As a musician/sound designer, I am always excited when I find unique ways to make sound. That’s why when I heard that Bok Tower had a 60 bell carillon on site, I had to take the voyage to explore. The fact that it was located in one of the highest rated botanical gardens in America made the adventure that much more enticing.
What is a carillon you ask? Well it’s (in my opinion) one of the coolest instruments that exists. A carillon is a musical instrument consisting of at least 23 cast bronze bells that are precisely tuned and arranged in chromatic progression so that music in any key can be played. Unlike other types of bells, carillon bells are fixed in a frame—the bells do not move. Instead, the clappers inside strike the bells to produce a considerable range of sounds up to five or six octaves. Because of its weight and size, the carillon is one of the largest of all instruments. A carillon is played from a keyboard on which the keys are depressed by the player’s closed hands and feet. The keys are connected to the clappers by vertical and horizontal wires.
The Singing Carillon at Bok Tower is inside of a 200 ft tower in the middle of the garden consisting of 60 bell and was designed in 1928 by John Taylor Bellfoundry, Ltd. of Loughborough, England. The garden hires world renowned carillon players for residencies year round and has concerts Tuesday thru Sunday.
Now that we’ve talked about my favorite part, Let’s talk about the rest of the garden. There are six separate gardens on site, ranging from a pollinator garden, to an endangered plant garden, and even a garden for their restaurant kitchen. Additionally, there is a reflection pond in front of the carillon tower. Paved paths connect all of the sites, with more intricate mulched paths throughout the separate gardens just begin to be explored. The whole garden can be seen quickly in about an hour but to really enjoy the vast Beaty of this place, I would recommend a whole day.
Closest Supercharger Brandon Fl. 51 mi
2400 W Brandon Blvd, Brandon, FL 33511
Bok Tower Gardens
1151 Tower Blvd, Lake Wales, FL 33853