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Handchime Ensembles

While music written for handbell ensembles is the foundation of repertoire for handchime ensembles, several considerations should be considered when choosing literature that is effective on handchimes:

  • Tempo – Because of the pure tone and resonance of handchimes along with their design, moderate tempos are most desirable on handchimes.  Quicker tempos will cause the handchimes to sound too percussive with undesirable sounds of the attack of the clapper head.  Quicker tempos often lead to incomplete damping which will cause unwanted dissonance.
  • Ringing Techniques – Not all ringing techniques and articulations that are performed on handbells may be performed on handchimes due to the design and fragile nature of the tines.  The following are techniques that may be used:  ringing, damping, thumb damp, shake, mallet strike while the handchime is held in the air and vibrato.

The above considerations have been used when the ChimeWorks staff has compiled the list of suggested handbell literature suitable with handchimes.  We have categorized our suggestions into two groups:  freely recommended and recommended with caution as a slower tempo and/or some ringing techniques should be eliminated.




Octaves Used - Select One





Use Caution with Techniques and/or Tempo

Advent Carol
Air in D