What Are These Handbell Things?

The tubular instruments which emit the mellow, gentle sound you will hear coming from the balcony soon are manufactured by Schulmerich and are called "Melodychimes" ®.  They are a descendant of a hand-held split bamboo tube instrument, made in China thousands of years ago.  The bamboo was refined over the years until finally, Jacob Malmark found the right combination of metals and tube shape and introduced the "Choirchime® in 1982, which is a very similar instrument manufactured by Maimark.

There are other manufacturers:  Suzuki "Tone Chimes®" is the third popular name.  Each has a slightly different sound or tone which is generated by a mallet hinged and moved to strike on the side of the tube. The actual shape (round, square, etc.), thickness and length of the tube creates the tone.  We chose those made by Schulmerich based on a bit of research and the fact that our handbells are also manufactured by Schulmerich and we have a good history with them as a customer.

Just as handbells are manufactured to cover the notes of about seven octaves, so are chimes.  We have three octaves of each, handbells and Melodychimes® .  $1450 I full6 octaves- $4300.

The chime is easier to learn and doesn't require wearing gloves tarnishing isn't a problem with chimes.  They are ideal for use in conjunction with the Sunday School in order to bring a little musical instruction and a lot of fun to the classes occasionally during the year. I

Adding the chimes to the handbell choir gives us a whole new dimension and expression to our music.  Many selections are written or arranged to be played by bells and chimes, sometimes alternating and sometimes together throughout the piece.

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