"Chime Songs"

Bells of the keyboard, the chime fad.

Just as there are fads in every other social venue such as the famed hula hoop, the pet rock and sea monkeys, music and the arts also go through fads. Some are lasting most are not. All are fun when they occur, most wear thin and are soon forgotten.

This month we feature one of the musical crazes that took place in the early 20th century, the chime song. Around 1910, there seemed to be a search for the perfect chime sound on the piano. There was at least one early work that explored this idea produced by a publishing house company pianist; Roper's Chimes in 1911. From that start a flood of works followed in 1912-1914 with a few still appearing as late as 1917. It seems by 1918, the phenomenon was virtually spent, perhaps as you will see, none too soon. In fact, these works become so repetitive and wearisome, I'll be surprised if you can stand to listen to them all this month! I would say that some of these songs are as fascinating as a barrel of seamonkys. The chime effect used in these songs is one that adds a great deal to a musical work; when used judiciously. As a result, the effect has been used over the years to add interest to pieces of music. Perhaps the most famous work using a chime effect is the 1922 hit song, Three O'clock In The Morning (MIDI version).

A few, very few of the songs had lyrics so this month is mostly piano solo works. Of the fourteen works presented to you this month, only four have lyrics. The remainder of the works are reveries that attempt to replicate the sound of church bells or carillon bells. Join us this month for a look and listen at one of the more obscure and odd musical fads from the past.


As with most of our features, this month's is covered on two separate pages to speed your downloads and to avoid a mile-long page. Be sure to see them BOTH to fully enjoy all of this month's music!

Go To Page One Of This Month's Feature

Works on Page One
Beautiful Star of Heaven, 1905
Roper's Piano Chimes, No. 1
, 1911
Trinity Chimes, 1911
Merry Wedding Bells, 1912
Cathedral Chimes, 1913
Bells of Trinity
, 1913
Chapel Chimes
, 1913

Go To Page Two Of This Month's Feature

Works on Page Two
Celestial Chimes, 1913
Chimes at Twilight, 1913
When The Angelus Is Ringing, 1914
Rose Dreams, 1914
Twilight Chimes, 1917
Twilight Time
, 1917
The Bells Of St. Mary's, 1917

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