Playing the bells

Federation Handbells as freight
Each set of Federation Handbells travels in four packing crates that can fit in the back of an average station wagon.
Source: Museum Victoria

The Federation Handbells can be played by everyone, from new musicians to orchestral percussionists.

These handbells provide an excellent medium for introducing musical performance to children or adults. They assist in the development of many musical skills including listening, individual and team co-ordination, timing and rhythm, the handbells enable groups to achieve very effective musical results.

The Federation Handbells are cast in silicon bronze and have a unique design and pitch. Each set of bells covers two chromatic piano octaves (from E to E). The bells are played by striking them with a mallet. They can be played in the style of a xylophone by a single musician controlling a set of bells, or each musician can play one bell.

What a brilliant resource for music teachers!... we played known tunes on them and arranged songs for performance to the parents, we composed on them and we played games with them.

Bettina McMurray, Plenty Valley Christian College

What to expect

Each set consists of 24 bells contained in four travelling crates that will fit in the back of a station wagon. The largest crate weighs 28 kg and the two largest crates require two people to lift them. The Federation Handbells range in size from 120mm high to 180mm high and have an average weight of 1kg each.

It is possible to borrow numerous sets of bells plus mallets and tilt brackets. The cost of their collection and return are to be covered by the hirer.