About this blogger:
Veronica Brandt holds a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering. As editor, she has produced fine publications (as well as valuable reprints) dealing with Gregorian chant, hymnody, Latin, and other subjects. These publications are distinguished on account of their tastefulness. She lives in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia, with her husband Peter and five children.
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The soul is distracted from that which is sung by a chant that is employed for the purpose of giving pleasure. But if the singer chant for the sake of devotion, he pays more attention to what he says, both because he lingers more thereon, and because, as Augustine remarks (Confess. x, 33), “each affection of our spirit, according to its variety, has its own appropriate measure in the voice, and singing, by some hidden correspondence wherewith it is stirred.” The same applies to the hearers, for even if some of them understand not what is sung, yet they understand why it is sung, namely, for God's glory: and this is enough to arouse their devotion.
— St. Thomas Aquinas

Angelus Bells and the Raspberry Pi
published 23 January 2016 by Veronica Brandt

Raspberry Pi with Speaker RASPBERRY PI is a small, cheap, British computer. Consisting of a credit card sized motherboard with usb ports, hdmi output, headphone jack and micro usb powered, it is a hobbyist’s delight with many, many possibilities. I’ll put the link to more about this fantastic gadget at the end of this article – don’t jump there yet though! I want to show you what I put together first.

I use mine as a little webserver that can be left on all the time as it is silent and doesn’t use much electricity. That’s why you can see the Wi-Pi dongle in the photo, but it’s not integral to this project.

Today I decided to use it to ring a bell for the Angelus three times a day. We are in the habit of saying the Angelus at noon, but 6am and 6pm are harder to remember.

First thing was to settle on a good chime. Searching for Carillon recordings I did find this collection, but they were all too ornate for a simple Angelus bell.

Another handy gadget I have is a midi controller. Using some synthesizer software called Grand Orgue and a sampled Carillon I was able to generate these short recordings:

    * *   The beginning of the Gregorian antiphon Ave Maria

    * *   The beginning of Sub Tuum Praesidium

Then to get the computer to run these I used a feature of most Linux/Unix systems called cron and a program called mpg123 – a command line mp3 player. There is probably a way to do something similar on other computers or even mobile devices.

These might also make great ring tones!

In the meantime, you may like to read more about the Raspberry Pi.