The bells of St. Paul's, Maryborough, Queensland are now available in Virtual Belfry. Click here for more details.
What is Virtual Belfry?
Virtual Belfry is a computer program for bellringers, featuring a choice of English-style church bells viewed from above and animated using hundreds of photographs, with an alternative rope view for practising or teaching ropesight. (See examples below.)
(You will find other short YouTube videos on various pages of this website to help explain key features of the software.)
The twelve bells featured in the program ring methods and more under your command, producing perfect striking and visual realism for your enjoyment and for demonstrating the art of change ringing to others.
The magnificant 42cwt eight of St. Peter's Cathedral, Adelaide is available as one of the sound options.
Maryborough, Queensland is another option (21cwt eight plus sharp 5th, cast at the Whitechapel foundry in 1887). Recordings of these bells were included as standard in the program in version 2.2. The experience can be completed with the addition of the images of the Maryborough bells for a small additional cost.
The original eight bell tower used in earlier versions is still available for choosing via the menus.
Another tower option tunes the bells to the harmonic minor scale and configures the speed and pitch to resemble Worcester Cathedral's unique harmonic minor ten. The hauntingly beautiful sound of well-struck caters on bells tuned in this way is further enhanced by the use of half muffles and whole-pull changes.
Select any arbitrary combination of bells (including just one);
Watch the bells (or ropes) holding up and cutting in when dodging etc.;
Practise new methods, call touches or try some call-changes;
Test your ropesight skills with a game;
Add your own methods, compositions and call-change sequences to the program's stock;
Change the speed of the ringing (the bells swing to different heights to ring at different speeds, as you'd expect);
Watch a graphical display of place notation;
Choose from different sound recordings (including a piano). This is a feature that will grow with time as more recordings are added;
Ring one of the bells yourself by using the mouse to simulate pulling the rope;