As I am preparing a brief text on the the Church of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios I recall this video recorded last January. This church was one of the most important churches in Flores Island in terms of its liturgical-musical practice since the early-eighteenth-century. It was a parish that comprised the nearby villages of Mosteiro and Fajã Grande which make most of the island’s west coast being called until the nineteenth century as “freguesia (or parish) of the Fajãs”.
Here we can listen to the three bells being played manually according to the ring tones that were in use during at least the twentieth century. Nowadays there is a mechanic device that rings the hours (from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.) and the calls for liturgical services. The last bellman in service in the church for most of the last century died in the early 90s and since there has not been any. We find these rare moments of traditional when the ringing mechanism is out of service.
The ringing tone is very “musical”: it starts very quiet in the higher bell, descending to the lower one the rhythm accelerating in growing in intensity until the last three ringings with the three bells simultaneously.
There is also a previous post on church bells with an insightful conference by Christopher Page on medieval church bells in England.