Bell Ringing Components

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Mechanical Components


The bell itself is the resonant portion of the system that provides a musical tone when struck. The General Campanology page provides a list of additional pages for further study into the physics of bells.


We use the term striker to describe an element with an arm and head that excites a percussive instrument to resonate when they come into contact with a blow of some force. Actuation of the striker, regulation of the force and mass of the head for various purposes are described below.

Hand held mallet

Used to play orchestral bells, gongs and metallophones, these mallets consist of sticks with heads of relatively soft materials.

Internal clapper

We refer to any striker that is mounted inside the bell as a clapper.

For free swinging bells, the clapper is usually mounted to a hinge near the top center of the bell, aligned with the swinging axis of the bell so that it can strike the bell both fore and aft.

For stationary bells, the clapper is typically supported close to one ideal strike point

External hammer

External ram


Swinging Bell

A swinging bell


A swinging bell is typically gimbal mounted to a headstock

Stationary Bell

Actuation System

Electrical Components



Power switching