See the Links page for online resources.

The books in my library I particularly recommend for soloists and advancing handbell musicians.


  • Handbell and Handchime Notation, Handbell Musicians of America, formerly AGEHR – includes solo and ensemble notation – you can buy this as a book, with explanation of techniques and the difficulty grading system for sheet music, or as a laminated sheet lifter from Jeffers
  • David Allen, Advanced Solo Ringing: Multiple Bell Techniques, NMB011 – starts where the other technique books leave off
  • Donald Allured, Mastering Musicianship in Handbells. GENEVOX Music Group 4591-54 – explains most single bell techniques, with photos
  • Christine Anderson, Songs for the Solo Ringer 2 (“blue book”) – Hope Publishing 2509 – 10 solos of increasing degrees of difficulty, with piano accompaniments by Anna Laura Page. The book includes choreography, and you can purchase a CD of accompaniment tracks.
  • Susan Berry, Healthy Ringing, Handbell Services Inc. – injury avoidance
  • Barbara Brocker, A Bell Tree “Keyboard” Manual, Tree-O Publishing 117 – explains her method of setting up bell trees, with exercises
  • Lois and Ken Holland, The Art of Solo Handbell Ringing, Broadman Press. This book is permanently out of print, but copies are sometimes available.
  • Michael Kastner and Kevin McChesney, Solo Ringing Musically, Jeffers JHS9123 – excellent introduction to solo ringing, as well as multiple bell techniques in general. Useful for “aspiring to bronze” ringers.
  • Kimberlee Strepka, Handbell Artistry from the Inside Out: Laban Movement Theory for the Handbell Musician, GIA
  • Douglas Wagner, Ringer’s Reference Guide, Agape/Hope Publishing 1334 – good quick reference addition to every bell choir ringer’s binder

Related topics:

  • Alfred’s Essentials of Music Theory – Complete – item 16486 (book with 2 CDs) or item 17234 (book without CDs)
  • Gifford Howarth, Simply Four – book/DVD about 4 mallet technique –
  • Gerald Klickstein, The Musician’s Way: A Guide to Practice, Performance, and Wellness
  • Valery Lloyd-Watts and Carole L. Bigler, Ornamentation: A Question and Answer Manual – Alfred – explains ornaments in different eras (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Modern)
  • Norton/Grove Concise Encyclopedia of Music
  • Eloise Ristad, A Soprano on Her Head, Real People Press – a classic about improving performance and enjoying your music
  • Zoltan Kodály, 333 reading exercises, Boosey & Hawkes – helpful primer on solfège


Books you may find at the public library:

  • Malcolm Gladwell, Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking – how the brains of experts work
  • Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success – what makes the best performers (in any field) better than the rest of us?
  • Barry Green, The Mastery of Music: Ten Pathways to True Artistry – uses different instruments to discuss various aspects of musical excellence, such as the trumpet for confidence and the cello for passion
  • Doug Lemov, Practice Perfect: 42 Rules for Getting Better at Getting Better – ideas for making practice more effective
  • William Westney, The Perfect Wrong Note: Learning to Trust Your Musical Self

Copyright © 2011-2017 Nancy Kirkner,

A goldmine for ringers