Jingle bell

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This article is about the instrument. For the song, see Jingle Bells. For the concert held by 95.8 Capital FM, see Jingle Bell Ball.
"Sleigh bells" redirects here. For the band, see Sleigh Bells (band).
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.

Gustav Mahler makes use of jingle/sleigh bells in his Symphony No. 4.

Sergei Prokofiev calls for sleigh bells in his Lieutenant Kije Suite.

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