Tubular bells

Tubular bells (also known as chimes) are musical instruments in the percussion family.[1] Their sound resembles that of church bells, carillon, or a bell tower; the original tubular bells were made to duplicate the sound of church bells within an ensemble.[2] Each bell is a metal tube, 30–38 mm (1+141+12 in) in diameter, tuned by altering its length. Its standard range is C4–F5, though many professional instruments reach G5. Tubular bells are often replaced by studio chimes, which are a smaller and usually less expensive instrument. Studio chimes are similar in appearance to tubular bells, but each bell has a smaller diameter than the corresponding bell on tubular bells.

Tubular bells
Chimes/tubular bells (by Yamaha)
Percussion instrument
Other namesChimes
Classification idiophone
Hornbostel–Sachs classification111.232
(Sets of percussion tubes)
Playing range
C4–F5 standard; extended range can include C4–G5, bass F3–B3, but can vary
Builders
Deagan, Adams, Yamaha, Jenco, Premier Percussion
Adams Bass Chimes, range F3–B3

Tubular bells are sometimes struck on the top edge of the tube with a rawhide- or plastic-headed hammer. Often, a sustain pedal will be attached to allow extended ringing of the bells. They can also be bowed at the bottom of the tube to produce a very loud, very high-pitched overtone.

The tubes used provide a purer tone than solid cylindrical chimes, such as those on a mark tree.

Chimes are often found in orchestral and concert band repertoire. It rarely plays melody, instead being used most often as a color to add to the ensemble sound. It does have solos occasionally, often depicting church bells.[2]

Play 

In tubular bells, modes 4, 5, and 6 appear to determine the strike tone and have frequencies in the ratios 92:112:132, or 81:121:169, "which are close enough to the ratios 2:3:4 for the ear to consider them nearly harmonic and to use them as a basis for establishing a virtual pitch".[3] The perceived "strike pitch" is thus an octave below the fourth mode (i.e., the missing "1" in the above series).