The clapper makes the music.

If the clapper is too light, it doesn’t reach and touch the bell. If it is too heavy, it can crack the bell. If the clapper strikes the bell at too high a spot, the bell does not ring as beautifully. If it strikes it too low on the bell or is of the wrong proportions or dimensions, it again creates a danger of cracking the bell.


The complexity of a bell is often the subject of discussions. But the correct dimensions of a clapper, which is dependent on the bell form, type of headstock, type of ringing and angle of ringing, is a daunting challenge even for modern computer simulations.


The most extensive European bell research project, Probell ( which is being carried out in collaboration with Grassmayr Bell Foundry has addressed itself intensively for several years to clappers and their effects on sound quality; and the life of bells. As a consequence, Austria’s largest bell, the so-called ‘Pummerin’ has had a new clapper cast and installed by Grassmayr Bell Foundry (a clapper with 30% less weight, clapper bearings were 8% larger, see enclosure).