Fifty members of the Guild of
Carillonneurs in North America were in Nashville last week to see our
city’s bounty of these remarkable musical instruments.
(We’ve got three of them, including this one at Belmont.) OK, so it’s
not exactly Fan Fair. What makes a person become an expert at playing
an instrument that must be housed in a bell tower? It’s got levers and
foot pedals and anywhere from 23 to more than 100 bells, some weighing
as much as 20 tons. “Hey Bob, bring over your carillon. We’re gonna
jam.” That has never been said. Ever. And it’s not just a portability
issue. Nobody wants to hear The White Stripes’ latest hit played on 95
bells. Well, we know someone who recalls hearing “She’s Always a Woman”
while walking across campus at Yale once, and she was mildly amused.
Today, the response would almost certainly be a jaded, “You need more