Wednesday, 5 September 2012

The Bells, The Bells.

I went back to handbell ringing last night, where we attempted to play  Rossini's "Overture from William Tell"  at  its maked speed of allegro, which is pretty zippy.  However that was not possible, as M, who normally plays four tenor/bass bells two at a time,  had to play four small treble bells, four at a time.   He decided he would prefer  to play at largo, and we tended to agree with him!   The piece rather lost its flair at this speed, and sounded more like a dirge.   We laughed and laughed, and eventually gave up!   Later we played "Greensleaves" at its proper slow speed, which sounded lovely in parts.   At half time we drank tea and coffee, ate some tasty milk chocolate biscuits, and all was once again well with the world.
Above can be seen my three tenor bells, A, A# and B.  I have an easy time, as I read the bass line for the low, underlying notes.  This is the music for "Pomp and Circumstance No 2" by Edward Elgar.  If you look carefully at the music to the right, on the lower stave you can see some notes enlarged with green or red dots.  These are my notes, and I play them when we arrive at that bar.  Furious bar counting is necessary, as it is easy to get completely lost.  Sometimes in the middle of playing a melody, a voice will suddenly say, "Bar, bar number, where are we, where are we?"   A helpful voice will then say, "37,  now 38, now 39."   Christmas is coming, the time when traditional English handbell ringers have a whale of a time playing carols in the local churches, and at various venues throughout the Devizes area.   All great fun! 

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