Playing the carillon
Carillon keyboards have the same arrangement of black and white keys as a piano. However, carillon keys, called batons, are made of wood and are played with the side of the hands positioned in a loose fist. Carillon keyboards also have a pedal board from which the carillonneur uses their feet to play the heavy low bells.
The high-sounding bells on the right side of the keyboard are light in weight. As you move to the left, the bells become progressively heavy. The carillonneur must adjust to the varying weights of each note and sometimes prepare (push down) the keys in advance in order to strike the note on time.
Roy Lee: The man behind the University of Toronto’s carillon (in English)
Carillonneurs play from playing cabins inside the tower, usually far removed from their audience or pedestrians at ground level. Many towers offer tours or opportunities to visit the playing cabin and hear the carillonneur perform.
It is common in Europe to hear a short musical melody on the bells preceding the hour strike. Those bells are connected to the carillon but are generated by the clock mechanism and the automatic play drum. These are pre-programmed, mechanical musical interludes that are not played by the carillonneur. The automatic play has been signalling the time of day since the Middle Ages.