Instruments | Bells | Medieval Era | Classical
The bell may have been the instrument most widely and frequently heard in the European Middle Ages. Handbells had survived into the medieval period from antiquity; in addition, large bells were hung in church towers. Their loud sound was believed to keep away demons, so they may have offset the fear of churchyards. Bells were made of bronze; the small ones were sounded by being shaken, the large ones swung by means of ropes. Though they are not usually struck directly, bells are classified as tuned percussion instruments: a loose clapper or ‘tongue’ inside the hollow dome of the bell strikes at its sides.
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