Bell Weights and Sizes

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A 4,300 pound middle C bell sounds the note C3 (this octave notation corresponds to the full octaves of a piano keyboard A0-C7) 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 (where the carillon is tuned to A=440 Hz).

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

By Musical Pitch

The weight of large bronze bells (C4 or larger) can be roughly estimated given their musical pitch.

A bell with a pitch of A3 (strike tone of 440 Hz - Concert A) will have a weight of approximately 1,000 pounds. Approximate bell weights are halved while ascending the musical scale every four semitones, so a C#4 will have a weight of approximately 500 pounds. Bell weight approximately doubles as the strike note descends the scale every four semitones, so a bell with a pitch of F3 weighs approximately 2,000 pounds.

Approximate bell sizes:

  • G2 - 12,000 pounds (83 inches in diameter)
  • Bb2 - 7,000 pounds (71 inches in diameter)
  • C3 - 4,300 pounds (60 inches in diameter)
  • G3 - 1,300 pounds (30 inches in diameter)
  • C4 - 580 pounds (16 inches in diameter)
  • G4 - 180 pounds (20 inches in diameter)
  • D#5 - 80 pounds (13 inches in diameter)
  • G5 - 30 to 45 pounds (12 inches in diameter)
  • C6 - 18 to 30 pounds (10 inches in diameter)

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. The diameter to weight rule of thumb does not generally work for bells smaller 15 inches in diameter because of the added bronze required.

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.