A recurring question posted on Handbell-L asks why the music published for twelve bells is scored for C5 through G6. In the variety of answers offered, the majority of opinions were divided between two points of view regarding the most useful range for twelve-bell music. The primary considerations of the two main options are listed below.
OPTION #1 - uses C5 through G6 with no sharps or flats
Is playable by groups with a 2-octave set of bells
Requires only the natural notes, making it useful in the United Kingdom where the high cost of bells prohibits many choirs from purchasing a full chromatic set of bells.
Does not conform to standard assignments; when each ringer rings two consecutive bells, (CD, EF, GA, BC, DE, FG) the standard assignments are "out of kilter" by one staff degree
Fits standard assignments for 5 ringers (DE, FG, AB, CD, EF) onlyif one ringer rings non-consecutive bells (C5+G6)
OPTION #2 - uses D5 through A6 in a variety of keys
Lays naturally for the standard assignments (DE, FG, AB, CD, EF, GA)
Does not require bell changes as long as the music is strictly diatonic
Requires a 3-octave set of bells to accommodate the A6
Is not accessible for groups with only 1-1/2 or 2 octaves
Requires a chromatic set of bells even for music with no bell changes
Consensus of Opinions Derived from the Survey
The responses to our informal survey clearly indicated a small market for music scored for standard ringing assignments. The Dare Team Press publications for 6 ringers listed below use only 12 bells except where noted. Although the diatonic compositions have no bell changes, they are scored in a variety of keys that require the chromatic bells specified in the key signature.
We have designated our publications "music for 6 ringers" to distinguish them from the customary 12-bell music scored for the natural notes C5 – G6.
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Click the ITEM NUMBER of a specific piece to playback the music.