CANBERRA - A : AUSTRALIA

   The National Carillon

*Location:

   Aspen Island
   Lake Burley Griffin
   near Kings Avenue bridge
   Canberra,
     National Capitol Territory, Australia
   LL: S 35.29848, E 149.14172
Site locator map
City locator maps and gazetteer page

*Carillonist:

   Lyn Fuller
   54 Tempe Crescent
   Googong,
     via Queanbeyan NSW, 2620
   E: fulfam@aapt.net.au
   - and -
   Joan Chia
   - and -
   Nathan Ward
   E: nathan.ward/@/natcap.gov DOTau
*Past Carillonneurs:
   Members of Carillon Concert
     Presentations
   19??-91 John D. Gordon   (d.1991)
   19??-?? George Howe, deputy   (A)

*Contact:

   (unknown)

*Schedule:

   Sep-May:
     recitals 1230-1320 on Mon/Wed/Fri/Sun
       and public holidays,
     tower tours from 1230 Tu/Th, 1130 Sat;
   + Dec/Jan/Feb Tue.1930-2030 concerts;
   Jun-Aug:
     recitals 1230-1320 on Wed/Sun
       and public holidays,
     tower tours from 1130 Sat

*Remarks:

   Original bells cast in 1969; pedalboard
   had dummy bass G# footrest.
   Was the largest carillon in southern
   hemisphere until Wellington expansion.
   Totally rebuilt in 1986 by Olympic;
   additional work in 1992 and 1998
   before 2003 enlargement; original
   practice clavier retained.
   Most of the old trebles are now in
   PERTH - SC/3.
   Major rebuilding in 2019-20 included
   new radial top frame, new playing and
   practice keyboards (with space for up
   to 6 additional trebles), & G# bass
   semitone.

*Technical data:

   Traditional carillon of 56 bells
   Pitch of heaviest bell is F# in the bass octave
   Transposition is nil (concert pitch)
   Keyboard range:     F#D   /    F#C 31
   There are no missing bass semitones
   There is an identical practice console
   The instrument was enlarged in 2020
     with  1 bells made by Taylor      
   Prior history:
     In 2003, the instrument was enlarged to 55 bells
       by Taylor      
       (30 bells were added in and/or remain from that work.)
     In 1970, the instrument was begun with 53 bells
       with bells made by Taylor      
       (25 bells remain from that work.)
   Auxiliary mechanisms: EIQ   
   Tower details not available
   Year of latest technical information source is 2020
Additional information on the technical history of this instrument can be found in a database printout.
*Links:

An undated article from Taylor, seen Feb'20 but probably originally from early 2019, is about the casting of a new bass semitone bell for Canberra; after tuning to weigh more than 5 tons.  Updates to the article include a photo of the finished bell, dated 2020 and described as the heaviest bell cast in Britain in 25 years.  There is a very long gallery of photos.
A parallel article describes the whole project.
With an extensive photo gallery including not only some of the current work but also historic photos of the original bells at the foundry; the chap with the pipe is the late Paul Taylor.
Photo of the outer bell case
Photo of the outer bell case at an early stage of preparation
Photo of the new bell in the foundry, before shipment.
Photo of the new bell at Canberra, on the ground before being hoisted into the tower

Photo of a new clavier in the shop; it's not clear whether this is the playing keyboard or the practice keyboard.

News article (Aug'19) on forthcoming closure of Canberra carillon for 7 months, to add "a G bell weighing more than 5 tonne and an almost miniature D bell, in time for the carillon's 50th anniversary in April."  With photos of the tower and playing room.

The National Capital Authority page about the carillon has a detailed description of the tower.  The tallest of the three angular columns of the structure contains a passenger elevator, while the next contains a steel stairway.

The Canberra government has a page about the carillon as a tourist attraction (with recital schedules and photos).  Another page tells what the carillon is.

The former playing keyboard is on display in the Canberra Centre, with added sensors and sound generator to mimic the carillon; with photo of keys.

Historic photos related to the carillon:

The Wikipedia article on this carillon has several photos.

A White Hat photo of the tower

A Google Earth streetview allows viewing the tower from many points along Wendouree Drive.

Where the initial phase of this work lies in the sequence of output of the Taylor bellfoundry, in this region and in the world.
Where the second phase of this work lies in the sequence of output of the Taylor bellfoundry, in this region and in the world.
Where the final phase of this work lies in the sequence of output of the Taylor bellfoundry, in this region and in the world.

Ranking among all Asian & Pacific Rim traditional carillons by pitch (weight).
Ranking among all Asian & Pacific Rim traditional carillons by size (number of bells).
Ranking among all Asian & Pacific Rim traditional carillons by year of completion.

Where the bass bell of this carillon ranks among all great bells in the Pacific Rim region.
Where the second bell of this carillon ranks among all great bells in the Pacific Rim region.

Index to all traditional carillons in Australia.

Index to all tower bell instruments in Australia.

*Status:
   This page was built from the database on 19-Aug-20
   based on textual data last updated on 2020/08/15
   and on technical data last updated on 2020/02/29
*Photos:

(none available)

Explanations of page format and keyboard range are available.

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