St. Petersburg, Russia

CARILLONS have been ringing out from church bell towers and civic buildings since the 14th century.

They sound different than chimes; the key distinction between the two instruments is the number of bells.


The FRIENDSHIP TOWER is unique in Western Canada. Crowning the top of its 61.4 metre (200 foot) structure is a 23 bell carillon (the least amount of bells you can have for the musical instrument), all of them were cast in the Netherlands by Petit & Fritzen.

117 cm (3.5 feet) diameter

The largest bell weighs over 900 kilograms and is tuned to the pitch of C; the smallest is 22 kg and approximately one foot in diameter.

The carillon at city hall has a range of two octaves from C3 to C5.  While it is possible to play it with an electronic midi-keyboard, typically, the melodies are computer-programmed to strike the bronze bells on the hour.

chime consists of fewer than 23 bells. There are several throughout the city.

Looking out over the river valley atop Edmonton’s neighbourhood of Strathearn, the McGivney Bell Tower chime on the campus of Neumann Theological College has 5 cast bronze bells.

The Alberta Legislature also sounds bells, but they are completely electronic and broadcast by a loudspeaker. In Ottawa, the largest carillon in the country with 53 bells is in the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill.

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