Brian Swager


Listen to a Carillon
Variations on "Ode an die Freude" from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony composed and performed by Brian Swager on the Paccard Carillon in Chambéry, France – [7'17'', MP3 file: 8.3 MB]

Carillon Recital Tour – Summer 2006

Review (pp. 5&7) in the Newsletter of the Palo Alto/Peninsula chapter of the AGO [ Download PDF file ]

Article about the Whitechapel Bell Foundry

Article on the Whitechapel Bell Foundry published in THE DIAPASON , September 2020 [ Download PDF file ]

A History of the Carillon:
It's Origins, Development, and Evolution as a Musical Instrument

1993 Indiana University Doctoral Document

During my doctoral studies in Organ Performance at Indiana University, I played weekly recitals on the Arthur R. Metz Memorial Carillon. Rather than a dissertation, as a performance major, I was required to write a "document" which was limited to 100 pages by my research director. My History is therefore a rather succinct, concise account of the evolution of the carillon from the perspective of an American who had spent two years living and studying in Flanders–the birthplace of the instrument–where it is a part of their culture unlike anywhere in America. After two years there as a Fulbright Scholar plus a year in Paris on a grant from the French government, the acquired language skills in Dutch and French enabled me to scour the historical literature on the carillon, the bulk of which was in Dutch at that time.

The document includes an extensive bibliography.

It was written on the very first home model of the Macintosh computer. That was back when we had to push the "save" command often, and I remember losing and then rewriting a chapter when a lightening storm cut the electricity in Bloomington, Indiana. The internet was new, there was no Google search engine, and e-mail was not yet available to the general public. A few years later when e-mail began to become accessible, I insisted that email addresses needed to be included in the directory of a national organization. Wary of new things, its registrar scoffed at me. I wanted to save the time and expense of sending dozens of letters via airmail to European colleagues in order to arrange recital tours. There were no cell phones and hence no texting, and phone calls to Europe cost over $1 per minute. Much has changed in 30 years!

Rather than leave it buried in the caverns of the Indiana University Music Library, I've made it available as a free download: [ DOWNLOAD A History of the Carillon PDF FILE ]


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  updated   21 MARCH 2021   (B. Swager)