On the subject of bells, AEI Perego can boast centuries of experience through our collaboration with Fonderia Barigozzi, managed by the heirs to a long dynasty of founders. Experience of fundamental importance because assembling and harmonizing a concert of bells is no easy task. Today A.E.I. Perego has a large variety of silhouettes of properties for the casting of bells and is able to faithfully reproduce, through the use of 3D SCANNER, the shapes of historical foundries, such as those of Foundry Pruneri Grosio, as well as obviously those of Foundry Barigozzi.

The note emitted by each bell depends on its shape, size and weight. The larger and heavier the bell, the lower the note it produces. Along with this fundamental note, a bell also emits a system of harmonics, which is to say vibrations of a lower or higher value than the base note.

The system of harmonics is linked to the different diameters along the body of the bell, while the base note is that produced at the height of the maximum diameter. The broader the extension and assonance of the harmonics, the better the quality of the bell. A concert of bells is organized following the natural scale and is formed, at a minimum, by three bells.

A concert of five bells is the most widespread average in northern Italy, while in the south of Italy, local tradition prefers concerts of three or four. A concert is generally defined based on the note of the largest bell (in some areas, however, it is defined based on the note of the smallest). A concert of 5 bells in Eb would, therefore, be formed as in this example:

Concert of 5 Bells in Eb
Concert 1st bell 2nd bell 3rd bell 4th bell 5th bell
Note Eb F G Ab Bb
Diameter in mm. 1220 1080 960 903 802
Weight in Kg. 1020 715 510 430 310

A concert of 8 bells, which would, thus, cover the entire musical scale, can, on the other hand, be constructed as follows:

Concert of 8 Bells in Db Low, Total Useful Bronze 4,910 Kg.
Concert 1st bell 2nd bell 3rd bell 4th bell 5th bell 6th bell 7th bell 8th bell
Note Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db
Diameter in mm. 1340 1200 1070 1010 905 800 715 670
Weight in Kg. 1435 1020 715 605 430 310 215


There are also concerts of more than 8 bells: there are a great many combinations. A concert of 12 bells (which, thus, consists of all the notes of the chromatic scale, including the flats and sharps) can be considered a complete concert, on the level of a carillon, but there are some even bigger. AEI Perego supplies and installs new bells, isolated or in concert, and is, therefore, also specialized in the addition of new bells to already existing concerts; this latter being an operation that requires great precision and experience because each foundry uses different standards and, in addition, bells can end up tuned high or low within a concert created from a single casting because of manufacturing imperfections. It is, therefore, very difficult to add a new bell to an existing concert: in fact, you risk irredeemably negative results due to incompetence. Below, we show an example of a concert of 8 bells at the limits of musical coherence based on the base note of Bb low. At some points of the musical scale, the differences between the real and theoretical scales are so wide as to produce a clashing effect that is excruciating for anyone’s ear.


Concert of 8 Bells in Db Low Irregular
Concert 1st bell 2nd bell 3rd bell 4th bell 5th bell 6th bell 7th bell 8th bell
Note Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db
Atonality Rising 3/16 Rising 3/16 Rising 1/16 Rising 2/16 Exact Rising 2/16 Rising 2/16 Rising. 2/16
Diameter in mm. 1340 1200 1070 1010 905 800 715 670
Weight in Kg. 1435 1020 715 605 430 310 215 180
Foundry Ottolina Ottolina Filippi Ottolina Ottolina Crespi Crespi Crespi
Year 1896 1907 1964 1923 1923 1861 1867 1861

When we have to replace or add a bell in an already existing concert, the experts at AEI Perego follow a very rigorous and well-tested procedure. First of all, a tuning fork is used to detect the notes produced by all the other bells in the concert and then the bell to be replaced is cast in a shape as similar as possible to the original; in addition, through a preliminary chemical analysis, the bronze to be used in the casting of the new bell is adjusted to the characteristics of the concert. AEI Perego is capable of producing and installing concerts of bells equipped for running, semi-balanced or balanced swinging for all the sounds of the local traditions throughout Italy (Bolognese, Ambrosian, Lucchese, Veronese, etc.).

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