Jingle bell

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Jingle bells

A jingle bell or sleigh bell is a type of bell which produces a distinctive 'jingle' sound, especially in large numbers. They find use in many areas as a percussion instrument, including the classic sleigh bell sound and morris dancing. They are typically used as a cheaper alternative to small 'classic' bells.

Sleigh bells as a musical instrument

The simplest jingle bells are produced from a single piece of sheet metal bent into a roughly spherical shape to contain a small ball bearing or short piece of metal rod. This method of production results in the classic two- or four-leaved shape. Two halves may also be crimped together, resulting in a ridge around the middle. A glass marble may also be used as the ringer on larger bells.

Tuned chromatic sleigh bells, range F4-F6

Jingle bells are commonly used on Christmas decorations or as Christmas ornaments of themselves, or hung around the neck like a necklace. They can also be strung onto a heavy wire and bent into a wreath shape, usually with a metal bow. Rather than the cross-shaped opening in the bottom, other designs may by cut into the bell, such as a snowflake. Small designs like stars may also be cut into the upper part of the bell. "Jingle Bells" is the name of a Christmas song.

Like many Christmas decorations, jingle bells are also made in versions for other holidays, such as a jack-o'-lantern for Halloween.

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