Free Music for Handbell Choirs

Free music resources for handbell choirs | @ashleydanyew

Looking to dust off those handbells in the music closet and start a handbell choir this year?


First of all, check out this helpful resource from Reformed Worship - lots of practical information for getting started, recruiting, and choosing repertoire.

In today's post, I thought it might be helpful to share a round-up of free music resources. 

Yes, free!

These sites offer a variety of arrangements for bell choirs - some for a small number of bells, others for as many as 5 octaves, some with piano/organ accompaniment, others with instrumental parts. Whether you play them in worship or use them for extra reading practice in rehearsals, you can't beat free!

One quick note: Because these are free arrangements, the engraving (the way the music is notated in the score) for some may not be as professional as something you buy from a publisher. If this doesn't bother you, or if you can work with it, by all means. Just wanted to mention it.

Free Music for Handbell Choirs

The UMC Discipleship Ministries has several free arrangements for Lent and Easter, arranged by Dean McIntyre. Titles include:

Beneath The Cross Of Jesus
Were You There When They Crucified My Lord
All Glory, Laud And Honor
Christ The Lord Is Risen Today
God So Loved The World
O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
Up From The Grave He Arose

Other arrangements include Jesus Loves Me for handbells and piano and O Come, All Ye Faithful.

Matt Johnson has a few free arrangements for handbell quartets and 2-, 3-, and 5-octave handbell choirs. Titles include:

We Gather Together
Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
Christmas Carol Medley

I shared a free acclamation/processional that SD wrote for our bell choir a few years ago. Download it here.

Arnold at has several free hymn accompaniments. Some include organ parts, others include instrumental parts (flute, cello, hand chimes). Titles include:

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
What Child is This?
Holy, Holy, Holy
Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us
Take My Life and Let it Be
Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow
Go My Children With My Blessing

There are a few handbell arrangements available on ScoreExchange, notably Ave Maria and Intrada: Ein Feste Burg.

Looking for more music suggestions? See this post.

Related posts:
Adventures in Bell Ringing: How to Start a Bell Choir
Adventures in Bell Ringing: Improvisation Activities
Adventures in Bell Ringing: Free Handbell Acclamation!
5 Creative Ways to Use Handbells in Worship