About the Baker Bells

Ernest Martin Hopkins, Dartmouth College President 1916-1945, Class of 1901, had visited Oxford and Cambridge and was much impressed with the bell-ringing on those campuses. When Baker Library was constructed, a trustee, Clarence B. Little, Class of 1881, donated $40,000 for a set of bells to be placed in the tower of the Library, in order to please President Hopkins.

Meneely Bell Company of Troy, New York built a bespoke 15-bell set. The bells vary in size from 200 to 5,300 pounds. They range an octave and a half on the scale, playing every note in that range, except E flat.

The bells first rang in 1928. They were rung manually for the first year. The following year, William Durrschmidt, an instrument maker and Professor of Music, invented an automation system from three machines and a clock. It was similar to the mechanism of a player piano, where holes are punched into a roll of paper and the locations of the holes triggered the bell mechanism. There was also a keyboard in the tower, so people could play "instantaneous music" on the bells.

In 1979, the bells were computerized. Two students designed a system to run the bells, as the system and the paper rolls used for the first 50 years were starting to wear out.

A 16th bell was donated in 1981 in memory of Donal F. Morse '51. Money was also provided for the maintenance of the system and to provide payment for a bell ringer.

The bells currently run via a remote Internet connection on a "Mac mini" computer in the tower that runs custom-designed software written by graduate students in the Master of Arts program in Digital Musics who are supervised by Prof. Michael Casey. The software and hardware is maintained and updated regularly by the students.

Bells ring the time on the hour and half hour. Songs are played three times a day - the alma mater at 6pm, and varying pieces during intervals between classes. Songs can be requested by e-mailing "Bells". If you are requesting a song that is already in the song database, it takes a day or two to program it. Songs can be scheduled for any time except on the hour.

Some current favorites:

  • Barbie Girl
  • My Old Kentucky Home
  • Pomp and Circumstance
  • Tired of Being Alone
  • Happy Birthday
  • Hey Jude

Dartmouth College is one of the few locations that still uses real bells instead of recordings or synthesizers. Bells are turned each year so that the hammers don't wear out the same spot on each bell, and we can be guaranteed the enjoyment of these real bells for years to come.

Check out the Office of Alumni Relations For More Information: Alumni Relations Bells Information.

Baker Bells Requests

The Baker Bells staff accept requests from the Dartmouth community for songs to be played on specific dates / times. Choose from the list of songs below, or the carilloneur can prepare new songs if your requested song is not in the list of available songs.

Requests range from "Happy Birthday" to contempory popular songs. Not all song requests can easily be prepared for the Baker bells, due to the limited range and pitch classes available. Some time and effort are required to program new songs so lead time is appreciated.

To request a song, send an e-mail to Bells at Dartmouth. Please include in your request the following information:

  • your name,
  • the full name of your requested song,
  • if time sensitive, the date and time to play the song,.
  • any pertinent dedication/celebration information.
  The carilloneur will respond in due course to let you know the outcome of your request.

List of Bell Songs (Updated Dec 2017)


  
  A Foggy Day
  Accidentally in Love
  Adoro Te Devote
  Ah Vous Direz
  All Through The Night
  Allegro Air
  Allstar - Smash Mouth
  Alouette
  Amazing Grace
  And Can it Be
  Annie Laurie
  Au Clair De La Lune
  Auld Lang Syne
  Be Thou My Vision
  Beautiful Dream
  Bells of Notre Dame – Hunchback of ND
  Bendemeer’s Stream
  Better Together Jack Johnson
  Blow the Man Down
  Bonnie Eloise
  Born Free
  Born to Run
  Brahms Lullaby
  By the Silvery Moon
  Can you Count to the Stars
  Celtic Odyssey Ramble to Cashel
  Celebratory Peal
  Chester
  Clair De Lune
  Come Little Children – Hocus Pocus
  Come Thou Font
  Country Gardens
  Dancing Queen
  Danny Boy
  Dear Old Dartmouth
  Death Note Theme
  Despacito
  Dominique
  Don’t Know Why
  Double Double Toil and Trouble – Harry Potter
  Drink to Me Only
  Dvorak Stabat Mater Fac Me Vere
  Early One Morning
  Edelwiess
  Every Time We Touch – Cascada
  Flow Gently Sweet Afton
  For the Longest Time
  Freedom
  Freres Jacques
  Getting to Know You
  Glory to Dartmouth
  Going to the Chapel
  Grim Grinning Ghosts Come Out to Socialize
  Hail Mary
  Halloween Minor Alma Mater
  Halloween Theme
  Happy Birthday
  Harvey Davidson
  Hedwig’s Theme
  Hellfire – Hunchback of ND
  Hells Bells
  Here Comes the Sun
  Here I am to Worship
  Hey Jude
  Home on the Range
  House of the Rising Sun
  How Can I Leave
  How do You Solve a Problem Like Maria
  I Get By with a Little Help from my Friends
  Ichikawa
  Imperial March
  In the Good Old Summertime
  Indian National Anthem
  I’d Like to Teach
  I’m Singing in the Rain
  I’m a Barbie Girl
  L O V E
  Largo BWV1056
  Lauridsen Lux Aeterna
  Let Me Call You
  Let all Mortal Flesh Keep Silent
  Let it Breathe
  Let it Go
  Let it Shine
  Let’s Go Fly a Kite
  Listen to our Hearts
  Look for the Silver Lining
  Love me Tender
  Mask Off
  Minuet in G
  Monsieur De La Palice
  Moon River
  My Bonnie
  My Cup Runneth
  My Favorite Things
  My Wild Irish Rose
  Ode to Joy
  Oh Susanna
  Oh What a Beautiful Morning
  Old Folks at Home
  Over the Rainbow
  Pokémon Oracion Bells
  Pomp and Circumstance
  Rex Caeli
  Rick Roll
  Salty Dog Rag
  Salve Regina
  Scarborough Fair
  School’s Out
  Shenandoah
  Simple Gifts
  Singing in the Rain
  Sloop John B
  Sound of Music Procession
  Stand By Me
  Star Trek
  Star Wars
  Stars of the Summer Triangle
  Stefan’s Theme
  Sur Lu Pont D’Avignon
  Swan Lake
  Sweet Caroline
  TLBY
  Take Me Out to the Ballgame
  Taps
  Tale as Old as Time
  Tell Me Why
  The Bells of St. Mary’s
  The Blue Bells
  This is Halloween – Nightmare Before Christmas
  Top Gun Anthem
  Top Gun Theme Extended
  Try to Remember
  Welcome to My Life
  When Irish Eyes are Smiling
  When You Believe – Prince of Egypt
  You Are My Sunshine
  Younger than Springtime
  You’ll Be in My Heart – Tarzan
  You’ll Never Walk Alone

  * Christmas Songs
  All I Want for Christmas
  Carol of the Bells
  Deck the Halls
  Frosty the Snowman
  Here Comes Santa Claus
  Here We Come a Wassailing
  I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
  Jingle Bells
  Jolly Old St. Nicholas
  Let There be Peace on Earth
  Let it Snow
  O Christmas Tree
  O Come Little Children
  O Come O Come Emmanuel
  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  Silver Bells
  Sing We Now of Christmas
  The First Noel
  The Holly and the Ivy
  We Wish You a Merry Christmas
  What Child is This

  * Patriotic Songs
  Air Force
  America
  America the Beautiful
  American Eagle
  Anchors Aweigh – Marine Song
  Army Song
  Battle Cry of Freedom
  Battle Hymn
  Eternal Father
  God Bless America
  God of Our Father
  My Liberty Bell
  Semper Pratus (Always Ready) Coast Guard
  The Caisson Song
  The Marines Hymn
  This is My Country
  You’re a Grand Old Flag