SmarterGuide to Arranging: Bell Chords in Transcriptions

My Ding-a-ling.


Now that we’ve looked at some fundamentals of bell chords, it’s time to look a little more closely at how this technique can play a role in an arrangement. Certainly in the case of Clocks, the bell chord is crucial to recognizing the song — in these cases, a direct transcription is probably necessary. Other times, the bell chord technique will provide interesting motion (and implicit melodies) within the block without requiring the singers to change notes . . . even if the original doesn’t contain any arpeggiation at all. Below are some applications of bell chords within a greater texture, with sheet music and sound samples to demonstrate:

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