Matthew Prins, composer | list of works

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Entries Tagged as 'published'

“Adoration of the Wise Men”

for 3-5 octaves handbells or handchimes

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Mysterious and stirring, this arrangement weaves this 15th century French carol into a beautiful blanket of soothing music. This quiet, solemn piece is an excellent opportunity to use chimes. Set in f minor, it is 59 measures.

AGEHR Level: 2+
Time: ~2½ min.
Published in 2010 by GIA Publications
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“All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth”

3-5 octaves handbells

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[preview score]

This one is strictly for fun; a delightful arrangement of the charming song about a child’s Christmas wish, it provides a great opportunity for a lighthearted moment in your holiday concert.

AGEHR Level: 2+
Time: ~2 min.
Published in 2010 by From the Top Music
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“Alleluia Sotto Voce”

for 5 octaves handbells with optional flute and optional organ or C3-E3 handchimes

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[preview score]

“Alleluia Sotto Voce” is written in the Taizé style: a simple melody that repeats many times with slight variations in accompaniment, creating an ethereal, meditative feeling. “Alleluia Sotto Voce” uses those musical ideas of Taizé, taking a simple 3-measure phrase and building different accompaniments and countermelodies on top of it before deconstructing it and returning to the simple, 3-measure phrase.

AGEHR Level: 2+
Time: ~4 min.
Published in 2008 by From the Top Music
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“Ave Maria (Two Settings)”

for 3-5 octaves of handbells or handchimes, or with optional 3-5 octaves handchimes

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[preview score]

The most well-known settings of “Ave Maria,” Bach/Gounod and Schubert, are included in one edition as two separate works. The Bach/Gounod version is for 3-5 octaves of handbells or chimes. The Schubert setting can be performed on 3-5 octaves of handbells with an optional 3-5 octaves of chimes. Both are brilliant choices for worship, weddings, concerts, and festivals.

AGEHR Level: 2+
Time: ~3 min. each
Published in 2007 by GIA Publications
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“Be Thou Still”

for handbell duet (4-5 octaves) with piano accompaniment

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[preview score]

Based on the hymn tunes SLANE and FINLANDIA, this handbell duet was created for BELL a DEUX (Ron Bellamy and Bobbi Schmid). The sensitive arrangement intertwines the two melodies and includes the use of a bell tree in one section. The packet includes 2 copies of the handbell part and the piano accompaniment.

Level: MD
Time: ~4½ min.
Published in 2006 by From the Top Music
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“Bethena”

for handbell quartet (4 octaves)

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[preview score]

Although Scott Joplin never wrote music for handbells, his compositions certainly sound like they were meant to be rung. Bethena demonstrates this perfectly. Written in 3/4 time, it presents moderate challenges for the ensemble ringers as it moves through several key changes with that signature Scott Joplin ragtime feel.

Level: MD
Time: ~4½ min.
Published in 2007 by From the Top Music
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“Bluebird’s Autumn Flight”

for bell tree solo, handbell duet or handbell trio with piano

An original bell tree solo; can also be played as normal duet or trio.

Time: ~2 min.
Published in 2009 by Flagstaff Publishing
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“Born is the King of Israel”

for 3-5 octaves of handbells with optional 2 octaves handchimes

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[preview score]

Review from Overtones, July/August 2007: “…a richly harmonized medley of ”Twas in the Moon of Wintertime,’ ‘God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,’ ‘The Coventry Carol,’ and ‘The First Noel’….a striking arrangement, juxtaposing tunes and using techniques as an integral part of the orchestration of the piece.”

AGEHR Level: 4+
Time: ~5 min.
Published in 2007 by GIA Publications
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“Comrades, Haste! Faster the Steel Press!”

for 5-7 octaves handbells and 1 octave tuned percussion or Petit & Fritsen handbells, with optional marching machine, anvil, or other percussion

[preview score]

2005 Bells of the Sound Composition Contest Winner

Inspired by the iron and steel factories in the Russian city of Cherepovets, “Comrades, Haste!” evokes a 1960s-era Soviet-bloc industrial sound. In creating that ambiance, “Comrades, Haste!” also includes opportunities for both tuned percussion and untuned percussion — an anvil, a marching machine, and whatever other ideas the performers have.

Premiered by the Bells of the Sound, April 23, 2005; Kirkland Performance Center, Kirkland, Wa.

AGEHR Level: 5
Time: ~4½ min.
Published in 2006 by Above the Line Publishing
[buy from Above the Line Publishing]



“Count Your Blessings”

for 5 octaves handbells and optional 4 octaves handchimes

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A familiar hymn receives a unique harmonic treatment (including a minor sound) in this tender, graceful arrangement. It begins and ends with slow, vibrato chords. The tune is carried in the soprano bells, with alto harmony added later. Chords in the tenor range add interest. The rhythms are uncomplicated but there is some easy syncopation throughout. Handchimes are optional but would enhance the effectiveness of this arrangement. 62 measures in total, this piece is scored in Eb Major.

AGEHR Level: 3+
Time: ~4 min.

Published in 2010 by Flagstaff Publishing
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“Cumulonimbus”

for 4-5 octaves of handbells

“Cumulonimbus: A vertically developed cumulus cloud, often capped by an anvil shaped cloud. Also called a thunderstorm cloud, it is frequently accompanied by heavy showers, lightning, thunder, and sometimes hail or gusty winds.” If this definition doesn’t give you an idea of what this original composition holds, then visit Iowa in tornado season! 104 measures are filled with techniques, meter changes, and dynamic shifts.

AGEHR Level: 4+
Time: ~3 min.
Published in 2005 by GIA Publications
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“Eighteen Bells for Christmas”

for 18 bells (G4-C6)
[listen to audio/preview score]

This incredibly creative and versatile collection includes settings of five familiar carols. The arranger has suggested handbell assignments for 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 ringers. The songs us the same eighteen bells , G4 through C7, and are written in the keys of Bb major or G minor. The treatment for each is imaginative and creates the appropriate atmosphere for that particular carol.

AGEHR Level: 2
Time: ~2 min. each

Published in 2011 by From the Top Music
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“Fantasie on ‘Let Us Break Bread Together’”

for handbell duet with piano accompaniment

[preview score]

A hauntingly beautiful rendition of the favorite sacred tune.

Time: ~4 min.
Published in 2008 by STEP (Solo To Ensemble Project)
[buy from STEP]



“Fantasie on ‘Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart’”

for 3-5 octaves handbells with optional 3 octaves handchimes

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[preview score]

Mystical and ethereal are adjectives that could be used to describe this setting of the hymn “Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart.” Writing in 6/8 time with a running eighth note pattern in the bass, unexpected harmonies in the treble and liberal use of LV, this is a lovely and unusual arrangement of this hymn of meditation.

AGEHR Level: 3+
Time: ~2½ min.
Published in 2007 by From the Top Music
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“Fantasie on ‘There is a Balm in Gilead’”

for 4-5 octaves of handbells

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Like most fantasies, this arrangement of the spiritual “There is a Balm in Gilead” is a composition where the free flight of fancy prevails over normal conventions of form and style. Several key changes add to the challenge. Measures total 108.

AGEHR Level: 3+
Time: ~4½ min.
Published in 2005 by GIA Publications
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“Festiva Techniqua!”

for 2-3 octaves handbells

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This original piece uses just about every technique known to the handbell world… and is still musical enough to ring in concert or church!

AGEHR Level: 2
Time: ~2½ min.

Published in 2010 by Composers Music
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“Fum, Fum, Fum”

for handbell quartet (4-5 octaves)

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[preview score]

This fast-paced holiday quartet is fun and challenging for the experienced ensemble ringer. With the exception of the last 2 measures, the bells are table-malleted throughout. Ringers change positions midway through the piece, adding to the exuberance of the performance.

Level: D
Time: ~1½ min.
Published in 2007 by From the Top Music
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“Good Vibrations”

for 4-6 octaves handbells with optional 2 octaves handchimes

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[preview score]

Pull out your sunglasses and surf board! The Beach Boys have come to the handbell world! You can now “rock on” with your handbells as you ring this classic tune from the 60′s. With a title of “Good Vibrations” it had to be arranged for handbells!

AGEHR Level: 5
Time: ~3½ min.
Published in 2007 by From the Top Music
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“His Praise Endureth Forever”

for 4-5 octaves handbells

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This is an emotionally intense original work that will benefit from good ringing techniques. A single line melody expands to a two-note chord and then into vibrant chords. Support is provided by almost constant eighth note patterns and tolling bass notes. The challenge for ringers will be keeping these elements in balance. Rhythms are easy; tonality moves from E to D Major and back, and there are frequent accidentals just to keep everybody alert. This original, sweeping composition is 103 measures.

AGEHR Level: 3+
Time: ~5 min.

Published in 2010 by Flagstaff Publishing
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“I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord”

for 3-5 octaves handbells

Mallets on suspended bells in both bass and treble clef are scored in the dreamy introduction to the standard hymn tune. The melody is then supported by toll swings in the bass and running, “peal”-like mid-clef patterns. In following sections, alternate harmonies add interest and challenge. The ending shifts into 5/4 with fortissimo shakes on tall chords.

AGEHR Level: 3
Time: ~2½ min.
Published in 2007 by Flagstaff Publishing
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“I Need Thee Every Hour”

for 3-5 octaves handbells

[preview score]

Poignant and reflective, this setting of the late 19th-century hymn tune calls for a high level of feeling and musicality to properly communicate its light and fragile texture. An excellent choice for a thoughtful worship setting.

AGEHR Level: 2
Time: ~3 min.
Published in 2007 by Alfred Publishing
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“Korobeiniki”

for 3-5 octaves handbells

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[preview score]

The tune will be familiar to some as it was background music for a popular video game a few years ago. Beginning with a brisk tempo, it gradually accelerates to the exciting ending.

AGEHR Level: 3
Time: ~2 min.
Published in 2007 by From the Top Music
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“Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence”

for 4-octave bell tree trio or handbell sextet

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[preview score]

The setting of this trio creates a calm, spiritual ambiance. The melody is shared among three Bell Trees during the first verse with counter melodies woven into the harmony. The second verse begins with a rhythmic variation of the melody before returning to the traditional pattern. The piece begins in 4/4, moves to 6/4 and 6/8 before concluding in 4/4.

AGEHR Level: EM
Time: ~4 min.

Published in 2010 by From the Top Music
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“Let Vibrate”

for 2-4 octaves handbells or handbell trio, quartet, or quintet

A meditatative handbell piece that lets the bells ring from beginning to end — the bells don’t damp until the very last note.  Last page gives playing instructions to perform as a handbell trio, quartet, or quintet with various levels of difficulty.

Premiered by the Bells of Dundee, January 27, 2008; First Congregational Church of Dundee, West Dundee, Ill.

AGEHR Level: 2+
Time: ~2 min.
Published in 2008 by High Meadow Music Publishing
[buy from Handbell World]



“Lord, to Thee I Make Confession”

for 3-5 octaves handbells and optional 2 octaves handchimes

A dark arrangement of the dark Johann Cruger hymn.

AGEHR Level: 3
Time: ~3 min.

Published in 2009 by Flagstaff Publishing
[buy from Handbell World]



“Matutinus”

for bell tree solo, handbell duet or handbell trio with piano

An original bell tree solo; can also be played as normal duet or trio.

Time: ~2 min.
Published in 2009 by Flagstaff Publishing
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“Meditation on Angels We Have Heard on High”

for 2-3 octaves handbells

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[preview score]

A gentle and imaginative setting of the familiar hymn tune, filled with mystery and distinctive harmonies. Written in 6/8 time in the keys of G minor and D minor, the music has a definite ethereal quality.

AGEHR Level: 3-
Time: ~2½ min.

Published in 2010 by From the Top Music
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“Meditation on Ave Maria”

for 3-5 octaves handbells or handchimes

This slow and legato arrangement is based on traditional chant and equally playable on handbells or handchimes or a mixture of both. A careful musical interpretation of varying dynamics and tempo fluctuations will add greatly to the performance of this work’s light and fragile passages.

AGEHR Level: 3
Time: ~2½ min.
Published in 2007 by Flagstaff Publishing
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“More About Jesus”

for 4-6 octaves handbells

The well-known hymn tune is couched in a new harmonic language.

AGEHR Level: 3
Time: ~3 min.

Published in 2010 by Flagstaff Publishing
[buy from Handbell World]



“Morning Song”

for 2-4 octaves handbells or handchimes

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[preview score]

A hauntingly beautiful arrangement of the hymn tune “Morning Song” that can be played in its entirety with handchimes or with mallets on suspended bells, LV throughout, producing an etherial sound. This piece is appropriate in any venue: church, community concerts or schools.

AGEHR Level: 2
Time: ~3½ min.
Published in 2006 by From the Top Music
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“Rock of Ages”

for 3-5 octaves handbells

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The old gospel hymn tune TOPLADY is set in ethereal, flowing mood, making extensive use of the LV technique.

AGEHR Level: 2+
Time: ~3 min.
Published in 2009 by Concordia Publishing House
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“Samuel Prescott’s Ride”

for 2-3 octaves or 3-5 octaves handbells (compatible scores)

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[preview score]

An enjoyable original piece written in honor of one of the unheralded men who rode with Paul Revere that fateful night. Compatible scores makes it a good selection for festivals.

AGEHR Level: 3
Time: ~3 min.
Published in 2009 by From the Top Music
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“Ten Christmas Hymn Introductions”

for 3-5 octaves of handbells

This collection of ten Christmas hymn introductions provides an opportunity to incorporate handbell into congregational hymn singing during the Christmas season. The collection includes 3-5 octave handbell introductions plus harmonizations for one verse of ten popular Christmas carols. The introductions are for bell choir only and the harmonizations can stand alone or augment the standard keyboard accompaniment.

AGEHR Level: 2+
Time: less than 1 min. each
Published in 2008 by Hope Publishing
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“The Sublime Numbers”

for 5 octaves of handbells, 2 octaves of handchimes, and piano in 3 movements

honorable mention, 2006 SoundPrint Handbell Composition Contest

A musical representation of the only two numbers known as “sublime numbers,” as well as detailing the search for a third sublime number.

AGEHR Level: 6+
Time: ~10 min.
Published in 2007 by ring-Press, but currently out of print; contact Matthew Prins for more information



“The World in Solemn Stillness Lay”

for 5-7 octaves handbells and solo vocalist

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[preview score]

A fantasy arrangement of the Christmas standard “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear,” “The World in Solemn Stillness Lay” sets and maintains a mood with the use of random ringing, singing bells and a haunting vocal line. The arrangement makes use of multiple meter throughout with major sections in 5/4, 4/4 and 3/4. At times, the piece is very transparent and at others very complex with as many as four simultaneous lines.

Premiered by the Austin Handbell Ensemble, December 15, 2006; Austin, Tx.

AGEHR Level: 4-
Time: ~9 min.
Published in 2008 by Peal Publishing
[buy from Peal Publishing]



“Three 2-Octave Acclamations”

for 2 octaves handbells

Wonderfully refreshing, this original work is in three movements: “Let Peace Reign,” “Reflection and Meditation,” and “Postlude for Ordinary Time.” The movements can be presented as a suite or rung individually. Each piece has an optional repeat which extends the time of these joyous works.

AGEHR Level: 2+
Time: ~2 min. each
Published in 2009 by GIA Publications
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“Three O’Clock Fantasie”

for 3-5 octaves handbells

Dreams can often incorporate the ambient sounds of the world around the dreamer. “Three O’clock Fantasie” takes the music of a clock striking three o’clock and re-imagines it through a dreamlike state.

AGEHR Level: 3
Time: ~3 min.
Published in 2006 by Above the Line Publishing
[buy from Above the Line Publishing]



“Ukrainian Bell Carol”

for 5-octave handbell quartet with percussion

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[preview score]

An exciting and challenging quartet arrangement of the popular Christmas carol written in 5/8, 7/8, and 6/8 time and performed with traditional ringing, table malleting, mallet rolls and percussion executed by the ringers with their choice of untuned percussion. Percussion played by the ringers — no additional percussionists required. Commissioned by the handbell ensemble Toll Free in celebration of spirited ringers everywhere.

Time: ~3 min.
Published in 2010 by From the Top Music
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“We Three Jazzy Kings”

for 4-6 octaves handbells

A jazzy rendition of the Epiphany favorite, “We Three Jazzy Kings” uses syncopation and mixed meter to make the long journey to Bethlehem fun for all. Arranged in e minor, measures total 81 with repeats.

Premiered by the James River Ringers, December 10, 2006; Epiphany Lutheran Church, Richmond, Va.

AGEHR Level: 4
Time: ~3 min.
Published in 2007 by Flagstaff Publishing
[buy from Flagstaff Publishing] [buy from Handbell World]



“When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”

for 4-5 octaves handbells (plus optional C2) and 3 octaves handchimes

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[preview score]

This unusual arrangement, set in the key of c minor, expresses the pain, torment and sorrow of the crucifixion. It opens with the optional use of the Singing Bell technique to accompany a plaintive statement of the melody. Measure 19 alters the mood dramatically with the introduction of a subtle, yet driving rhythm in the bass. The hymn tune is brought in and new motifs are introduced as the melody soars above the tension below. The intensity continues to grow until it all comes to an abrupt endconcluding with a thoughtful statement of the melody, rung on handchimes, accompanied by a soft random ring using only C3/4/5/6/7 and G3/6.

Premiered by the Bells of Dundee, March 16, 2008; St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, West Dundee, Ill.

AGEHR Level: 3
Time: ~3 min.
Published in 2009 by From the Top Music
[buy from From the Top Music] [buy from Handbell World]



“Wonderful Words of Life”

for 3 or 5 octaves handbells or handchimes

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Lush, sustained ostinatos render a gentle, peaceful atmosphere and contribute to the timelessness of this classic gospel hymn.

AGEHR Level: 2+
Time: ~5 min.
Published in 2010 by GIA Publications
[buy from GIA Publications] [buy from Handbell World]