The Palace of Westminster in London is the home of Elizabeth Tower which contains Big Ben. Every quarter-hour, the bells in the tower chime to let people in London know what time it is. The chimes are different each quarter-hour so that people will know the time just by the melody. This elementary arrangement by James L. King III (although it’s not out of reach of some primer students) includes all four chimes from the belfry in Elizabeth Tower, along with some historical notes about the creation of the piece and the lyrics to the hour chime, which are printed on a plaque near the clock mechanism. Students get exposure, practice, and/or reinforcement in 5/4 time signatures, damper pedal use, and caesura pausing between the chimes.
Key: F major
Mood: precise, authoritative, commanding
Pedagogy: 5/4 time signature, fermatas, caesura