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State Press Play: The mysterious music around ASU

The State Press discusses the history behind the ASU carillon and the group that seeks to preserve its tradition

state press play

Graphic published on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018.

If you're like most people, you've probably never considered that the resounding sound of bells you hear around the Memorial Union actually have a deep history surrounding them. If you've ever had the pleasure of listening to the 20-minute long symphony everyday at 5 p.m., or even the briefer chimes throughout the day to signify the changing of the hour, then you've experienced one of the most sacred traditions at ASU that many people don't even know exists.

You may not have realized it, but those sounds are actually being produced by a real instrument on campus. Called a carillon, this instrument currently resides in the basement of Old Main. The group dedicated to preserving it is known as the ASU Carillon Society. In this episode of the podcast, Alfred Varela interviews Judith Smith, one of the cofounders of the society. They discuss the history of the instrument since it was purchased by the Associated Students of ASU in 1966.

The society regularly holds events throughout the year on the Tempe campus. In addition, there are scholarship opportunities available for those looking to compose or play the instrument throughout the year. They urge anyone who is interested in learning to play the carillon or becoming a part of the society to contact them and become part of the tradition.

Previous episodes:

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