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Former good article nomineeHandbell was a Music good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There may be suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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March 31, 2008Good article nomineeNot listed
WikiProject Musical Instruments (Rated C-class, High-importance)
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WikiProject Percussion (Rated B-class, High-importance)
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I created an archive and moved everything that either seemed old, resolved or otherwise didn't include any follow up items. This should make the page easier to read and the current page can now serve as a to-do list. Any objections? Godofbiscuits (talk) 02:00, 27 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


AGEHR is significant enough to warrant its own article, if anyone has the information to write it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:52, 15 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree, but the challenge is going to be coming up with literature that's not from the Guild itself (See WP:IS). In my research, it often seems like everything in the universe that has to do with handbells is published by AGEHR! |Godofbiscuits| 19:52, 15 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Would it be ok to add the different types of rings?[edit]

I mean, would it be ok to make a new section that included the different types of ways to ring the bells (such as the martellato, shake, or thumb damp)?

Or is that kind of useless? Artic fox1029384756

I think a description of some of the various articulations would be useful. Perhaps using the text that's in the AGEHR notation guide? --Ladysun1969 21:34, 14 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've started and then expanded this section. Are there any techniques that I'm missing? Also, if anyone has sources for the info about plucking and marting, please add them! |Godofbiscuits| 20:16, 11 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Should this section say "these include" as I am sure there are many varients and other ways to play handbells. Either that or we need to make the list more exhaustive. What do you think? - Aidan Fozard -- (talk) 22:40, 27 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wrist snap??[edit]

"To ring the bell, the ringer moves it in such a way that the clapper strikes the inside surface of the bell, usually holding it against his or her shoulder, bell-upwards, and using the wrist to snap."

Since we now know the "wrist snap" to be non-ergonomic, shouldn't this be corrected to say something like "usually holding it against his or her shoulder, bell-upwards, so that the bell rocks forward and backward on the hand." or something similar? How does she describe it in "Healthy Ringing"? Ladysun1969 17:02, 28 April 2006 (UTC)ladysun1969Reply[reply]

Any description of how to ring a handbell should include a description of both off shoulder AND off table style, which your description would not include -- Rc Mayhem 18:46, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree that my proposed change does not address the off-table ringing style, however it is (IMO) a better description of the in-hand style than what is currently in the article. In fact, the article currently doesn't address the off-table style at all. Can you please provide a description of that style and perhaps then both descriptions (yours & mine) can be added to the article. Thank you. --Ladysun1969 21:31, 14 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This could really do with a section to itself in the article, starting with typical ringing style and moving on to the other styles possible. Not being a tune ringer, I was updating the change ringing section to discuss the ringing technique, and I'm still not convinced that the place I put it makes that much sense. (Also, the change ringing section wants pushing down the article, since it's far less familiar to people, but that's another problem.) --Froggienation 10:38, 7 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've attempted to update the ringing technique info with the ergonomically correct method taken from the issue Overtones on ringer wellness. |Godofbiscuits| 20:19, 11 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Composers/Major Works[edit]

Please explain how these people are chosen. Dobrinsky I understand at over 300 composer pieces... but Dean Wagner? At 3 pieces?

I have another question about this section. Is there a website where the composer/work info can be found? I think this would be better off in an external link as opposed to in the article itself. I find it unlikely that the average wikipedia reader has much interest in the names of composers/works for handbells. Those who are particularly interested in that could follow the link to the info. Godofbiscuits (talk) 03:31, 28 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Solo and Ensemble ringing[edit]

Should we start a section on solo and small ensemble ringing? --Ladysun1969 21:35, 14 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Great idea! Does anyone have any sources we could use? This weekend, I'm going to try to get my hands on some overtones newsletters to use as sources for this article- maybe there is something in there. Godofbiscuits (talk) 16:33, 28 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Change Ringing[edit]

This paragraph could use some clarification. Perhaps there's a change ringing expert who could expand it? Phrases like this one "handbells are used almost exclusively to ring methods rather than, for instance, call changes" wouldn't make sense for a non-ringer, because the words used (i.e. "method", "call changes") have different meanings in the change-ringing world, and probably wouldn't make sense to a non-change-ringer. Tiara Diva 16:23, 11 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Um. Love to, but the problem is that both these are currently defined by a subsection of the change ringing page. Really it wants pulling apart, which I might do if I have some time. --Froggienation 20:16, 9 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm not sure this should be included in this article at all. I think the concept of change ringing can't be easily summarized in a sentence, and the role of handbells in change ringing is documented there. I propose we take out the section (which I've separated out the history part and renamed to Differences between handbell ringing and tower bell ringing), mention somewhere that handbells are also used in change ringing, create a link and assume that anyone interested in the subject will go there. Any objections? Godofbiscuits (talk) 17:18, 27 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Okay, done. Godofbiscuits 19:55, 29 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As a change-ringer, albeit one with minimal expereince of handbells (and I did once ending up ringing in Noye's Fludde, which as actually before I started change-ringing) I believe there's also a fundamental difference in how the bells are set up. For change-ringing the springs are set so that the bell will sound whether moved up or down (largely to preserve some concept of what is called hand- or back-stroke in tower-bell ringing), whereas I understand that when ringing tunes, the bell will only sound when swung either up or down (depending on what ringing technique is being used) - forgive me if this is complete rubbish. The slight coverage of change-ringing here may cause problems with the comprehensiveness requirement for Good Article status - as I say I'm no expert on change ringing on handbells, but I could probably turn up some references, such as to things like this David Underdown (talk) 17:24, 20 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually "...the bell will only sound when swung up or down..." isn't entirely true. Handbells have two springs, one "forward" and another "back". In most ensembles you will find that the back spring is tightened quite a bit more than the front spring. This makes it easier to ring forward than back, but does not usually make back ringing impossible. This is done to lessen the amount of accidental back rings so that the bell will only ring once when played. That being said, there are ensembles that will loosen the back spring to either the same resistance as the front, making front and back indistinguishable, or loosen the back spring more than usual to allow for controlled back ringing. This can often make fast repetitive notes easier, much like a shake but rhythmic. I also have a vague recollection of hearing that Campanile would do this with their interlocked 4nH setups to allow for quick flips between a right and left hand setup. —Preceding unsigned comment added by NunoMiguel (talkcontribs) 07:02, 23 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So to some extent there is a difference? For change-ringing the bells must be able to ring equally easily whether rung up or down, for tune-ringin, this is less often the case? David Underdown (talk) 19:14, 24 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Photos, 'major works'[edit]

I have a couple of suggestions: 1) the article would be vastly improved by a photo or two of playing techniques, such as a time lapse or multiple exposure image of a normal swing. 2) the 10" rule isnt very useful in deciding what repertory might be interesting to an outsider. Noah's Fludd is undeniably a major work, but uses bells in a decidedly minor role (I cant remember whether they actually play less than 10") and is not a work one could hope to encounter at a handbell concert: at least, not pending a new arrangement :-P. What if instead there was a list of highlights of the repertoire for bellchoir, short and long, and another section on the handbell as a mixed ensemble member? Sparafucil 00:15, 7 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'll try to get some more photos of bells/ringers in the near future. Godofbiscuits (talk) 18:42, 26 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

History Section[edit]

I've created a short history section out of some of the information previously in the change rining section. I think it would be great to expand this section with more sourced info. Godofbiscuits (talk) 18:34, 26 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Assignments Section[edit]

To me, the section on assignments seems pretty superfluous. I've taken it as a project to re-organize/wikitize this article, but I didn't want to delete anything without discussion. My issue with the section is that I don't think there's any standard for how bells are assigned (as admitted in the article). In my experience, it vaires widely given the piece, the choir and the skill of the ringers. I don't really think the information presented adds anything to the article. Anyone object? Godofbiscuits (talk) 21:51, 26 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Okay, I went ahead and removed. I think we should mention somewhere about how bell choirs are unique in that a group of people act as one instrumeny, but the specifics used in this section were not the way to get that across. Godofbiscuits (talk) 15:32, 28 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Several Minor Edits[edit]

Hello, I'm new to the whole wikipedia contribution thing, but I've noticed some things that I would like to edit. Since I'm new, I thought putting them in the talk page would be better.

a small, solid triangle ("martellato" — to hit the bell on to the table, pushing most of the lip into the table)

Pushing just the lip of the bell is bad technique as it will cause the overtones found in the body of the bell to overpower the fundamental.

Ringing more than two bells at a time


Four bells

There are two main ways of ringing two handbells with one hand: four-in-hand and Shelley. In the four-in-hand technique,... Four-in-hand is typically used to ring multiple positions or pick up accidentals.

I think that this section should be renamed "Multiple Bell Techniques". This is used more often now to describe playing more than just two bells. Also it should be added to the 4nH section that when the 45degree technique is perfected, it renders the Shelley technique obsolete.

I suggest that Bass bell part of the multiple bell technique section be changed to weaving, as well as include "traveling 4 in hand"

Plucking is accomplished by pressing the bell casting into the foam-covered table and, using the thumb and forefinger, forcing the clapper head into the dampened casting, producing a staccato tone.

Modern plucking is taught as a one handed technique to allow for quick transition between bells. Pressing the casting in the foam is the older two handed technique.

I'm comfortable making these edits myself (I think, as I'm still learning) but would like to hear from the group, if they are agreed upon. --NunoMiguel (talk) 07:08, 16 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Welcome to Wikipedia, NunoMiguel! I think all of the edits you mention would be great! The only suggestion I have is that you find some written (either online or print) source for the facts that you're adding to make them verifiable (see WP:V). You'll notice that I've been using the Overtones journal as a source for much of the info in the article, but I know there are books and other sources out there that I haven't gotten to (the most recent issue of Overtones I have is from early 2001, so don't be surprised if there are other outdated items in the article). If you need any help citing your sources in the article, see WP:CITE or feel free to leave a message on my talk page and I'll be glad to give assistance! Thanks for helping to improve the article! |Godofbiscuits| 12:47, 16 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Great I will start working on the edits. As for citing sources, that would probably be the most unfortunate thing about current handbell ringing. There simply are no books, or material that are up to date. The majority of proper bell technique is slowly being "discovered" by those ringing. It is then taught to the community through small workshops and master classes. The handbell community is still not at a place where there is professional literature written on technique, or enough research. The "bible" of technique has been "Healthy Ringing", and even that is pretty out of date. It's sad, but all I have to base my information on is workshops I've attended and taught, as well as what I've gleaned off ringing with some amazing ringers.--NunoMiguel (talk) 16:10, 16 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Great job on the edits so far! Unfortunately, the situation you describe might cause a problem going forward. While I think your edits are valid and the information is correct, if anyone comes around here and disagrees, you won't have a leg to stand on. Since the article is kind of "in process" anyway, I think we can leave it as it stands (and please feel free to add any more corrections or new info you have), but to be safe, we should tag everything that is unsourced with a {{fact}} so that if anyone who has a reference for the info can add it. Keep up the great work! |Godofbiscuits| 21:56, 16 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'd suggest another, very minor change, to change the word 'wrist' in the first paragraph to 'hand', or another word. If you're snapping your wrist with anything lower than say a C5 you're going to end up with a snapped wrist. (Or, more likely, repetitive stress injury.) GrathXVI (talk) 22:39, 3 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

GAN quick failed[edit]

I'm sorry, but this currently meets the quick fail criteria. I see instances of {{expand}} and {{fact}}, and the Handbell music section is unsourced. Feel free to renominate when these issues have been addressed. Cheers, dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) 09:44, 31 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Image switch[edit]

I've removed the Handbell used.jpg image and replaced it with Area X Handbell Practice.jpg and added Four in Hand Handbells.jpg. The Handbell used.jpg file has irked me for quite some time as the setup is poor (no pads), the player's don't have the appropriate equipment (no gloves), and the technique is not very good. I realize there are multiple potential issues here, but I believe this improves the article, and presents handbells in a more accurate light. Disclosure: I've played handbells for 11+ years, so I'm kindof partial to the instrument. —Cliffb (talk) 11:01, 4 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The 4-in-hand picture looks more like a shelly ring if you look closely at the handle placement. Tdstom (talk) 01:20, 26 March 2011 (UTC) tdstomReply[reply]

HS classification[edit]

The Hornbostel-Sachs classification of this instrument seems problematical... it seems to come under Indirectly struck idiophones (112) The player himself does not go through the movement of striking; percussion results indirectly through some other movement by the player, and I think on reflection that's what we have here. Essentially, in HS terms it's a rattle with only one pea! But that conflicts with 111.242.2 Sets of bells or chimes, which is the natural guess. And many other bells have the same problem.

This interpretation would also mean that a swung church bell has a different HS classification to one rung by an external clapper, and that for example Great Tom has a different classification when swung on special occasions than when the same bell is rung normally. Again on reflection, that seems correct too. Andrewa (talk) 05:53, 5 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply] gives the HS classification of handbells as 111.242.1 Bells (individual), which seems wrong to me... surely hanbells as melodic percussion constitute a set of bells? gives a classification of 111.242.222 Sets of clapper bells, which seems right on. Andrewa (talk) 13:43, 5 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

To understand any music, we must hear it[edit]

And so I ask this: Could some enterprising handbell ringer please add some musical examples to the article?

It'd be really great if we had examples - at least sound files, but preferably video - of:

  1. a short but interesting composition demonstrating the capabilities of a handbell ensemble; and
  2. each notable playing technique.

As a musician who's never heard a handbell ensemble play, this seems to me the most glaring lack in the current article, which is otherwise nicely balanced and informative. And of course, since Wikipedia is the most likely place people will look to satisfy their curiosity about handbells, surely adding sounds to this article would be an easy way to share the excitement and attraction that players feel to them as musical instruments.

yoyo (talk) 06:35, 26 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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I don’t see Asian handbells here, nor the uses for which Hindus and Buddhists use them. Check List of Nepali musical instruments for a couple if examples. There are probably other religious uses that should be covered. Jacqke (talk) 03:51, 14 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]