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.


  • This isn't exactly right, but tintinnabulation is often used for the sound of bells.
    – ab2
    Sep 7, 2018 at 2:31
  • Often? Poe, maybe.
    – KarlG
    Sep 7, 2018 at 3:31
  • Try pealing
    – Jim
    Sep 7, 2018 at 3:37
  • All rung together they can be quite cacophonous
    – Jim
    Sep 7, 2018 at 3:38
  • Chiming of bells.
    – Alex_ander
    Sep 7, 2018 at 5:20

2 Answers 2


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.


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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