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Surprise Postlude

This conceptual musical work uses 16 "hidden" handbells from a 3-octave set to surprise listeners. Most effective at events when handbells are unexpected.

~ The concept emerged while driving to church without a definite postlude planned to conclude the service. No handbells were slated to perform that particular Sunday, so no one was expecting to see or hear bells…which made for a delightful surprise.

~ Implementation: It is suggested that ringers be “planted” throughout the congregation/crowd, making sure to hide the bells. At the end of the service/event—and seemingly spontaneously—one ringer stands and begins slowly pulsing the low C bell. Every two measures, another ringer is “inspired” to add their bell to the growing quartal chord tension. The low C’s rhythmic change signals a more pleasing “resolution” chord at the end.

~ Eight or more ringers may participate. No director is needed to conduct (no visual spoiler). The rhythms and/or pitches may be changed as needed for each performance.

~This work was created during Matt’s 30+ year career as Director of Music within the church world. He often composed or arranged for the handbell choirs he directed. The premiere occurred as the closing postlude on May 5, 1991 at the North Parish Church of North Andover, Massachusetts.

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UPC: 045011815915


Sheet Music
(Available through online partners)

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The music has been written for
16 handbells (from a 3-octave set)

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