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Federation Handbells

Since the beginning of April, the beautiful sounds of the Federation Handbells have rung out from the Level 2 Foyer of Melbourne Recital Centre, filling the building with glorious sounds created by our audiences.

Thanks to Museum Victoria, visitors to Melbourne Recital Centre are lucky enough to have the chance to play one of the great iconic musical instruments identified with this city, the Federation Handbells. Cast in silicon bronze, the Handbells have a unique design and pitch. Each set of bells covers two chromatic piano octaves (from E to E). The bells can be played in a number of ways, either by striking them with a mallet, in the style of a xylophone by a single musician controlling a set of bells, or a group of musicians can each play one bell working on harmony.

“Bells are an international symbol of peace and spirituality and to further integrate this with innovative design and collection of perfectly crafted and tuned instruments has and will continue to leave a wonderful legacy on the culture of Melbourne”, Eugene Ughetti, Speak Percussion.

These beautifully crafted instruments were originally commissioned by Arts Victoria for the 2001 Centenary of Federation. They have inspired performances from schools, community groups and professional organisations and can be used by players of all skill levels for any occasion or musical style. Requiring no prior musical experience, the Federation Handbells provide an excellent medium for introducing musical performance to children or adults. They assist in the development of many musical skills including listening, individual and team co-ordination, timing and rhythm, enable groups to achieve very effective musical results.

Why not come in early to your next concert and hear them for yourself, compose a new piece of work or hold your own miniature performance? The only limits are your imagination. Plus, it’s free!

The Federation Handbells Installation is open in conjunction with the Centre’s opening hours. Please call the Box Office on 03 9699 3333 during business hours for more information.