Keys to Success…. Handchimes with Keyboard

Start with success by adding the keys!  As you choose music for your ringing choir, consider inviting your organist/pianist to collaborate. This partnership has many benefits for the ringers as they improve their musicianship and it will be an enhanced part of your worship service or concert performance.

Choosing a title that is written for handchimes or handbells and piano/organ/keyboard is a wonderful way to build your choir for several reasons:

It builds confidence – having your ringers collaborate with keyboard dissipates some of the focus off of the ringers while participating in worship. This is helpful to new ringers especially those who may not be feel comfortable being in the eye of hundreds while they are learning a new skill. Having the keyboard reinforcement takes off some of the pressure as they learn a new instrument or get acclimated to being in front of a large group.

It is supportive – one of the things to accomplish for a new ringing ensemble is to work together as a team. They will be learning to keep a good sense of rhythm together as well as be ringing collectively precisely on the beat. Having an accomplished musician at the keyboard to provide a steady beat will be a strong foundation for the group in their early stages of ringing.

It will embellish easier music – while repertoire for a beginning ensembles will most likely be homophonic chords with simple rhythms, adding a keyboard part to accent the chords will allow for a more sophisticated performance without stretching the ringers’ comfort zone.

It will enhance the sound – even if you have seasoned members ringing more advanced music, joining forces with keyboard will be pleasing and resounding. The overall effect of adding a keyboard instrument with your octaves will be rich as the timbre of handbells/handchimes with keyboard are sonorous.

ChimeWorks recommends the resources below for your consideration. All available for immediate purchase and digital download by clicking the links in blue:

Bells and Keys… More or Less

Bells and Keys… More or Less, Vol. 2

For All The Saints 2 – 3 Octaves  4 – 6 Octaves  Keyboard

Gloria by Mozart   3 Octaves  Keyboard

Largo from Winter By Vivaldi  2 -3 Octaves  2 – 6 Octaves  Full Score

Vivaldi Concerto

In Bright Mansions Above 3 – 5 Octaves  Full Score

Many and Great, O God, Are Thy Things  3 – 6 Octaves  Full Score

Dona Nobis Pacem 3 – 5 Octaves  Full Score

Up Next: Pentecost and a New Ringing Cycle


As you’re in the midst of Holy Week and the Easter Season.  It’s time to think of putting the finishing touches on the program year and that might include Pentecost which falls on the fiftieth day after Easter – May 20, 2018.  It is the Christian festival commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after his ascension from earth to heaven.

At ChimeWorks, we have filled our store with music scores that are readily available to you for immediate purchase and digital download.  Our resources include music for Pentecost at every ringing level.

Since Pentecost falls seven weeks after Easter, this may be the perfect time to get instruments out of the closet and begin a new small group within your congregation.  The days seem longer with more daylight and some in your congregation may be ready to get out after a long winter.  Folks who may not want to commit to 40 weeks of ringing throughout the program year may consider dedicating six to seven weeks to try their hands at ringing for a short but successful cycle culminating on this festival occasion.  If you have been wanting to resurrect your ringing program, we urge you to give this concept a try.  With some of the selections below, you may only need six people for this Springtime ringing start.  We know you’ll be pleased with the results!

We have suggestions for some very easy music that you might consider in bringing a novice group of ringers together:


All Praise To Thee, Vol. 1

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Jason W. Krug
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 12 Note, Small Ensemble
  • Level: Level 2, Level 2+
  • Topic: Advent, All Saints/All Souls, Christmas, Easter, Epiphany, General, Holy Week, Lent, Palm Sunday, Pentecost, Thanksgiving, Transfiguration

New to the world of twelve-bell literature come these creative arrangements with titles spanning the church year.  While each piece uses only twelve bells spanning F5 to C7, not every title uses the “standard” set of twelve bells in F major, leading to harmonies never before heard and hymns never before arranged for this type of ensemble!  The eighteen titles found in this reproducible set will find frequent use in your church services and will fast become favorites of both your ringers and congregations. Contents: All Praise to Thee; O King Divine; At the Table; Be Thou My Vision; Breathe on Me, Breath of God; Carol of the Bells; Christ the Lord Is Risen Today; Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies; Come, Let Us Use the Grace Divine; Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing; Come, Ye Thankful People, Come; For All the Saints; Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken; Hail to the Lord’s Anointed; Hosanna, Loud Hosanna; O Sing a Song of Bethlehem; O Sing to the Lord; People, Look East; Thine Is the Glory; To Mock Your Reign, O Dearest Lord; We Believe in One True God; We Three Kings; What Child Is This?; What Wondrous Love Is This


Reproducible Rings (2- 3 Octaves)  (3 – 5 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Lloyd Larson
  • Level: Level 2
  • Topic: Easter, Holy Week, Lent, Patriotic, Pentecost, Transfiguration
  • Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

Arranged with the volunteer handbell ringer in mind, these eight hymn settings by Lloyd Larson are quickly learned and ready to perform with limited preparation time. Engaging settings of familiar hymn tunes guarantee broad appeal to both ringers and listeners. Includes: Ah, Holy Jesus; All Glory, Laud and Honor; America The Beautiful, Fairest Lord Jesus, I Know That My Redeemer Lives; Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart; The Day of Resurrection and What Wondrous Love Is This


Ring Around The Year

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Anna Laura Page, Cathy Moklebust, Kevin McChesney, Margaret R. Tucker, Sondra K. Tucker, Susan Geschke, Valerie W. Stephenson
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2
  • Topic: Advent, All Saints/All Souls, Baptism, Christmas, Easter, General, Lent, Palm Sunday, Pentecost, Thanksgiving
  • Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

“Ring Around the Year” provides wonderful handchime music for use throughout the year. Most of the pieces are also suitable for general, non-seasonal use. The seven titles in this collection are written for 3, 4, or 5 octaves. This reproducible collection is designed to meet the needs of handchime choirs by helping to stretch their music budgets. With the purchase of this collection, the original purchasing organization (church, school, or community ensemble) is granted permission to make copies as needed for their ringers. This permission to reproduce applies to this product only and does not transfer to other churches or organizations.


All Glory and Praise (2 – 3 Octaves) (3 – 5 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Dan R. Edwards
  • Level: Level 2, Level 2+
  • Topic: Easter, General, Lent, Palm Sunday, Pentecost
  • Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

Tune sources: American spiritual; ST. THEODULPH; ELLACOMBE; EASTER HYMN; Jean Sibelius; Camille Saint-Saëns; BROTHER JAMES’ AIR; MORECAMBE • Lent, Palm Sunday, Easter, Pentecost, General • Contents: Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley, Palm Sunday Processional (with All Glory, Laud and Honor and Hosanna, Loud Hosanna); Easter Triumph (incorporating Christ the Lord Is Risen Today); The Lord Is My Shepherd; Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart • Levels 2 and 2+ • Ring in the spring with this collection of seasonal favorites carefully selected to highlight Palm Sunday, Easter, as well as other special Sundays in the spring. The selections will be meaningful additions to worship and can be mastered with minimal rehearsal time. Published in editions for 2 or 3 and for 3, 4 or 5 octaves, the two editions are compatible for massed ringing events.


God Reigns, Let Earth Be Glad (2 – 3 Octaves)  (3 – 5 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Anna Laura Page, Bill Ingram, Cathy Moklebust, Kevin McChesney, Sandra Eithun
  • Level: Level 1, Level 1+, Level 2
  • Topic: General, Lent, Pentecost
  • Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

Playable by either handbells or handchimes, this delightful reproducible collection includes accessible hymn arrangements by five outstanding composers. Published in compatible editions for 2 or 3 octaves and for 3, 4 or 5 octaves, the two editions are compatible for festivals and other massed ringing events. The collection will be excellent for developing choirs as well as more experienced groups who need music they can learn quickly.  Arrangers:  Sandra Eithun; Bill Ingram; Kevin McChesney; Cathy Moklebust; Anna Laura Page  Tune sources:  CRUSADER’S HYMN; ASSURANCE; TERRA PATRIS; O LAMM GOTTES, UNSCHULDIG; HOLY MANNA


Harmonies for Hymns II

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Margaret R. Tucker
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 2 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 1
  • Topic: Advent, Christmas, Communion, Easter, Epiphany, General, Holy Week, Lent, Palm Sunday, Pentecost, Thanksgiving
  • Options: Bb Instrument, C Bass Instrument, C Instrument

This second volume of the popular “Harmonies for Hymns” series provides chordal accompaniments for hymns used throughout the church year. As in the previous volume, chords played on handbells or handchimes accompany the hymn melody, which is sung or played by an instrument. Parts for C treble, B-flat treble and C bass instruments are provided. Reproducible sing-along sheets are also included, which are especially useful when ringing at retirement centers or other venues. The hymn accompaniments may also be used together with organ to accompany congregational singing. A list of compatible harmonic hymnal settings is included.


Breathe On Me, O Breath of God  (2 -3 Octaves)  (3 – 5 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Anna Laura Page
  • Level: Level 1
  • Topic: General, Pentecost

Breathe on Me, Breath of God is a gentle, thoughtful setting of the hymn tune, TRENTHAM.  It offers ringers the opportunities of developing musical phrasing, controlling dynamics, and focusing on the melody as it contrasts with the accompaniment.  This piece is appropriate for church settings and other events that offer young ringers the opportunity of ringing before an audience. The 2-3 and 3-5 octave editions are compatible for massed ringing.


If your ringing choir has been busy all year, listed below are some Pentecost suggestions for more experienced ringers:


Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Cynthia Dobrinski
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2+
  • Topic: General, Pentecost
  • Options: Flute

This soft, sweet tune is set in an easy-to-ring style by Cynthia Dobrinski. Rich, full texture supplements the gentle nature of this pretty hymn-tune.


The Spirit In Our Midst

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Sandra Eithun
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2
  • Topic: General, Pentecost
  • Options: Narrator

Incorporating the hymns “Spirit of the Living God” and “Breathe on Me, Breath of God,” this setting is an ideal offering for Pentecost, Communion or anytime throughout the church year when the Holy Spirit is highlighted in worship.  The optional narration creates the backdrop for contemplating images of a “mighty wind” that was experienced by the disciples on that day. This setting can also be a stand-alone bell piece without the narration.  This is a great choice for developing ensembles to work on lyrical LV lines, expression and phrasing.


All Praise To Thee, Vol. 2

  • Author/Composer/Arranger:Jason W. Krug
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 12 Note, Small Ensemble
  • Level: Level 2, Level 3
  • Topic: Advent, All Saints/All Souls, Christmas, Communion, Easter, Epiphany, General, Holy Week, Lent, Palm Sunday, Pentecost, Thanksgiving, Transfiguration
  • Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

Following in the footsteps of the popular first volume, All Praise to Thee, Volume 2, presents eighteen new 12-bell arrangements in a variety of styles for use throughout the church year.  As with the first volume, each title uses only twelve bells between F5 and C7, but not always in F major, allowing for more and varied harmonies, as well as tunes never before arranged for 12-bell ensembles.  Suitable for three to six ringers, these selections are sure to become favorites of ringers and congregations alike!  Contents:  All Glory, Laud and Honor; As with Gladness Men of Old; The Day of Resurrection; Faith of Our Fathers; For the Beauty of the Earth; Go to Dark Gethsemane; Holy, Holy, Holy; I Know that My Redeemer Lives; I’m Gonna Sing When the Spirit Says Sing; Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise; Jesus Shall Reign; Jesus Walked this Lonesome Valley; Lead On, O King Eternal; Let Us Break Bread Together; Love Came Down at Christmas; O Christ, How Shall I Meet You; O Come, All Ye Faithful; O Come, O Come, Emmanuel; O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing; O Sacred Head, Now Wounded; This Is My Song; We Gather Together


Come, Holy Spirit

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Sondra K. Tucker
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 3
  • Topic: General, Pentecost

“Come, Holy Spirit” combines the haunting chant VENI CREATOR SPIRITUS with the Welsh tune ABERYSTWYTH.  It is an ethereal setting that will be sure to make your Pentecost worship special.


Sound of the Wind

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Wayne Kerr
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 3
  • Topic: General, Pentecost
  • Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

Free malleting of suspended handchimes opens this original work. Following the short introduction, a moderato section is characterized by a rich melody and solid rhythms. Contrast is offered through a slightly slower section and two more measures marked “freely.” Material from the initial moderato section returns, leading to a quiet final chord of suspended handchimes played with mallets.


Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Valerie W. Stephenson
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2+
  • Topic: General, Pentecost
  • Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

This melody is contemplative and peaceful in nature and has a beautiful lyrical line. The work is suitable in any setting but is especially appropriate as an offertory, a call to prayer, a response, or a wonderful contrast piece in concert settings.

Handchimes and Black History Month


February 1st is just around the corner and the observance of Black History Month arrives with it.  To celebrate and educate about this rich cultural heritage, a great resource can be found in the African American Spiritual, perhaps the most significant type of American folk song.  By teaching the history, text and tunes of Spirituals we can impart a deeper understanding and awareness of this part of American culture.

Understanding the history of Spirituals and the different types will help those singing and listening have a greater understanding.  An informative synopsis produced by the Library of Congress offers a deeper look into this art form and can be found in the article, African American Spirituals.  We suggest that a brief history and explanation of the type of Spiritual being performed be shared with your students and audience to offer them a greater connection to what is being presented.

Using handchimes, we can introduce Spirituals in a number of ways.  Some of these resources include singing and some do not; either way, we recommend that the text and melody be taught by rote first to insure a deeper understanding of the song and its original use before introducing the handchime parts or score.

The resources below can be found on the ChimeWorks website and are available for immediate purchase and digital download.

Handchimes in the General Music Classroom or Choral Rehearsal 

Kum-Bah-Yah (Chords)

  • Use:Sacred
  • Level:K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Chords:3
  • Topic:Praise, Spiritual
  • Language:English
  • Origin:African American Spiritual

Students will harmonize the song by ringing chords when indicated either by chart or color.


Kum-Bah-Yah (Ring & Sing)

  • Use:Sacred
  • Level:3 – 6
  • Topic:Praise, Spiritual
  • Language:English
  • Origin:African American Spiritual

Students will harmonize the song by reading the text and ringing when a word is outlined and damping when it is underscored.

Come by here is the translation of Kum-bah-yah.  This song has been passed down by mouth and has become a favorite of camps and meeting places.  Originally, it was sung by those in need.


Michael, Row the Boat Ashore

  • Use:Sacred, Secular
  • Level:K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Type:Chords
  • Chords:3
  • Topic:Spiritual
  • Language:English
  • Origin:America

Students will harmonize the song by ringing chords when indicated either by chart or color.

Michael Row the Boat Ashore is an African American Spiritual first noted during the Civil War.


Peace Like a River

  • Use:Sacred, Secular
  • Level:K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Type:Chords
  • Chords:3
  • Topic:Peace, Spiritual
  • Language:English
  • Origin:African American Spiritual

Students will harmonize the song by ringing chords when indicated either by chart or color.

Peace Like A River is an African American Spiritual.  The first three items of the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22) are love, joy, and peace. This spiritual compares the peace of God to a placidly flowing river, the joy of Christ to a merrily bubbling fountain, and the love of God to a deep, wide ocean.


From Singing to Ringing

  • Author/Composer/Arranger:Karen Thompson
  • Use:Sacred
  • Octaves Used – Select One:2 – 3 Octaves
  • Level:Level 1, Level 2
  • Topic:General
  • Origin:African American Spiritual
  • Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo:Caution

From Singing to Ringing is a valuable resource for teaching and reinforcing some basic, yet essential, music skills needed to ring handbells. Keeping a steady beat and visually tracking music from beat to beat (and measure to measure) are important skills that handbell ringers must accomplish to be successful. The conventional approach to aid in learning these two skills in a handchime/handbell setting is counting aloud by director and/or ringers. From Singing to Ringing serves the same purpose as counting aloud, but in a more enjoyable and engaging way.  Additionally, rhythms are easier to perform and internalize when sung. If they can sing it, they can ring it!


For the Handchime Ensemble

Five Spirituals

  • Author/Composer/Arranger:Bill Ingram
  • Use:Sacred
  • Octaves Used – Select One:2 – 3 Octaves
  • Level:Level 1, Level 1+
  • Topic:General
  • Origin:African American Spiritual
  • Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo:Caution

Bill Ingram continues the popular level one series with five attractive spirituals. One or two move into the level 1+ rating, offering good teaching opportunities while providing satisfying ringing experiences. These will be useful for school, church or concert venues.


Morning Songs

  • Author/Composer/Arranger:Bill Ingram
  • Use:Sacred
  • Octaves Used – Select One:2 – 3 Octaves
  • Level:Level 1
  • Topic:General
  • Origin:African American Spiritual, Ireland

Here is a set of three familiar melodies that share the theme of morning. The titles included are “Jesus in the Morning,” “Morning Has Broken,” and “My Lord, What a Morning.” The graduating levels of difficulty of the pieces make this set an ideal selection for the developing ensemble. Since the melodies are familiar, these are excellent teaching pieces to help ringers identify them on the page and work to bring them out when ringing. Because of their versatility, you may find yourself pulling these out every year.


Spirituals for Twelve Bells

  • Author/Composer/Arranger:Bill Ingram
  • Use:Sacred, Secular
  • Octaves Used – Select One:12 Note, Small Ensemble
  • Level:Level 2, Level 2+
  • Topic:General, Spiritual
  • Origin:African American Spiritual

As the volume of literature for 12 bells or chimes in F continues to grow, this collection of spirituals will be a welcome addition. The spirituals, listed below, range from lively and bold to reflective and meditative.  With no bell changes (thus no tables needed) there will be many opportunities to use these arrangements.  Contents:  Lord, I Want to Be a Christian; Steal Away; Great Day!; There Is a Balm in Gilead; Every Time I Feel the Spirit

Favorite Handchime Pieces for Lent

Looking for a special piece for Lent that will provide your ringers with a worshipful experience?    At ChimeWorks, we have searched our product store for the most meaningful Lenten pieces that are our favorites.   The recommendations below range from Levels 1 to 3 and include traditional and contemporary classics.  Surely, there is something for everyone on our list!

When choosing repertoire, keep in mind the strengths and weaknesses of your choir such as “chime” changes and complex rhythms, etc.  Also, choose music that they can be prepared comfortably in the amount of rehearsal time involved.  Ringing an easier piece beautifully is more satisfying to the ringer and listener than struggling through a more difficult piece.  If your ringers are relaxed while they ring, they will be able to focus on the message and beauty of the selection.

All of the music below is available for immediate purchase and digital download on the ChimeWorks site:


Oh Love, How Deep (3 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Bruce W. Tippette
  • Level: Level 1+

This sturdy hymn tune serves well to set the tone for worship during the Lenten season. It opens with a simple statement of the melody and slowly evolves into an expanded voicing of the original hymn, utilizing LV arpeggios across the ensemble between verses.


O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus (3 – 5 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Ludwig Van Beethoven arr. Linda R. Lamb
  • Level: Level 1+

Linda Lamb has combined portions of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” with the hymn tune EBENEZER to create this charming Level 1+ piece. The tune EBENEZER is associated with a variety of other hymn texts including “Once to Every Man and Nation.”


What Wondrous Love Is This (2 – 3 Octaves)   (3 – 5 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Susan Geschke
  • Level: Level 1+

This tender setting of the beloved Appalachian folk song may be played by either handbells or handchimes. With minimal bell changes and easy techniques such as shake and echo, this piece provides an excellent opportunity for expressive, sensitive ringing. This arrangement is especially effective during Lent and Holy Week or any time of quiet meditation.


Sheep May Safely Graze (2 – 3 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: J. S. Bach arr. Sharon Elery Rogers
  • Level: Level 2-

This gently flowing music is based on one of Bach’s most beautiful, haunting tunes. It is often heard as a choral anthem or a vocal or organ solo. With the constant ringing of solid chords building to a crescendo in the middle section, the use of a few techniques such as TD, mallets, or SK (with vibrato when rung by handchimes) are sprinkled throughout to reach a forte climax. The piece then closes with a more subdued ending.


Lamb of God with There Is a Redeemer (3 – 5 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/ArrangerMelody Green, Twila Paris arr. Peggy Bettcher
  • Level: Level 2

Two contemporary classics are set together beautifully in this arrangement.


My Jesus, I Love Thee (3 – 6 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Brenda Austin
  • Level: Level 2

Brenda Austin gives us a heartfelt and expressive arrangement of the beloved 19th century hymn. A straight-forward setting of the hymn serves as a contrasting middle section.


Pie Jesu (3 – 5 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Andrew Lloyd Webber arr. Douglas E. Wagner
  • Level: Level 2

This beautiful setting from Webber’s Requiem will be a favorite for your ringers and audience.  It is perfect for beginning ringers as it has no “bell” changes.


Nearer, My God to Thee (3 – 5 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Susan Geschke
  • Level:  2

Rising like a gentle prayer, this expressive setting of an old favorite is fresh and memorable. Lush legato ringing creates an elegant beauty that will linger in listeners’ hearts long after the final notes fade away.


My Song Is Love Unknown (3 – 7 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: John Ireland arr. Cathy Moklebust
  • Level: Level 2+
  • Options: Oboe or other C Instrument

This arrangement of English composer John Ireland’s tune LOVE UNKNOWN has been enhanced with an original melody and an optional oboe counter melody.  A minor key in the second verse creates a solemn mood befitting the passion of Jesus. The final verse is triumphant, and features a soaring oboe descant.


Walking with Jesus (3 – 6 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger:  H. Dean Wagner
  • Level: Level 3

“Walking with Jesus” combines three hymns: “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me” (SOJOURNER), “O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee” (MARYTON) and “Come, O Thou Traveler Unknown” (CANDLER.) This meaningful arrangement takes us on a journey of faith with our Savior through the valleys and mountains of life, and ends in the serene peace of heaven.

Ringing the Message of Social Justice

Music speaks to our hearts, minds and souls.  Ringing ensembles, too, can perform music that will send a message in these uncertain times of senseless violence, oppression and war.

At ChimeWorks, we offer music that will give your ringers a voice and make a statement to your listeners.  Consider the pieces below that present a significant message.  All of the titles are available for immediate purchase and digital download from ChimeWorks.



We Shall Overcome from Starting Point, Vol. 1

arr. Sandra Eithun

L1  (2 – 3 Octaves) (3 – 5 Octaves)


Make Me A Channel of Your Peace

arr. Jeffrey Honore

L1+ (3 Octaves)



Gregory Norbet arr. John F. Wilson

L1+ (3 – 5 Octaves) with optional voice


Let There Be Peace on Earth

arr. Arnold B. Sherman

L2- (2 – 3 Octaves)  (3 – 5 Octaves)


Calming Peace

Cathy Moklebust

L2 (2 -3 Octaves) (3 – 5 Octaves)


Lord, Whose Love in Humble Service

Cathy Moklebust

L2 (3 – 5 Octaves)


Dona Nobis Pacem

Margaret Tucker

L2 (3 – 5 Octaves) Full Score with optional C or Bb instruments


O God of Love, O King of Peace

arr. Sandra Eithun

L2 (3 – 5 Octaves)   Full Score with optional flute, voice or SATB


I’ve Got Peace Like A River

arr. Linda Lamb

L2+ (3 – 5 Octaves)

Christmas: All Wrapped-up in One Collection

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and probably the most important season for ringing choirs – Christmas!  Get ready for the holiday with these budget-friendly collections below that work well for handchime or handbell choirs.

Not only do these collections offer a variety of music to carry you throughout Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, they are a great resource for all directors to have available for developing choirs as well as for more experienced groups needing music they can learn quickly.  Starting at Level 1 through Level 2+, these collections will allow you to be ready for Worship or Concert.  All of the resources can be found on the ChimeWorks website and are available for immediate purchase and digital download.

Come and Adore

2 – 3 Octaves, 3 – 5 Octaves

Levels 1 and 1+ This charming collection features easy Advent and Christmas arrangements playable on either handbells or handchimes.  Contents:  Ave Maria; Gentle Mary Laid Her Child (Good King Wenceslas); Go, Tell it on the Mountain; God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen; Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head; Long Ago, Prophets Knew (On This Day Earth Shall Ring); Once in Royal David’s City


I heard the Bells on Christmas Day

2 – 3 Octaves, 3 – 5 Octaves

Level 2   I Heard the Bells is a collection of seven settings appropriate for Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas and Epiphany including We Gather Together, Prepare the Royal Highway, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, Silent Night, Joy to the World, On This Day Earth Shall Ring and We Three Kings.


Celebrate the Season

2 – 3 Octaves, 3 – 5 Octaves

Level 2 with optional percussion    Go easy on your music budget with this collection for Advent and Christmas which includes eight of Cathy Moklebust’s most popular arrangements for the season: Away in a Manger; Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus; Infant Holy, Infant Lowly; Rejoice! Rejoice! (Rejoice, Rejoice Believers and Oh, Come, Oh, Come Emmanuel); Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow (There’s a Star in the East); Still, Still, Still; ‘Twas in the Moon of Wintertime; What Is This Lovely Fragrance?


Glad Tidings Ring

3 – 5 Octaves

Levels 2 and 2+   Glad Tidings Ring is a compilation of favorite Advent and Christmas arrangements. This budget-stretching collection features a wonderful variety of seasonal arrangements by six outstanding arrangers: Cynthia Dobrinski; Sandra Eithun; Linda R. Lamb; Kevin McChesney; Anna Laura Page and Margaret R. Tucker.  Titles include:  Earth Shall Ring; He Is Born; Lo! How a Rose; O Little Town of Bethlehem; Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers and Sussex Carol.

Two Halves Make a Whole

Starting a new ringing ensemble with music that includes whole notes and half notes is recommended for the first rehearsals.  If you are directing a new group this year, you’ll want your music choices to include simpler rhythms in a moderate tempo so that your new ringers can focus on developing their ringing skills even if they are seasoned music readers.

Your ringers will have great success in playing homophonic music in which they will have the support of the group as they advance from chord to chord.  Giving them the opportunity as they work as a team in ringing and damping together will be positive reinforcement.  Musical results will be achieved as they coordinate their arm motion with the chordal ringing. Longer notes will also help develop to music literacy for pre-readers as well as eye and hand coordination.

If your new group includes those new to music-making – you will welcome the ability to teach them basic note values with resources that progress systematically.  We’ve been busy at ChimeWorks compiling some suggestions (all available for immediate purchase and digital download) for you which will get your program off to ringing success:

A Simple Prayer (Soliloquy) by Linda R. Lamb

Prelude to Sunrise by Sandra Eithun

Tranquil Chimings by Sandra Eithun

Starting Point, Volume 2 ( 2- 3 Octaves) by Sandra Eithun

Starting Point, Volume 2 (3 – 5 Octaves) by Sandra Eithun

Pathways to Musical Ringing, Volume 2 (2 – 3 Octaves) by Sandra Eithun & Michael Joy

Pathways to Musical Ringing, Volume 2 (3 – 5 Octaves) by Sandra Eithun & Michael Joy


Go “Baroque” for Proper Damping

At times, musical results don’t depend on the correct notes being rung rather, that they are damped properly.  Teaching damping is just as important as teaching ringing.  Read more about it here.  If you have piano training, you might think back to repertoire that helped mold you as the player you are today.  Undoubtedly, music from the Baroque period filled your early years more specifically, J. S. Bach’s Anna Magdalena Notebook and Inventions.  Just as these timeless works have helped develop proper keyboard technique to players over the centuries, a relation to ringing can be found.

While the English handbell was invented during the Baroque period, it wasn’t until the latter half of the 20th century when more sophisticated tonal harmonies were used to accompany melodies on handbells.  This proved to develop and refine ringing techniques which were later transferred to handchimes.

Because of the clean lines and harmonies of music of the Baroque, ringers who practice this genre will develop improved damping skills which will later transfer to all the music which they ring.  When training musicians new to ringing, make it a point to program a Baroque piece which will help with their basic ringing and damping techniques.  For seasoned ringers, it is a great exercise in “tightening up” their technique.

As you plan your program year, consider music of the Baroque – not only does it sound great on ringing instruments but, the proper technique that it develops will ring on.

Here are some recommendations of Baroque music for your handchime or handbell ensemble all of which are available for purchase and Digital Download on the ChimeWorks website under Handchime Ensembles:

Largo  Antonio Vivaldi  arr. Kevin McChesney

Two Short Classical Pieces  Carl Bohm and Christopher Gluck  arr. Bob Burroughs

Thine Is The Glory  G. F. Handel  arr. Margaret Tucker

Air in D  J. S. Bach  arr. William H. Mathis

My Heart Ever Faithful   J. S. Bach  arr. Sharon Elery Rogers

Sheep May Safely Graze  J. S. Bach  arr.Sharon Elery Rogers

Rondeau  Jean Joseph Mouret  arr. Arnold B. Sherman

Go Not Far From Me, O God  Niccolo Antonio Zingarelli  arr. Martha Lynn Thompson

Using the Appropriate Ringing Techniques with Handchimes

At ChimeWorks, we are reviewing handbell pieces that may be played on handchimes effectively.  All the titles which we recommend under Handchime Ensembles have been reviewed and approved for handchime use.  Under the product description, you may find a note of Caution which means that either the work should be played a bit slower than the suggested tempo to eliminate the percussive sounds that handchimes can make if rung too quickly or that there is a technique used in the score that is not recommended to be used with handchimes.

Not all ringing techniques and articulations that are performed on handbells may be performed on handchimes due to handchime design and the stresses that may be put on the tines of the handchime tube.  The following techniques that may be used are:  Ring, Damp, Finger Damp, Gyro, LV, Swing, Vibrato and a Mallet Strike (while the handchime is held) in the air.

Some ringing techniques cannot be used with handchimes either because they are damaging to the instrument or the handchime design does not allow the technique to be properly executed. We’ve created the chart below for easy reference in substituting ringing techniques on handchimes:

Click here to learn more about ringing techniques on handchimes.

Adaptable Lesson Plans for KidsPlay® Bells, Boomwhackers® and More!

The ChimeWorksTM library of lesson plans is not just for those who use handchimes!  While these lesson plans have been developed as an ever-growing resource for those who have access to handchime sets in the classroom and rehearsal, they are easily adaptable to be used with KidsPlay® bells, Orff-style instruments, Boomwhackers®, handbells and other pitched percussion instruments.  You can even double a melody with recorders!


In fact, the lesson plans using Icons and Chords have been developed using a system incorporating colors so that users of KidsPlay Bells and Boomwhackers will now have a new dimension of resources available to them.  Handchime owners can purchase colored bands here to wrap around the chime tube to give your students another feature in the learning process of becoming music literate.


In these lesson plans, we use a second component (shapes, pitch names, etc.) for those who suffer from color vision deficiency along with the Chroma-note® colors so that every child can be engaged in learning, developing eye-hand coordination and ultimately, music literacy.


Who are these lesson plans written for?


  • Music Education teachers who want to energize their classrooms and concert stages by increasing music literacy, creativity and collaboration.


  • Choir Directors who want to create meaningful rehearsals by implementing music reading, rhythm and exploration into their choral rehearsals leading to greater participation.


  • Music therapists who desire more resources in teaching non-music readers and giving them profound experiences.


  • Home Education leaders who are looking for resources with which to create musical experiences for smaller groups and will accommodate your educational needs at any level.


Are you one of these leaders?  Here’s what’s in the store for you – lesson plans using:



Icons are non-traditional symbols used to notate music.   They allow students to quickly “read” music without the worry of not knowing standard musical notation.   They also allow students to quickly express themselves at an early-learner stage with known symbols rather than struggling with music notation.  The use of icons develops eye-hand coordination rapidly allowing students to quickly adapt to numbers, pitch names, solfege and then standard music notation.


The ChimeWorks lesson plans use a standardized group of icons combining shapes and colors. The shapes have been adapted loosely from those used in shape-note singing.


Since icons are used with non-music readers, they can be utilized with younger children.  These same children may not yet be literate and understand how to track from left to right.  We suggest that great success will be met when the icon chart is presented through a computer-generated slideshow presentation or interactive whiteboard so that the teacher may point to each shape tracking for the students in tempo and rhythm.


Once the students master the melody using icons, they may continue with the Chroma-note score.  Several methods may be used to achieve success in helping the students to associate their handchime or other instrument with the appropriate pitch. Older students may meet success by just having the location of the pitch on the staff on the note designation label which is standard on all brands of handchimes and may be able to move quickly to the handchime score which is in standard music notation.



Students may quickly harmonize the songs which they sing by using chords.  The ChimeWorks chordal lesson plans using two to seven chords are adaptable to lower and upper elementary school students alike.


Each lesson plan includes the melody and text of each song with chords indicated over the melody.  For older students, the text of the first verse is presented with chord names and associated colors over the text.  The students may sing the text and chime the associated chords as they progress through the text.  For younger children, a chord chart with associated colors is included which may be displayed through a computer-generated slideshow presentation or interactive whiteboard so that the teacher may point to the appropriate chord while singing tracking tempo and rhythm.




Harmonize your songs with ostinati patterns.  All the ChimeWorks ostinati lesson plans are easy to teach by rote.  Each lesson plan includes the melody and text of each song along with a series of patterns that can be taught on any number of pitched instruments.  Distribute non-pitched percussion too and have your students improvising rhythms in no time. This is creative music-making at its best!



Share your Success

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