Cylinder of the Month

See also the  Cylinders of the Month Archive.

An uncommon recording of a bells and chimes duet, Monastery Bells, from 1905.

Monastery Bells
Company Edison's National Phonograph Company
Cylinder # 8912
Category Bells & chimes duet
Title Monastery Bells
Performed by Albert Benzler, Henry Nesbit, and the Edison Military Band
Circa February 1905
Announcement "Bells and chimes duet, Monastery Bells, accompanied by the Edison Military Band."

Occasionally Edison experimented with pairings of musical instruments that had proved popular in solo recordings.   For a few months around late 1904 to early 1905 it was the bells, chimes & xylophone's turn: just three such "duetings" were produced.   The first was an excellent Bells and xylophone duet in November 1904 (see the August 2002 Cylinder of the Month), and then two bells and chimes duets – the first of which is this month's feature.

Although it is not indicated, we can assume that Albert Benzler is performing the bells, while Henry Nesbit (a pseudonym for Harvey N. Emmons) is on the chimes.

To hear Monastery Bells  

For help playing these sounds, click here.

    No. 8912, "Monastery Bells" is a chimes and bells duet by Benzler & Nesbit, and rendered with accompaniment by the Edison Military Band.   This selection cannot fail to please those fond of Records made by bells and similar instruments, and even those not ordinarily partial to them will pronounce it attractive.   The chimes are of an extra fine quality of tone.   The band accompaniment is especially good for this combination.   This is the first Record ever made by chimes and bells.   "Monastery Bells" was written by L. Wely.
— December 1904 Edison Phonograph Monthly [announcing the February 1905 records]

— This cylinder is from the collection of  Tyrone Settlemier —


To hear other examples of wax cylinders, see the

Home Early recorded sounds & wax cylinders Cylinder music shop An Edison commemorative
2nd page Note to early recordings collectors Cylinder of the month Links to related topics
What's new Tinfoil resource center Cylinders of the month archive Donate to

Copyright (C) (P) 1996-2024 Glenn Sage, Portland, Oregon.  All Rights Reserved.  Contacting