megami_ryuu (megami_ryuu) wrote in j_kaiwa,

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School Chimes

Okay this is a short but sweet FYI about Japanese schools. Between periods and at the beginning and end of school, there is always a chime. At my high school and the junior high behind my school, they always play the Westminster chimes. I was talking about it with my school music teacher and said it was interesting because the chimes were used in clocks back home. I wondered why ALL schools had this as a chime. To my surprise, my teacher informed me that not all schools use the Westminster Quarter. O.O! Talk about making cultural assumptions. (=^_^=) To say the least I was embarrassed, especially because I've live here for a year and a half! -_-; Some schools use a simple variation between two tones, and others... well...? I don't know, but I'd like to find out.

So, that's it for my brief rant. What chimes do they play at your school?
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The Westminster quarter is the stereotypical clock chime, right? We've got those at two of my schools. My big school has a different chime however on special schedules-- if classes are only 40 minutes or something like that... It turns to this really long involved melody I don't recognize. My third school doesn't have chimes at all. (I always end up late for classes...)
Wow! No chimes at one school? That'd make me nuts. We had several period with out the chimes because of a special 1st year presentation in the gym and if my JTE hadn't come to get me I would have been so late. I've just learned to wait and leave with the chime. That is so pavlov. I'm a bit freaked by it, but it's amazing how sounds dictate our lives here. Special chimes at school, melodies that announce the train at some stations, the traffic signal chirps and notes. Just never realized it. Thanx for the reply!
As of this past year, my school decided to stop using chimes! Everyone was surprised by the decision, but actually I think it's been a good change. With the chimes, the kids would always stop whatever they were doing or stand up and leave for breaktime the moment the chimes played, even if the teacher was still talking. But now, they sit still and do their work until they are dismissed. I think the no-chime system results in the teachers having more control over classes and club activities.