Handbell ensemble is a unique collection of instruments and making music with them is also unique – the musicians don’t play long parts, instead they ring the bells in turn. And so handbell music is born by listening carefully to the other players and the conductor of course and paying attention to the pauses and notes in the score.
Normally handbell ensembles consist of 10-15 members who use a set of bells of 5 octaves. Arsis Handbell Ensemble has challenged itself – 8 players have a set of handbells of 7 octaves (just as many as there are keys on the piano) and they perform without a conductor!
Arsis Youth Ensembles are made up of 10-12 members who use 6-7 octave sets. The bass-handbells which are up to 180 cm high are sure eyecatchers!
All the handbells that Arsis uses are made by the Malmark Bellcraftsmen in the United States.