Chime (bell instrument)

A chime (/ˈtʃm/) or set of chimes is a carillon-like instrument, i.e. a pitched percussion idiophone consisting of 22 or fewer cast bronze bells. Chimes are primarily played with a keyboard, but can also be played with an Ellacombe apparatus. Chimes are often automated, in the past with mechanical drums connected to clocks and in the present with electronic action. Bellfounders often did not attempt to tune chime bells to the same precision as carillon bells. Chimes are defined as specifically having fewer than 23 bells to distinguish them from the carillon. American chimes usually have one to one and a half diatonic octaves. According to a recent count, there are over 1,300 existing chimes found throughout the world. Almost all of them are located in the Netherlands and the United States, and other countries in Western Europe.

Eight-bell chime in its frame (McShane Bell Foundry, Maryland). Note that the bottom bells are static-chimes, and the top bell is also hung for swing-chiming on its own.