A cast bell chime is a musical instrument consisting of nine to twenty-two bells, primarily arranged in a diatonic scale. A diatonic scale starts from the pitch of the largest bell (that is, like the "white" keys of the piano) with the addition of one or more semitones ("black" keys of the piano) which permits the playing of tunes in more than one key. The chime allows the playing of simple music: melodies of hymns and similar tunes, with the addition of occassional simple harmony. The most popular range has come to be fourteen bells: an octave and a fifth diatonically. plus low semitones. With this range, at least 90% of all hymns, and many fine secular tunes may be played without alteration. (With fewer bells correspondingly fewer tunes may be played: for instance, with ten bells only about 50% of tunes may be used. As an example it is interesting to note that a minimum of thirteen bells is required for Silent Night, and 14 bells for the Star Spangled Banner.)

With the technology and ability to tune existing bells, nearly any bell, or combination of bells, may be expanded into a chime of bells, or even to a carillon. Any bell may be electrified to bring expanded use and service to bells installed in any church, community college, or university.
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