Add to favorite
 
123
Subscribe to our Newsletters Subscribe to our Newsletters Get Daily Updates RSS


Russian Tradition of Semantron, aka Slavic Flat Bells, Part 2
June 10, 2015 14:58


The late 20th century saw the revival of ancient Russian tradition of playing the semantron (aka bilo). However, the centuries old music instrument was thoroughly studied, developed and perfected. In many aspects the credit goes to the bell master and inventor Alexander Ivanovich Zhikharev. He always dreamed of creating a music instrument that sounds even more harmoniously than the bells.
After years of study he came to the conclusion that flat bells, despite their seeming simplicity, are capable to produce sounds that are equal in tone characteristics and power to traditional tulip bells and are even better in certain parameters.
Various forms of flat bells were tried and tested: square, triangle, trapeze, oval, etc. In 1988, after 12 years of purposeful search, the optimum shape was found: it was a rectangular shape of icon proportions that gave the most harmonious and pleasant sound. Therefore Alexander Ivanovich Zhikharev named his invention “the icon bilo”. Such a proportion gives a consonant chord, i.e. three same tones of various octaves. This phenomenon can be recorded with the acoustic signal analyzer or a special computer programs, whereas a person just feels the result of enchanting long sound with tremendous harmony and beauty of timbre. Actually, all bell casting masters aspired for attaining such a unique acoustic effect – the Trinity in sound as an indispensable condition of harmony, in music and acoustic, as well as spiritual sense.
For comparison – pure sound time value of the best multiton bells makes about 30 seconds, whereas “the icon bilo” sounds 4 to 5 times longer on average. No other music instrument has such canorous voice. In addition to that, the semantron sound can travel long distances without changing its frequency.
One of the facts testifying the uniqueness of the flat bells (bilo) is their use as a chiming clock in the Spasskaya Tower of the Moscow Kremlin.

The unique acoustic phenomenon of “the singing bronze” was created over 20 years ago. Until that time bronze could only “ring”, but not “sing”. As a result of this invention the ancient alarm instrument was turned into a brand new music instrument.
The birth of “the singing bronze”, in turn, made it possible to create a unique music instrument – the semantron (flat bells) belfry, which is a modal selection of tuned bronze plates fixed on a wooden frame with soft ropes. Two to three frames with bilos of various registers are usually used at the same time. The planks making a belfry are selected in a special way: each of them gives four absolutely harmonious sounds at the same time, and each of the four sounds of the following plank is totally in tune with all sounds of the previous one. All this creates an integral sound field sated with tones and overtones harmoniously interacting with each other.
By varying the rhythm and power of beats, and using hammers of various materials and weight one can get sound variations in a wide range.
Nowadays the magic music of the semantron belfry can be heard in the Kolomenskoye historical and architectural memorial estate in Moscow, some Moscow concert halls, the methodical center Drevo Roda, numerous Orthodox churches all around Russia, as well as in Belarus, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Finland, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, India and many other countries.

Read more abour russian Music Instruments...

 




Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Russian Music Russian Music Instruments Bell Ringing Semantron Bells 

Next Previous

You might also find interesting:

Yegor Letov and his Defense Cellist Valentin Berlinsky and his Perennial Borodin Quartet Zhanna Bichevskaya, "an island of eternal art in the ocean of modern music" Gudok History of Guitar in Russia









Comment on our site


RSS   twitter      submit


Music Samples

Gorodnitsky - Chistye prudy




TAGS:
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia  Wooden Architecture  contract  ski tourist route   Mikhail Bulgakov  Exhibitions in Moscow  Hermitage Museum  Mammoths  Olympic Games 2012  Tyumen  Russian artists  Russian business  Vladimir  History Exhibitions  Russian National Football Team   Spacecrafts  Teriberka  buy Russian designers  Republican Ecological Regional Forest Museum   Russian lifestyle  St. Petersburg  Kimono  Russian science  Russian human rights activists  Russian army  Republic of Tatarstan  Russian Cinema  Chelyabinsk meteorite  LUKoil   FIFA world cup 2018 tickets  History of Russian Culture  Sergei Bondarchuk  Moscow monuments  Russian Composers  Veliky Novgorod  Russian tourism  programming  Feodor Bruni  Digital Medicines  St. Petersburg Parks   Russian scientists  Novosibirsk Monuments  Air Festival  Concerts in Moscow  Moscow  Anatoly Torkunov  Russian economy  Russian national colours  Russian government  Moscow Transportation 


Travel Blogs
Top Traveling Sites