handbell tuning - question

• Jun 2, 2015 - 12:48

Hi, I was writing a piece with handbells, and they didn't sound right (all the instruments would play D but the handbells would sound out of tune). I read somewhere that in large groups handbells are sometimes tuned down 1 semitone, 2 semitones, 1 tone or just normally tuned (e.g. D = D flat). I would just like to know how musescore tunes them.
Many thanks,


There shouldn't be any specicial transposition unless you added it. I don't hear anything unusual in the "D" or any other note I tried. Which version of MuseScore, are you using a special soundfont? Can you post the score you are having problems with?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc.
I'm using the first version of musescore
The problem is that when I play the handbell part on any other instrument it sounds wrong. When I said I played along on the piano, I meant I put the exact same notes from the handbell section into the piano section and it sounds wrong.
Thanks again,

In reply to by LukeDempsey14

Yes, it seems the soundfont used in 1.3 sounds very odd for handbeels - either they are transposed from where they shold be, or feature very prominent harmonics that make determining the actual pitch difficult. You should update to 2.0, which fixes many bugs in 1.3 and adds a large number of new feaures, plus comes with a different and much improved soundfont. But both 1.3 and 2.0 also let you load other soundfonts (2.0 allows *multiple* soundfonts at once; 1.3 forces you to choose), so you can get better sounds in 1.3 as well - just see Soundfont in the Handbook.

I think the whole thing sounds a bit dissonant. In the first few measures, changing C to D sounds more pleasant and in 11/12 and 15/16 changing the C to an F sounds better but maybe dissonant's the way it was meant to sound.

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