Pop-up exhibition now on display at the National Capital Exhibition
See the original instrument that was installed in 1969 and learn more about the National Carillon: the history, the mechanics and the people behind the music.
National Carillon 50th Anniversary
In its 50th year, the National Carillon, in Australia’s capital city Canberra, stands testament to the relationship that Britain and Australia continue to share.
Originally opened on 26 April 1970 by Queen Elizabeth ll, the National Carillon holds a special place in the hearts of all Australians as it continues the strong linkage between music and architecture and this page helps to celebrate this linkage by sharing various videos and information produced to help celebrate the anniversary.
A standard carillon consists of at least 23 bells and with the recent arrival of the of the D and G Bells in January 2020, the National Carillon is large by world standards, and the largest in Australia, now housing 57 bells in total each weighing between seven kilograms and six tonnes!
The arrival of the D and G Bells from the John Taylor & Co foundry in Loughborough, UK on 31 January 2020 meant that the National Carillon was better able to compete on a world stage with more complicated music.
The G Bell was renamed the Ngunnawal Bell after the original owners of the land, the Ngunnawal People of the Australian Capital Territory, and was inscribed with the following:
YUMALUNDI DHAWURA NGUNNAWALNGU NGANAA
GURALILI YARABI DHAWURA MANAGAY
WELCOME TO NGUNNAWAL COUNTRY
YOU MAY LEAVE YOUR FOOTPRINTS ON OUR LAND
The Carillon’s massive 50m high towers allow the melody of the bells to drift across Lake Burley Griffin for all to enjoy.
Works to the National Carillon and Aspen Island are almost complete, awaiting the final installation of the Carillon bells and clavier.
For more information about the National Carillon and how the Carillonists play the bells, please go here.
For the 50th Anniversary of the National Carillon, we interviewed one of the original architects, Barry Cameron.