'Writing for SATB and handbells'

Messages in this thread

Writing for SATB and handbells - Kevin Gibbs, 02 Aug 09:18PM
     Re: Writing for SATB and handbells - Daniel formerly at Sibelius, 02 Aug 09:21PM
     Re: Writing for SATB and handbells - James Gilbert, 03 Aug 01:14AM
         Re: Writing for SATB and handbells - Kevin Gibbs, 03 Aug 01:44AM
             Re: Writing for SATB and handbells - Joseph Virgilio, 04 Aug 03:08AM
         Re: Writing for SATB and handbells - Kevin Gibbs, 03 Aug 03:57AM
             Re: Writing for SATB and handbells - Kevin Gibbs, 03 Aug 04:09AM
                 Re: Writing for SATB and handbells - OmahaLiturgist, 16 May 07:18PM
                     Re: Writing for SATB and handbells - Daniel formerly at Sibelius, 16 May 10:53PM

Writing for SATB and handbells
Posted by Kevin Gibbs - 02 Aug 09:18PM
Guys,
I'm trying to write something for SATB choir and handbells. I don't know how many handbell players are involved. I also don't know how many staves one dedicates to handbells in the score and whether the size of the handbell ensemble determines the number of staves? I'm told I can use three to five octaves. Some of my questions are:
1. Does one have to decide which players are assigned which notes and are swapping which bells, or is it like orchestral percussion where you make a mini score, for the percussion and they figure it out?Would I just put the handbell part on one grand staff in such a case?
Thanks for any help.
Kevin

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Re: Writing for SATB and handbells
Posted by Daniel formerly at Sibelius - 02 Aug 09:21PM
As I understand it, you would simply write the bells part on a grand staff and let the players figure out who should play what.

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Re: Writing for SATB and handbells
Posted by James Gilbert - 03 Aug 01:14AM
Write the bells on a grand staff. Anything from middle C# (known as C#5 in bell lingo) and lower goes on bass clef. (Db5, bottom space in treble clef goes in treble clef but the enharmonic C#5 goes in bass clef). Directors often assign bells according to match the ability of the players, but the most common assignment I've seen give two notes (letter names) per player. Notes, not bells, as any accidentals would be covered by the same player. (For example, one player would play G5, G#5, A5 & A#5). You do want to include a bells used chart above the first system. That contains all the notes played in a piece notated as quarter notes without any stems with both left & right margins indented. If a piece calls for both G#5 and Ab5 it is typical to list both bells in the bells used chart. With an SATB and bells piece, it is rare that I've ever seen the ringer's part contain anything but the bell part. On the other hand, the choral score will typically include the bell part at 70 or 80% size of the choral parts. It has been a few years since I've rung in or directed a handbell group, but I'm pretty sure this info is still up to date. And as you probably know, handbells sound one octave higher than written.

James

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Re: Writing for SATB and handbells
Posted by Kevin Gibbs - 03 Aug 01:44AM
James,
Your response is very helpful. If you wouldn't mind answering two dumb questions for a blind man, since Sibelius puts up one single staff for handbells when it's chosen from the instrument dialog, how does one, having inserted two instances creating two staves, turn them into one grand staff called "Handbells?" Also, how do I shrink the handbells staves to 80% of the other staves?
Thanks,
Kevin

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Re: Writing for SATB and handbells
Posted by Joseph Virgilio - 04 Aug 03:08AM
Kevin, when you create a new score there is a handbell 2 staves option. You can choose that and then add voices (SATB) once the score is created. And, this sounds like the 2010 Carol competition . . . Good Luck if you are entering. Joe

> James,
> Your response is very helpful. If you wouldn't mind answering two dumb questions for a blind man, since Sibelius puts up one single staff for handbells when it's chosen from the instrument dialog, how does one, having inserted two instances creating two staves, turn them into one grand staff called "Handbells?" Also, how do I shrink the handbells staves to 80% of the other staves?
> Thanks,
> Kevin

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Re: Writing for SATB and handbells
Posted by Kevin Gibbs - 03 Aug 03:57AM
One other thing is messing me up. Somehow, when I play handbells in Sibelius 6 or 5, they sound where they're played. Middle C on the keyboard should sound C 3rd space treble clef. But it doesn't. Is there anything I can do to have the handbells sound an octave higher than writen so I can keep my place in the world?

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Re: Writing for SATB and handbells
Posted by Kevin Gibbs - 03 Aug 04:09AM
Well, you can ignore this last post, I've got the bells to sound an octave up as they should. Had to reassign them in the mixer.

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Re: Writing for SATB and handbells
Posted by OmahaLiturgist - 16 May 07:18PM
I don't see the Handbell 2 staves option in Sibelius 7. Can anyone help me out with this? Thanks!

Kelly - Handbell Director who recently switched from Finale to Sibelius

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Re: Writing for SATB and handbells
Posted by Daniel formerly at Sibelius - 16 May 10:53PM
You can create a new score via the New Score page of Quick Start on the 'Handbells (2 staves)' manuscript paper.

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Messages in this thread

Writing for SATB and handbells - Kevin Gibbs, 02 Aug 09:18PM
     Re: Writing for SATB and handbells - Daniel formerly at Sibelius, 02 Aug 09:21PM
     Re: Writing for SATB and handbells - James Gilbert, 03 Aug 01:14AM
         Re: Writing for SATB and handbells - Kevin Gibbs, 03 Aug 01:44AM
             Re: Writing for SATB and handbells - Joseph Virgilio, 04 Aug 03:08AM
         Re: Writing for SATB and handbells - Kevin Gibbs, 03 Aug 03:57AM
             Re: Writing for SATB and handbells - Kevin Gibbs, 03 Aug 04:09AM
                 Re: Writing for SATB and handbells - OmahaLiturgist, 16 May 07:18PM
                     Re: Writing for SATB and handbells - Daniel formerly at Sibelius, 16 May 10:53PM