The many mostly recently rediscovered re-pinning arrangements and manuscripts for carillon suggest that there existed a thriving carillon practice in the 19th century. This challenges the widespread view of the 19th century as “the dark age of the art of the carillon”. The repertoire of these carillon manuscripts consists for the larger part of sometimes elaborate and very virtuosic arrangements of popular opera themes. In this way they connect to the transcriptions and arrangements of opera music for piano, guitar, clarinet and piano, … immensely successful in the 19th century.
The research focuses on the practice of the making and execution of transcriptions and arrangements of 19th century operas for automatic carillon and carillon. A practical and comparative research of the trajectory from the initial opera score through the piano reduction and piano transcription to the arrangement and transcription for carillon aims to elucidate which parameters (musical, technical, instrumental, performance related) were decisive in the process of the arrangement or transcription.The main intentions are to enlarge substantially the repertoire for the present-day players of carillon, to gain new insight concerning the performance practice of this historic repertoire and to provide inspiring tools to create transcriptions and arrangements of 19th, 20th century and contemporary music.