Music Literacy in a Snap with Colors and Handchimes

A great start for any teacher would be to introduce music literacy to more students during this year.  If you have handchimes at your disposal, teaching music reading with the help of colors couldn’t be simpler! At ChimeWorks, we have developed tools for teaching young children to develop eye-hand coordination using colors and symbols and then, systematically moving on to colored-coded notes on the staff and ultimately reading handchime/handbell notation.

We begin by using colors that are closely correlated to those used in Boomwhacker® and KidsPlay® systems.  Therefore, one will be able to use our lesson plans with handchimes and/or Boomwhackers and KidsPlay bells to teach music literacy.  Sensitivity is given to the use of colors alone due to the statistics that 1 in 12 males and 1 in 200 females suffer from color vision deficiency.  Along with a select color for each pitch we have allocated a shape modeled closely to those used in shape-note singing.

Coupled, these symbols are referred to as Icons – 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.

ChimeWorks has developed Colored Bands which can be wrapped around the handchime tube so that each student can identify a pitch with a color.  In the case of vision deficiency, the shape may also be drawn on to the band.  These bands are available for Malmark, Inc. and be found by clicking here.  Colored bands can be an effective tool in the classroom when denoting pitches and chords.  Using the ChimeWorks Icon Chart, each pitch is assigned a color.  By wrapping the appropriate colored band around the shaft of the handchime tube at the base, you can effectively indicate which handchimes are assigned to pitches or chords.

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® (colored note head) score. 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.

Icon lesson plans may be found here on the ChimeWorks website.  By introducing these easy to teach lessons, your students will color their world with music through handchimes.

Ringing in Contemporary Worship

 

 

Including handbells and handchimes in contemporary worship is possible and it works!  As some churches change their worship style of a particular service or entire Sunday morning, the practice of putting ringing instruments away in a closet has occurred over and over.  However, there is no reason to do so.

The music of contemporary worship tends to reflect trends of popular music.  The belief of many is that some are attracted to worship in a way that reflects the secular culture of their daily lives.  Ever present in popular music that is played on a daily basis is an instrumental background to a vocalist or group.  The variation in instrumentation not only adds color but reinforces the rhythmic drive through a particular song.  The same concept is used in contemporary Christian music.

As church musicians, we have the call to use the resources of our congregation – people and instruments – to lift our best to God in every way. By using our ringing instruments rather than discounting them, we can embellish contemporary music with their ethereal and sparkling sounds and we can increase active participation in Worship through the talents of members of our congregations.

While the common sound of the praise band may include keyboard, drums and guitar, why not take it up a notch by adding some handchimes to the bass echoing the harmonic pattern for more resonance and sustain.  A simple ostinato on bells may replace that of a keyboard and give more color. Convert a non-pitched percussion part into a pitched one using ringing instruments.  All of these are simple additions which will lead to uncommon ground in contemporary music.

Contemporary music can be played by a ringing ensemble as well.  Over the years, we have seen more releases of published arrangements of popular music that are stunning.  The same is true for Christian music.

Below are some examples of music that can be used in a contemporary Worship setting.  All of these pieces are available in the ChimeWorks store for ringing ensembles and work well with handbell and handchimes.  The scores are available for immediate purchase and digital download.

Click on the links below to find more information on each collection or piece.  They begin at Level 1 in difficulty.

Easy to Ring Praise & Worship   (3 – 5 Octaves)  Level 1+

Easy to Ring Praise & Worship II   (2 – 3 Octaves) (3 – 5 Octaves)  Level 1+

Easy to Ring Praise & Worship III  (2 – 3 Octaves)   (3 – 5 Octaves)  Levels 1 & 2

Easy to Ring Praise & Worship IV  (2 – 3 Octaves)  (3 – 5 Octaves)  Levels 1 & 2

Easy to Ring Praise & Worship V  (3 – 5 Octaves)  Levels 1 & 2

Easy to Ring Praise & Worship VI  (2 – 3 Octaves)  (3 – 5 Octaves)  Level 1 & 2

Easy to Ring Praise & Worship VII  (2 – 3 Octaves) (3 – 5 Octaves) Levels 1 & 2

Easy to Ring Praise & Worship VIII  (2 – 3 Octaves) (3 – 5 Octaves) Levels 1 & 2

Lamb of God with There Is A Redeemer (3- 5 Octaves)  Level 2

Awesome God (3 – 5) Level 3+

Awesome God & Almighty (2 – 3 Octaves)  Level 2-

How Beautiful (3 – 5 Octaves)  Level 2

How Majestic Is Your Name (2 – 3 Octaves)  Level 2+

Lamb of God  (3 – 5 Octaves) Level 2+

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

Easy Secular Music for Handchimes

There’s no better time to begin a Chime club at your school.  If you are looking for beginning secular music that includes whole, half and quarter notes, we’ve got a list for you!

The resources below include original compositions, transcriptions of light classics and arrangements of folk songs and spirituals for you to include in this year’s repertoire.

All these titles are recommended to be rung on handchimes while caution is given to some to be performed at a moderate tempo or to substitute some articulations with those that can be used with handchimes without causing harm to the instrument.  See our Technique Substitution Chart for further information.

Click the titles below to link to the ChimeWorks webpage for immediate purchase and digital download capability.

 

Chime Time

Soliloquy

In Quietness and Confidence

Theme from Beethoven’s 9th

Jubilee! or Jubilee! (3 – 5 Octaves)

Michael, Row The Boat Ashore

Morning Has Broken or Morning Has Broken (3 – 5 Octaves)

Music of the Masters

Music of the Masters, Vol. 2

My Heart Ever Faithful

Pathways to Musical Ringing, Vol. 2 or Pathways to Musical Ringing, Vol. 2 (3 – 5 Octaves)

Prelude to Sunrise

Processional & Joyful Dance or Processional & Joyful Dance (3 – 5 Octaves)

Processional Celebration

Processional Jubilee

Simple Gifts

Starting Point, Vol. 1 or Starting Point, Vol. 1 (3 – 5 Octaves)

Starting Point, Vol. 2 or Starting Point, Vol. 2 (3 – 5 Octaves)

Tranquil Chimings

 

Peace & Harmony in the Classroom and World

 

It’s always good to incorporate life lessons into our music.  During the past weeks, we have witnessed students from around the globe become organizers of change.  They have been using their voices to condemn policy, violence, social injustice and hatred to name a few.  These leaders were formed in their homes, communities, centers of faith and in their classrooms.  Through lessons in the music classroom, we can also share in the social development of our children.

At ChimeWorks, we offer the lessons below in the theme of peace.  They combine a great text and tune with easy-to-teach harmonization which will work well in the classroom or concert stage.   All are available for immediate purchase and digital download at the cost of $2.29 each – just pennies per student – in our “Handchimes in the Classroom & Rehearsal” store.

 

Lessons Using Chords to Harmonize Singing

Dona Nobis Pacem

  • Use: Sacred, Secular
  • Level: 3 – 6
  • Canon: Yes
  • Language: Latin
  • Origin: Europe

Dona Nobis Pacem is a traditional song in round or canon form.  The text translates to Grant Us Peace and is taken from the Latin mass.  While the source of this canon is unknown, it is believed to date from the 16th century.

 

Greeting of Peace

  • Use: Sacred, Secular
  • Level: 3 – 6
  • Chords: 5
  • Language: English, Hebrew
  • Origin: Israel

 Hevenu Shalom A’leychem is a traditional Jewish greeting wishing the goodness of a peace-filled life.

 

Peace Like a River

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

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.

 

Shalom Chaverim

  • Use: Sacred, Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Chords: 3
  • Canon:Y es
  • Language: English, Hebrew
  • Origin: Israel

Meaning farewell, good friends, Shalom Chaverim is a traditional song sung at parting.  It may be sung in English or Hebrew. It may be used as a three-part canon (round).  It may be used for welcoming guests or in teaching friendship.

 

Lessons Using Ostinati Taught by Rote to Harmonize Singing

Good and Joyous

  • Use: Sacred, Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Canon: Yes
  • Language: English, Hebrew
  • Origin: Israel

Good and Joyous is a traditional Hebrew song usually sung in canon (round) form.  It is based on Psalm 133.  In the text, the word people may be used in place of brothers.

 

Happy Days

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Canon: Yes
  • Language: English
  • Origin: America

Happy Days is a four-part canon that has been sung for generations.  Its origin is unknown.

 

Make New Friends

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Canon: Yes
  • Language: English
  • Origin: America

Make New Friends is a traditional campfire song sung by Girl Scouts in North America.

Spring Collections for the Sacred Setting

By now, you may be putting on the finishing touches to your Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter Sunday music and it time to make music choices for the weeks that follow.  At ChimeWorks, we offer some wonderful collections of music that will give you the opportunity to finish the season with ease.  These budget-friendly resources offer a variety of options for your ensemble allowing you to be flexible as Spring sports, travel and other obligations gear up.

All of the following collections are available for immediate purchase and digital download from our store.  Click the links below to learn more about these collections appropriate for handchimes or handbells which will allow you to ring in Spring!

 

All Things Bright and Beautiful  (2 – 3 Octaves)  (3 – 5 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Cathy Moklebust
  • Level: Level 1+, Level 2, Level 2+
  • Topic: Christmas, Communion, Easter, General, Lent, Palm Sunday
  • Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

Cathy Moklebust’s reproducible collection contains several well-known hymn tune arrangements and original compositions for use during various seasons of the church year. Two of the pieces include instrumental parts. Published in compatible editions for 2-3 and 3-5 octaves, this budget-stretching reproducible collection will be a great addition to the libraries of church handbell choirs. Contents: All Things Bright and Beautiful; All Glory, Laud and Honor; God, Who Stretched the Spangled Heavens (Brethren, We Have Met to Worship); Calming Peace (Prayer for Kristin); Thee We Adore, O Hidden Savior; Kyrie, Processional on All Glory, Laud and Honor; Now the Green Blade Rises (Sing We Now of Christmas); Christ the Lord Is Risen Today (From the East the Donkey Came)

 

Bells and Keys… More or Less

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Sandra Eithun
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 1.5 – 2 Octaves, Small Ensemble
  • Level: Level 2
  • Topic: General
  • Options: Keyboard
  • Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

Tunes: LYONS; DIX; KINGSFOLD; CRUSADERS HYMN: CANDLER; DUKE STREET • General • Contents: O Worship the King; For the Beauty of the Earth; I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say (O Sing a Song of Bethlehem); Fairest Lord Jesus (Beautiful Savior); Come, O Thou Traveler Unknown; Jesus Shall Reign • Level 2 • The purpose of this collection is to offer a wide range of performance options when you may have “more or less” ringers and could possibly use a keyboard to add fullness if desired.  These reproducible arrangements have been set for use with or without keyboard and with or without bass clef ringers.  They can be performed with 12 bells in the treble (from C5 – G6), or with the addition of the bass clef for a full 2-octave ensemble sound.  The general hymn titles are perfect for year-round ringing in any concert or worship service.

 

Essential Classics for Two Octaves

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Barbara Baltzer Kinyon, Cynthia Dobrinski, Kerry Boyce, Ruby Shaw Hollis, Susan Geschke
  • Level: Level 1+
  • Topic :Advent, Christmas, Easter, General
  • Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

This 60-page collection includes thirteen of our best-selling arrangements of recent years, all for 2 octave choirs. Levels range from 1+ to 2+. These tried and proven winners come from a variety of composers and arrangers and represent a wide range of styles and are useful throughout the church year. Single copies of these 13 titles exceed the cost of this one book which you can then reproduce for all your ringers!

Song List
  • Simple Gifts
  • Jubilate, Amen
  • Carol of the Bells
  • Thine Is The Glory
  • Great Is Thy Faithfulness
  • He Is Born, the Holy Child
  • Come, Thou Almighty King
  • Christ the Lord Is Risen Today
  • O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
  • Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho
  • Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us
  • Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
  • All Creatures of Our God and King

 

Hymns for Three Octaves

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Michael Ryan
  • Level: Level 1
  • Topic: Praise

From arranger Michael Ryan here are eight, solid Level 1 settings of a variety of popular hymns. There are no bell changes and no subdivisions of beats making these settings easy to learn by any size, or level, bell or chime group.

Song List
  • Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
  • Morning Has Broken
  • All Creatures of Our God and King
  • ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
  • In Thee Is Gladness
  • My Life Flows on in Endless Song
  • How Firm a Foundation
  • Day by Day

 

Reproducible Rings II (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

 

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.

Tune sources:  CRUSADER’S HYMN; ASSURANCE; TERRA PATRIS; O LAMM GOTTES, UNSCHULDIG; HOLY MANNA

 

Spring Ring! (2 – 3 Octaves) (3 – 5 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Tammy Waldrop
  • Level: Level 1
  • Topic: General, Palm Sunday
  • Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

The reproducible Spring Ring! collection, published in compatible 2-3 and 3-5 octave editions, is a valuable resource of accessible music for general and lenten worship, Palm Sunday, concerts, and festivals.  Titles include: The GatheRing (easily memorized); Amazing Grace (in 4/4 meter); Sweet Hosannas Ring! (a setting of “All Glory, Laud and Honor”); Morning Has Broken (a step-up piece which incorporates Grieg’s “Morning Song”) and Spring Ring! (an original composition full of techniques and fun!) Contents: Amazing Grace; The GatheRing; Morning Has Broken; Spring Ring; Sweet Hosannas Ring

Ringing in the Resurrection

After the Lenten journey, there is no morning more joyous than Easter!  This is the day that the Lord has made – Choirs, organ, brass, handbells and handchimes – let all rejoice and be glad! ChimeWorks has some classic choices for your ensemble to ring out the message of resurrection on the holiest days of the Christian calendar.  All are available for immediate purchase and digital download.  Click the links below to find them in our store.

 

Jesus Shall Reign (2 – 3 Octaves) (3 – 5 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Cynthia Dobrinski
  • Octaves Used: 2 – 3 Octaves
  • Level: Level 1
  • Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

This joyful rendition of the Duke Street tune employs a careful and judicious use of big chords and techniques. Though easily accessible, “Jesus Shall Reign” is constructed to allow the ringers to sound more expert than Level 1.

 

Christ the Lord is Risen Today

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Cathy Moklebust
  • Octaves Used: 2 – 3 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2
  • Options: Snare Drum, Tambourine
  • Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

Here is a delightfully different piece for Easter. The lively, march-like arrangement of the 13th-century French tune, ORIENTIS PARTIBUS, includes parts for snare drum and tambourine. Techniques used are finger damp, ring touch, and vibrato.

 

Easter Alleluia

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Susan T. Nelson
  • Octaves Used: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2
  • Options: Bb Instrument, Percussion
  • Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

Optional use of instruments makes this festive setting of “O Filii Et Fillae” highly versatile. Handchimes enhance the texture, percussion adds excitement, and the solo instrument provides variety.

 

In the Garden

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Cynthia Dobrinski
  • Octaves Used: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2

Cynthia Dobrinski arranges C. Austin Miles’ “In the Garden.” A wonderful setting of the gospel classic.

 

Alleluia!

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Wayne Kerr
  • Octaves Used: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2+
  • Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

Alleluia! is a joyous original composition in which both treble and bass ringers share in playing melodic material. With no bell changes, this accessible piece will be an excellent addition to worship services, concerts and festivals.

 

Christ the Lord is Risen Today

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Barbara Baltzer Kinyon
  • Octaves Used: 2 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2+

A joyous setting of EASTR HYMN.

 

Easter Bells (2 – 3 Octaves) (3 – 5 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Michael Ryan
  • Octaves Used: 2 – 3 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2+
  • Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

The unbridled joy of Easter morning is brilliantly reflected in this ingenious pairing of LASST UNS ERFREUEN (“All Creatures of Our God and King”) and EASTER HYMN (“Christ the Lord Is Risen Today”).

 

Easter Hymn

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Patricia Hurlbutt
  • Octaves Used: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 3
  • Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

Easter Hymn begins simply, with melody and fragments of it leading to the statement of the tune.  An interlude generates excitement, culminating in a grand and triumphant presentation of the powerful resurrection hymn.

 

Hail the Day That Sees Him Rise

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Dan R. Edwards
  • Octaves Used: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 3
  • Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

This uplifting arrangement of the hymn tune LLANFAIR will keep all ringers actively involved. It features an engaging middle section in which the theme passes through several interesting keys. Techniques include finger damps and LVs.

Handchimes and Holy Week

Lent is here and if you haven’t already made music choices for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, now is the time.  If you own handbells, choosing to ring handchimes on these two holy days may be an effective decision.  Their mellow and ethereal sound will set a tone for your worship.

Here are some pieces that we highly recommend for your consideration.  All of the title are available from ChimeWorks for immediate purchase and digital download.

Maundy Thursday

Humbly, I Adore You

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Shawn Gingrich
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 1+

A classic French melody arranged in an easy-to-ring style for 3-5 octaves. Ideal for an offertory or prelude on a special service.

 

Communion Meditations

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Margaret R. Tucker
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2

This collection of four pieces includes two familiar communion hymn tunes (ADORO TE DEVOTE and EUCHARISTIC HYMN) and two original compositions (O Taste and See and Eat This Bread, Drink This Cup). The original pieces have alternate titles for general use. The four pieces may be played separately or as a group, and each piece has points at which the music may be shortened or repeated.

 

Communion Meditations, Set 2

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Margaret R. Tucker
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2

This collection includes four reflective, variable-length pieces suitable for communion or general use. Three of the pieces are arrangements of “Holy Manna, Picardy” and an old Cornish round, “The Lord is My Shepherd.” The fourth piece, “In Remembrance” (or “Meditation in G Minor”), is an original composition, which also incorporates the optional use of the hymn tune “Martydom”.

 

Gift of Finest Wheat

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Robert E. Kreutz, Sondra K. Tucker
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 2 – 3 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2+

This arrangement of the beloved communion hymn moves gracefully from 4/4 to 3/4 time, providing a good introduction to mixed meter. Ringers should be sure to emphasize the melody, particularly when it appears in the inner voices, and maintain a legato line throughout.

 

Thee We Adore – Collection for Holy Week and Easter

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Cathy Moklebust
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 2 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2
  • Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

These easy arrangements will be ideal for a beginning bell choir. The hymns included are: “Thee We Adore (Adoro Te Devote)”; “Lamb of God, Most Holy (O Lamm Gottes, Unschuldig)”; “Now The Green Blade Rises (Noel Nouvelet)”; and “Christ The Lord is Risen Today (Orientis Partibus)”.

 

Thee We Adore, O Hidden Savior (2 – 3 Octaves)  (3 – 5 Octaves)

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Cathy Moklebust
  • Level:Level 1+

Ethereal and delicate, this is a very easy setting of the 17th century French tune “Adoro Te Devote.”

 

O Lamb of God, Most Holy

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Kathleen Wissinger
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 2 – 3 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2-

This gentle 16th-century tune features fermatas. Few parentheses are used for the mostly-chordal melody, played by both treble and bass ringers. All ringers but one encounter at least one easy bell change. Some unison exercises on (1) preparing for bell changes, (2) watching the director for fermatas will help train ringers to play calmly and precisely.

 

Good Friday

Beneath the Cross of Jesus

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Susan Geschke
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2+

This deeply-moving setting uses rich textures and lush harmonies to mirror the emotion of the text. This prayerful setting is especially effective during Lent, Communion or any time of quiet meditation. Using only legato ringing and an ABA form, this beloved hymn is accessible to virtually all choirs and is certain to become a favorite.

 

In the Shadow of the Cross

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: William E. Moats
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2+

The familiar Lenten hymns Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed and Beneath the Cross of Jesus progress to the final theme of Amazing Grace in this thoughtful medley.

 

Kyrie

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Cathy Moklebust
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 2 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 3

The melody in this original work is hauntingly reflective of the words “Kyrie eleison,” meaning “Lord, have mercy.”

 

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

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Susan Geschke
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 2 – 3 Octaves
  • Level: Level 1+

Published in two compatible editions, 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.

 

He Never Said A Mumbalin’ Word

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Arnold B. Sherman
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 3
  • Origin: African American Spiritual
  • Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo: Caution

 

Jesus Paid It All

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Alan Lohr
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 3 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2

This simple three-octave arrangement of the well-known gospel hymn by John T. Grape features minimal bell changes and plenty of harmonic interest. The straightforward treatment enables the listener to reflect on the meditative text of the hymn.

 

O Sacred Head, Now Wounded

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Arnold B. Sherman
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2+

A pensive setting of the Hans Leo Hassler chorale.

 

Pie Jesu

  • Author/Composer/Arranger: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Douglas E. Wagner
  • Octaves Used – Select One: 3 – 5 Octaves
  • Level: Level 2

A beautiful setting from Webber’s Requiem.

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.