Hand Bells

Hand Bells

(Tuned Hand Bells, Handbells, Handle Bells, Choir Bells, Sonagli a Mano, Clochettes a Mains, Handglocken, Handglockenspiel, Tischglocke, Campanello, Campanilla, Campanas de Mano, Campanillas de Mano, Sonnettes, Sonagli a Mano, Clochettes a Mains)

Mfg. by Schulmerich

Played on rack or individually by several players. Used in Your Rockbaby, Five Little Concertos & Ritornellos For Orchestra, Noye’s Fludde and many other pieces.

Emil Richards acquired his hand bells in the late 1980s via a contact at the Paiste cymbal company in Switzerland. They span a two-octave range. When played in the studio, Emil would lay the hand bells out chromatically, on a soft cloth to lessen excess noise. Often, two or three percussionists would play small sections at a time, if possible. One way of utilizing them in soundtracks was to play the hand bells a minor second apart to create suspense. Shortly after receiving them, L.A. Percussion Rentals mounted the hand bells on a rack so they could be played more easily by a single person.

This instrument is traditionally written for 1 octave below where it actually sounds.

  • Everything You Can Think of - Alice album (Waits)

    Handbells with hard beaters punctuate downbeats in the song “Everything You Can Think of is True” from the Alice album by Tom Waits.

Please note: these are just examples, as playing technique and mallet/stick choices often have a great effect on the timbre.

These sound excerpts, to the best of our knowledge (unless otherwise noted), include this actual instrument from our collection. To hear the instrument yourself, or to let us know of any errors, please contact us.