiers' Tower, University of Toronto, 1927, 23 bells, increased to 42 in 1952, renovated and enlarged to 51 bells in 1975.
- Toronto, Ontario: CNE Carillon, 1974, 50 bells, inactive.
- Victoria, British Columbia: The Netherlands Centennial Carillon, 1967, 49 bells, increased to 62 bells in 1971.
- Mexico City, D.F.: The Banobras Carillon. A 47-bell instrument in the world's tallest carillon tower (125 m), which is part of a Mexican government development bank office complex in the Tlatelolco neighbourhood.
- Allendale, Michigan: The 48-bell Cook Carillon at Grand Valley State University, built in 1994.
- Ames, Iowa: The Campanile at Iowa State University. Originally built with 10 bells in 1899, with 26 more added in 1920, another 13 in 1954, and one final bell in 1967, to make a total of 50 bells.
- Ann Arbor, Michigan: Charles Baird Carillon, housed in the Burton Memorial Tower at the University of Michigan. Claims to be tied for the 4th heaviest carillon in the world (43 Tons). 55 bells.  (http://www.umich.edu/~urecord/0102/Nov05_01/18.htm)
- Arlington, Virginia: The Netherlands Carillon. A 50-bell gift from the people of the Netherlands, with bells cast by all three major Dutch foundries.
- Austin, Texas: The Main Building Tower, at the University of Texas at Austin, with 56 bells.
- Berkeley, California: Berkeley Carillon in Sather Tower at University of California, Berkeley: 12 bells (a chime) installed in 1917, an additional 49 bells installed in 1978 and 1982, for a total of 61 bells.
- Bloomfield Hills, Michigan: 77 bells by Petit & Fritsen, Kirk in the Hills Presbyterian (http://www.gcna.org/data/MIBLOOK1.HTM). Kirk in the Hills Carillon is the largest Carillon in the world (in terms of number of bells).
- Chicago, Illinois, 72 bells by Gillett & Johnston in memory of Laura Celestia Spelman Rockefeller, Rockefeller Chapel, University of Chicago (http://rockefeller.uchicago.edu/carillon.html)
- College Park, Maryland: Located in University of Maryland's Memorial Chapel. Electronic carillon installed in 1952 and renovated in 2003. Maryland, My Maryland is played five before the hour followed by Westminster Chimes on the hour.
- East Lansing, Michigan: Beaumont Tower Carillon (http://www.msu.edu/user/carillon/) at Michigan State University. Tower was constructed in 1928 and originally included ten bells. Thirteen additional bells were installed in 1935; the instrument now consists of 49 bells. The tower and carillon were renovated in 1996.
- Grand Rapids, Michigan: The Beckering Family Carillon, at Grand Valley State University's Pew Campus.
- Naperville, Illinois: 72-bell Millennium Carillon (http://www.visitnaperville.com/Carillon/)
- New Haven, Connecticut: Harkness Carillon in Harkness Tower at Yale University: 10 bells (a chime) installed in 1922, and an additional 44 bells installed in 1964, for a total of 54 bells.
- New York City, 74 bells by Gillett & Johnston and Van Bergen in memory of Laura Celestia Spelman Rockefeller in Riverside Church (http://www.theriversidechurchny.org/content.asp?id=305)
- Norwood, Massachusetts: The Walter F. Tilton Carillon, in the Norwood Memorial Municipal Building. A 51-bell instrument made by Gillett & Johnston, with bells ranging in size from 6½" to 71" (16.5 to 180 cm).
- Princeton, New Jersey: The graduate college of Princeton University; 67 bells. (1927)
- Richmond, Virginia: The World War I Memorial Carillon. A 53-bell carillon tower.
- Rochester, Minnesota: 56 bells by Gillett & Johnston and Petit & Fritsen, atop the Plummer building of the Mayo Clinic.
- Valley Forge, Pennsylvania: 58 bells, by Meneely and Paccard. (http://www.washingtonmemorialchapel.org/pages/carillon.html)
- Grimbergen : 49 bells  (http://users.belgacom.net/raarssen/)
- Lommel: 63 bells in Sint-Petersbandenkerk. (http://www.lommel.be/home/?id=670)
- Mechelen: The St. Rumbolds Cathedral contains two carillons.
- Douai: carillon of 62 bells
- Pamiers: carillon (http://carillon.buglose.free.fr/pamiers.htm) of 49 bells in Cathédrale St.-Antonin, played by students of the local music school (webpage in French).
- Mafra: In royal palace (2 carillons = 114 bells)
- Oporto: Tower of Clerigos (carillon of 49 bells)
- Leiria: Tower of cathedral (carillon of 23 bells more a old game of 8 bells)
- Alverca: Church (carillon of 72 bells)
- Bournville, Birmingham: The 48 bell Bournville Carillon (http://website.lineone.net/~carillon) was built by George Cadbury for his model village.
- Loughborough: 47 bell carillon.
- Bond Street, London: Atkinson's carillon has 23 bells.
Also of note
- Frank DellaPenna, founder of Cast in Bronze (http://www.castinbronze.com), is a notable carillon performer. His 35-bell instrument is particularly rare in that it is one of the very few travelling carillons that exist in the world.
- World Carillon Federation (http://www.carillon.org/start_menu/eng_menu.html)
- Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (http://www.gcna.org/)
- Yale University Guild of Carillonneurs (http://www.yale.edu/carillon/)
- The Bournville Carillon (http://website.lineone.net/~carillon/)de:Carillon