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