Bell Weights and Sizes

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A 5,000 pound middle C bell is C4 and is the largest bell of a Concert Pitch carillon. This bell has a strike tone of 262 Hz and a hum tone of 131 Hz (approximate).

Weights given are very approximate weights for carillon bells without crowns or cannon.

By Musical Pitch

The weight of large bronze bells (20 inches diameter or more) can be roughly estimated given their musical pitch.

A bell with a pitch of A4 (strike tone of 440 Hz - Concert A) will have a weight of approximately 1,000 pounds. Weights are halved when going up the musical scale four semitones, so a C#5 will have a weight of approximately 500 pounds. Weights double when going down the scale four semitones, so a bell with a pitch of F4 weighs about 2,000 pounds.

Other weights to remember are:

  • G3 - 12,000 pounds
  • Bb3 - 7,000 pounds
  • G4 - 1,400 pounds
  • C5 - 600 pounds
  • D#5 - 350 pounds
  • G5 - 200 pounds
  • C6 - 100 pounds

By Diameter

Frequency of the hum tone generally changes linearly with the diameter (at the strike point). The volume of bronze, and hence its weight will increase by a factor of the cube of the diameter. However, foundries use a thicker profile on smaller bells so that they will ring loud enough to compete with the larger bells, so these rules of thumb break down below 15 inches.

Modern (1950s to present) bells less than 10 inches in diameter are generally 18 to 30 pounds. Bells from 10 to 15 inches in diameter weigh from 30 to 75 pounds. Bells from 15 to 20 inches weigh from 75 to 150 pounds.