Thomas D. Rossing
Edward R. Mansell
Phys. Dept., Northern Illinois Univ., DeKalb, IL 60115
Handbells tuned to frequencies below 100 Hz radiate inefficiently, since their fundamentals lie several octaves below the coincidence frequency for bending waves. In order to obtain a higher radiation efficiency and thereby enhance the sound of bass handbells, Malmark has created a new bell design using aluminum rather than bronze. The acoustical properties of two G[sub 1] bass handbells, one of aluminum and one of bronze, are compared. The aluminum bell radiates an enhanced fundamental, as expected, and a much stronger third harmonic as well. Both bells radiate a strong sixth harmonic, which is attributed to parametric radiation from the (3,0) mode, which is tuned to three times the fundamental frequency [T. D. Rossing and H. J. Sathoff, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 68, 1600 (1980)]. The aluminum bell not only gives an enhanced bass tone, but it is considerably lighter and easier to handle than the bronze bell.