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Usually in celebration of a wedding or Christmas morning? Although I know I've read a word that describes this event exactly, I can't recall where or when. I've polled some pals and gotten "jubilee tolls" and "exultation tolls" but neither of these -- forgive the pun -- ring a bell.

Thanks!

  • This isn't exactly right, but tintinnabulation is often used for the sound of bells. – ab2 MonicaNotForgotten Sep 7 '18 at 2:31
  • Often? Poe, maybe. – KarlG Sep 7 '18 at 3:31
  • Try pealing – Jim Sep 7 '18 at 3:37
  • All rung together they can be quite cacophonous – Jim Sep 7 '18 at 3:38
  • Chiming of bells. – Alex_ander Sep 7 '18 at 5:20
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If you are thinking of English-style change-ringing (where bells are rung in sequence with a small change in the sequence each time), you could call it a peal of bells. Strictly speaking, a peal lasts about three hours (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peal), but non-campanologists would understand it to mean any period of ringing. Tolling usually refers to one bell being sounded at intervals. The carillon referred to by Theresa is something different, where a machine makes the bells play a tune. Some church towers have both; a carillon linked to the clock which plays a tune mechanically at certain times of day, and the facility for ringing changes by hand.

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The "Carillon" is an musical instrument having up to four dozen bells of various sizes. The bells sound as a hymn or as a celebratory peal when they are triggered by the touch of keys on a board, similar to a piano keyboard.

The sound of the carillon is also called carillon. The name comes from French, "quatrillon". The arrangement for the bells within a church bellfry is with equal numbers facing north, south, east, and west: the four corners of the world.

Typical times to sound the carillon are at midnight as Easter begins, at Christmas, and as a newly-married couple leaves the church. Other times are to signal danger, and during a funeral, as the body leaves the church on the way to the graveyard. For funerals, the sound is more mournful than celebratory.

A similar instrument is the German Glockenspiel, literally "bell-play".

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