Category Archives: Bell trees

Handbell stuff for sale

Contact Nancy@handbells.com.  All prices exclude shipping costs from Seattle.

Peery bell tree stand. Includes locking wheels, 3 arms, custom heavy-duty carrying case, and bag with accessories (as shown). $275 First priority to someone who can pick up in Seattle.

Bell tree base in custom carrying case
Bell tree base showing wheels
Bell tree pole in custom cover
Bell tree arms and sleeve for transport
Accessories included with bell tree stand

Mallets – mallets I recommend for solo work, including bell trees. $80 for all. Includes one pair each of:
Mike Balter 25R
Schulmerich old style pink yarn (1 good pair, 1 fuzzy pair free)
Malmark MH40 gray rubber
Musser M25
Malletech NR29R
Includes Galaxy hanging mallet bag

Mallets with bag

Bell tree clips – 5 acrylic and 18 wire clips. $50 for all

Bell tree clips

Malmark case 3 for bells C4-D#4 (Schulmerich bells will also fit). Useful for transporting your largest solo bells to a concert (you can pad the inserts with cloth for smaller bells). In good condition – all hinges and latches work. $100

Malmark case for C4-D#4

Schulmerich adjustable height tables – rectangular 30 inches by 36 inches. 3 available in very good condition, at $100 each.  First priority to someone who can pick up in Seattle.

Performance table covers – Set of covers for two tables: a) 9 feet long by 30 inches wide, b) 3 feet long by 30 inches wide. Second cover can be used on a side table, or put next to the solo table for a total of 12 feet. Top is black pinwale corduroy; attached (sewn-on) full-length skirt is sapphire blue faux velvet. (Skirt wraps around 3 sides of each table.) $100 for the set.

Custom performance table covers

Solo table cover for practice – 9 feet long by 30 inches wide, plus about 5 inch drape. Has Velcro sewn along edge, but no skirt. (You could add one for performance.) Black heavy-duty pinwale corduroy. $20

Solo side table cover – 3 feet long by 30 inches wide. Skirt has about 2 foot drape on all sides. Top is black pinwale corduroy; attached (sewn-in) skirt is black crushed faux velvet. $10

Side table cover – bells not included!

Solo table foam with nylon carry bag – 9 feet long by 30 inch by 1 inch thick piece of foam, rolled into a custom carry bag. One inch thick foam is ideal for solo performances that exclude marting bass bells, and is much easier to transport than bell choir foam. $30

Carry bag for 1″ thick foam – 9 feet long by 30″ wide

Solo table foam – a thin piece of foam covers the whole table length over regular foam to bridge the crack and provide a softer surface for the bells to sink into, so they don’t roll. One piece 9 feet by 30 inch by 1/2 inch thick foam, plus side table piece 3 feet by 30 inches by 1/2 inch thick for $15 (total for 2 pieces). One piece of 9 feet by 30 inch by 1/4 inch thick foam for $10. Take all 3 pieces for $20.

Foam pad – single 36″x30″x4″ rectangle.  Purchased new in 2009 from Gold Coast.  Gently used.  Includes purchased muslin cover.  $25

Solo sheet music package – includes Songs for the Solo Ringer 1 and 2, Red River Music solo collection (Grazioso), favorites from Christine Anderson, Nancy Hascall, Karen Lakey Buckwalter, and a handful of solo instrument works easily adapted for solo ringing. Several titles include 2 legal copies, and all are either new or lightly marked in pencil. Includes 2 accompaniment CDs. Take all for $120.

Solo sheet music/CDs – sold as a package only

Quartet sheet music – 4 copies each of 5 titles (most rated Easy).  Marked in pencil.  Excellent for teaching a quartet workshop.  Take all for $10.

Quartet music – 4 copies each of 5 titles

Recordings – including Christine Anderson, the Raleigh Ringers, and others.  As shown in photo.  Take all for $40.

Recordings – 3 VHS (top row) and 5 DVDs (lower) – sold as a package only

Books for sale – Price List

Solo handbell books – see price list
Handbell training books – see price list
Music theory books – see price list
Misc music books – see price list
Misc handbell books – see price list

Manhasset floor music stand – model 48 (black).  In very good condition.  $20. First priority to someone who can pick up in Seattle.

Microphone stand with adjustable tripod base, boom, and nylon carrying case – On-Stage stand model MS7701B EuroBoom. $20.  First priority to someone who can pick up in Seattle.

Microphone stand with boom and nylon carry bag

Coconut wood clave for singing bell, with fleece sleeve. 2 available – $4/each

Coconut wood claves with sleeves

Chime pads – one approximately 24 inches long and 2 approximately 12 inches long. Foam pads covered with black crushed faux velvet. $10 for all. Chimes not included (!)

Processional ribbons – pair of streamers, in Advent colors. Wide satin ribbon is reversible purple/black; narrow accent ribbons are royal blue. Sewn length is approximately 36 inches (i.e. ribbons of 72 inches were doubled over and stitched). Slip your finger through the sewn loop, pick up your bells, and away you go! $5/pair.

Ribbons in action

Processional ribbons

Fabric bags for carrying random bells. Very handy! Made from sweatshirt-type fabric, with drawstrings and toggle locks. All 7 bags for $15.

Fabric bags for random bells

Contact Nancy@handbells.com.  All prices exclude shipping costs from Seattle.

Bell trees: tips and tricks

As I continue researching articles on equipment, I’d like to share various tips I’ve learned in recent months of working with bell trees. I’m preparing for a group concert at a museum to celebrate the opening of a Russian art exhibit. Due to space constraints and the need to play a non-seasonal work by a Russian composer (Nutcracker would be frowned on in February), I decided to adapt Nancy Hascall’s arrangement of Orientale for bell trees. Continue reading Bell trees: tips and tricks

Mallet technique: basics

See the article on Mallets for information on buying mallets and matching them to bells.

I strongly recommend scheduling some sessions with a professional percussionist to learn proper mallet technique. Ask around for a marimba instructor: call music stores that sell percussion instruments, contact the local music schools, and ask your musician friends for recommendations. There’s no substitute for hands-on instruction by a pro. Try to have someone come to where your bells are so you can work with your equipment, both trees and table bells. Second best would be to take your bell trees to your instructor’s studio. If neither will work, you can learn a lot using the instructor’s mallets and marimba, but you’ll be on your own transferring that knowledge to bells. Continue reading Mallet technique: basics

Bell trees: composing and arranging

Today’s article will address both composing for bell trees (for trained composers) and creating your own arrangements (for bell tree soloists).

It will help to become familiar with the bell tree keyboard configuration, and choose a layout you intend the soloist to use, either the one I’ve described or the one developed by Barbara Brocker. Regardless of your intent, handbell soloists may develop their own setup for your piece, but you have to start somewhere. Continue reading Bell trees: composing and arranging

Mallets

Mallets are an external clapper mechanism. They can be used to create either a stopped sound (malleting bells on the table) or a sustained sound (malleting bells in the air, either singly or in bell trees). The object is to produce the same timbre as the clapper would. Bell manufacturers provide a variety of mallets intended for particular ranges of bells. In general, the bigger the bell, the bigger and softer the mallet. The mallets may be covered with yarn or other soft material. Smaller bells call for smaller, harder mallets, often made of rubber or plastic. Continue reading Mallets

Bell trees: basics

Bell trees were discovered by Louise Frier in the 1980s. As she tells the story, she was working with mallets and also noticed handbell musicians carrying bells from their cases to the bell table by “treeing them up” (looping the handles through others to create a strand, like crocheting, or braiding a sailboat line). In one of those Aha! moments that herald innovation, she put the two ideas together and began malleting bells in trees. Over time, repertoire developed, not only bell tree parts in choir pieces, but works entirely for bell tree soloists. Continue reading Bell trees: basics

Hearing protection

Hearing is a musician’s most important asset. As handbell musicians, and especially as soloists, we routinely put a loud, high-pitched instrument near our ears. We may rehearse in a room that reflects sound back at us, or in a row in front of other handbell musicians. We need to think early in our musical journey about protecting our hearing. It’s particularly important for advanced ringers, who may be exposed to more four-in-hand techniques in the high treble, and for those ringing bell trees. Bells on bell trees aren’t generally damped, so there’s an accumulation of sound right at ear level. Church ringers may need to think about protecting their hearing at Easter, where brass instruments may be combined with the bell choir, perhaps playing behind them. Continue reading Hearing protection