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Ringing Outdoors

Ringing in Warmer Temperatures

It is safe to ring handbells outdoors in warmer temperatures. The tuning of the handbell castings will go lower in higher temperatures but will go back in tune when in a 70° F environment. Do not expose the handbells to direct sunlight as the heat will soften the handles and they may lose their shape. If condensation appears on the castings when the handbells are brought into air conditioning, dry them with a soft cloth before returning them to their cases. We suggest wiping the castings with a polishing cloth after each use.

Ringing in Colder Temperatures

Ringing handbells outdoors in winter is possible.  As the temperature lowers, the tuning of the bronze casting will go sharp but they will revert when brought back into a 70° F environment.  As the outside temperature lowers, the metal of the casting will restrict and become more fragile.  You can ring in below freezing temperatures if you use the points of caution below:

  • Be sure to keep your clapperheads on the soft or medium setting.  Do not use the hard setting in freezing temperatures.
  • Do not perform stopped sounds on the handbells – plucks, marts or mallets.  The casting becomes brittle in colder temperatures and the force of a stopped sound is too great.
  • If the handbells are exposed to moisture, be sure to completely dry the handbells inside and out before returning to their cases.
  • Allow the instruments to adjust to indoor temperatures for approximately one hour.  The castings should return to their original tuning.