Second Suite in F: All Movements (3-7 octaves handbells)


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SECOND SUITE IN F – Gustav Holst/trans. Scott Pfitzinger – 3-7 octaves handbells with optional 3-6 octaves handchimes – Levels III-V

One of Gustav Holst’s most famous compositions, the Second Suite in F for Military Band is a staple of college and high school symphonic bands. This transcription carefully re-creates the sounds, colors, textures, and moods of the original using only bells and optional chimes, with no other instruments. Each movement is a gem, and together they are a real treasure, sure to please any audience.

I. MARCH – Gustav Holst/trans. Scott Pfitzinger – 3-7 octaves handbells with optional 3 octaves handchimes – Level V

A variety of techniques, crossing bell/chime lines, and fun 6/8 middle section make this march a challenge to play, but the fun makes it all worthwhile.

II. SONG WITHOUT WORDS – Gustav Holst/trans. Scott Pfitzinger – 3-5 octaves handbells with optional 3-6 octaves handchimes – Level III

A slow, beautiful song that’s sure to touch the hearts of your audience. If you have the necessary chimes, you can play it as written, mostly on chimes, but with the melody on bells. It also works fine on all bells.

III. “SONG OF THE BLACKSMITH” – Gustav Holst/trans. Scott Pfitzinger – 4-5 octaves handbells – Level IV

A short, quick, slightly dissonant piece that featured an actual anvil in the original version. A C8 substitutes, but any metallic anvil sound can be used if necessary. It’s a big crescendo that ends with a most triumphant Picardy third.

IV. FANTASIA ON THE “DARGASON” – Gustav Holst/trans. Scott Pfitzinger – 5-6 octaves handbells with optional 5 octaves handchimes – Level V

The ‘Dargason’ is an English folk tune that goes back to the 16th century. The tune is carried continually in one voice or another throughout this entire fantasia, despite all the variations in treatment that occur. A fitting conclusion to a wonderful suite!





Handbell Choir: Octaves


Handbell Choir: Difficulty

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Handbells: Additional Instrumentation


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