SmarterGuide to A Cappella: Bell Chords to Embellish

Hear the Clamour of them.

Hear the Clamour of them.

As arranger, you have free reign over what your singers will do — this can mean inserting a bell chord into the work when there’s no particular associated thing going on in the original. In this sense, it’s a useful technique (gimmick) to pull out of your Bag Of Tricks, and use at will. You might even be tempted to use bell chords all the time, since they make for such a good motive texture. Here are a few examples of how I have used them over the years:

Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen (Free Arrangement Available)

I have already written up a complete analysis of this arrangement, but one use of bell chords in the TTBB intro is of particular note (har!):

Don't Stop Me Bells

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The interruption of the “dahs” with the sprinkled “din” syllable brings the bell out of the texture — just a small bit of bell chord can go a long way.

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