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 six children.
Connect on Facebook:
Connect on Twitter:
“A penalty is decreed against clerics, who, being in sacred Orders, or holding benefices, do not wear a dress befitting their Order. […] In these days, the contempt of religion has grown to such a pitch that—making but little account of their own dignity, and of the clerical honor—some even wear in public the dress of laymen…”
— Council of Trent (Session 14, Chapter 6)

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.

UPDATE: More recordings from Cologne and France