The mold is generally made from a heat-resistant, flexible and porous material. The mix used includes different ratios of clay, goat hair and horse manure.

Melting and Pouring

Liquefied bronze founded at is then poured into the mold. The ideal proportion for the bronze alloy is of

Covering of the Mold and Decorations

The second phase consists of covering the mold with cow fat and adding the friezes and decorations, which are previously made of wax.


Bell tolls have marked the life of Brazilian cities for the past three hundred years with a rhythmic cadence embedded

At a time when tons of gold were shipped back to Portugal, slave labor extracted mineral resources metals from the earth and added new touches to the Catholic tradition of the Old World.

The results of this mix were heard on the Brazilian church bells and eco to this day. It can also be felt in the voice of the bell-ringers who ensure the continuity of this


Approximately were shipped to Portugal from the state of Minas Gerais in the eighteenth century.

One million people had recently settled the area, having sought the rivers, sieving alluvial gold, or digging the earth, Most of these people were slaves – it is worth recalling that only 3% of the workforce then was free.

If the gold-mining cycle has long been left behind, it is iron that currently blows wind onto the local economy’s sails. Over back such statement.


The bell foundry technique has been subject to very few changes since the seventh century, which has also been the case of the centenary composition of ideal bronze for improved sound. Below is further information on

Cooling, Brushing and Polishing

The bronze is then allowed to cool down, which may take up to After such period, the mold is either brushed away or broken down, and the bronze is polished.


In essence, the bell is comprised of four parts:


part that connects the body of the bell itself to the axis onto which it is clamped.

Waste (or body)

large bronze piece in obconical shape that causes the sound to reverberate. The ratio between size and height, width and size of the mouth determine the bell’s tuning.


percussive element that is a metal rod that hits against the walls of the bell, generating sound. The clapper is generally strapped with sisal or leather.


wooden structure to which the crown is connected. This part may include a lead insertion, to counterbalance the bell toll.


Each bell is different from the other. The metal alloys used, size and shape causes each bell to have a unique vibration.

Sound waves circulate in the space of the body at different speeds and proportions, reverberating different tones in each of the areas of sound influence obtained from the chime.

The set of chimes also overlap, thereby creating more complex sounds.

Source: Sentinelas sonoras | André Guilherme Dornelles Dangelo, Vanessa Borges Brasileiro.


Bells have five main harmonics; the more balanced the intervals, the most tuned is the bell.

When the clapper hits the bell, all harmonics resonate together. Because they have different behaviors resulting from different diameters within the bell, the harmonics do not stop resonating, creating a set of sound rings coordinately vibrating on their own frequency, generating a tone and sound.

Source: Sentinelas sonoras | André Guilherme Dornelles Dangelo, Vanessa Borges Brasileiro.

Rings and Tolls

Bell tolls defined the rhythm of cities and towns for many years.

Communication between bell towers and the town dwellers was based on the number of

Many of these rings have been lost. Birth announcements are no longer made, as is also the case of the death of any churchgoers. There are nevertheless certain tolls that persistently remain, especially for mass calls and to celebrate processions and important religious festivities. Below are the differences between tolls and their different meanings.

Mass Call

Small bell is rung with subsequent hits 30 and 15 minutes before the time scheduled for each celebration. At the end of each entry toll, spaced-out hits indicate who will celebrate the mass, so that the community knows whether the local vicar, the bishop or archbishop will celebrate the mass, etc.


9 rings at 6 p.m., everyday.

Holy Week

No bells are rung on Holy Thursday after the Gloria of the Mass and up to the Gloria of Resurrection, on Saturday, irrespective of reason. Bells are rung at all churches on Resurrection (festive tolls).


Alarm – hits on the big bell, followed by the medium bell. Rings are fast with small intervals.


Men – three tolls of 1 clapper hit. Women – two tolls of 1 clapper hit. Children - (under 7 years old), festive ring at the time of the funeral. If the person provided great services to the church, tolls every one hour. Pope’s death: tolls every hour, at all churches. Bishop’s death: tolls every three hours. Vicar’s death: tolls every four hours. Priest’s death: 5 common tolls.

Source: Aluízio José Vegas | Secretaria Municipal de Cultura e Turismo SJOR.

Som dos Sinos

Continue exploring the Sound of Bells in our app and also receive news directly on your social media pages. Click on the following links to read more about the amazing universe of Brazilian bells.

Som dos sinos Este site não está disponível para essa resolução.


Direction & Project Concept
Marcia Mansur and Marina Thomé
Art Direction
Haydee Uekubo
Daniella Valentin
Marina Thomé
Fernando Muñoz
Additional Assembly
Julia Bernstein, edt.
Executive Production
Marcia Mansur and Marina Thomé
Production Coordinator
Julia Franceschinni
Direct Sound
Renato Cortez
Sound Editing and Mixing
Vinicius Leal
Camila Kintzel
Christina Rostworowski