Cowbells, Chromatically Tuned

Cowbells, Chromatically Tuned

(Tuned Cowbells, Blòcco di Metallo, Cassa di Metallo, Campanaccio, Campanaccio di Metallo, Gregge, Campane da Gregge, Scampanellio da Gregge, Campanelle de Vacca, Sguilla, Almglocken, Alpenglocken, Kuhglocken, Herden glocken, Herden geläute, Vieschelle, Kuhschellen, Tierschelle, Bloques de Metal, Cencerros, Esquila, Cloches, Cencerros, Cloches à vache, Cloches vache, Cloche Mambo, Blocs de Métal, Bruit de Sonnaille des Troupeaux, Grelots de Vaches, Sonnaille, Sonnailles de Troupeau)

Used in Signalement, Return of the Jedi, Asyla, and many other pieces.

Around the 1960s, Emil Richards found a builder who made sets of cowbells with an extended range. These chromatic cowbells (which are 2 ½ octaves) can be played melodically, which allows for some interesting possibilities with timbre.


  • Under the Volcano, end credits

    Tuned cowbells double the melody line in the film, Under the Volcano (1984), composed by Alex North.

Please note: these are just examples, as playing technique and mallet/stick choices often have a great effect on the timbre.

These sound excerpts, to the best of our knowledge (unless otherwise noted), include this actual instrument from our collection. To hear the instrument yourself, or to let us know of any errors, please contact us.