Why Do We Ring Handbells?

Posted By Derek Nance on Aug 14, 2013 | 3 comments

To celebrate we are going to answer the eternal question.  The question that all of us have to grapple with at some time.  The question that keeps even the most professional ringers up at night.  Why exactly do we play handbells?

If you think about it, the question is tough.  Handbells is an instrument that requires orders of magnitude more teamwork, precision, and equipment hauling than most other musicians, and yet we all still ring.

According to Urban Dictionary, handbells are defined as “A group, mainly a church group, that gets together every week to ring bells.  All the cool kids are in handbells.” So do we ring just be be a cool kid?  (Warning, if you do not know what Urban Dictionary is, do not click on the link to it.  Just trust me on this one).

I’m going to let one of my fellow ringers, Ben, answer that question.  Here is his vamp leading into Tintabulations’ performance of “Pirates of the Caribbean” at the 2013 Handbell National Seminar.  In front of the hundreds of ringers gathered he proposes his hypothesis as to why we ring bells.

(While you are watching, enjoy my moment at 4:07 when I forget where I was for about 8 measures.  Hooray for playing from memory!)

I’m going to agree with Ben’s hipster analysis of our instrument.  I think it is fun to play an instrument that when you finally drag your friends to a concert they get wide eyed and sit there stunned.  I think it is crazy how young the art form is and how new discoveries are made all the time.  And I think its crazy that hundreds of you follow our blog and read our rantings about the handbells world.

100 posts down!  Thank you all who have come to join us.  Who knows what sorts of crazy things we might discover in the second hundred posts.