There are three ringers at my church, myself included, who have enjoyed working on challenging handbell chamber pieces. Jesus Bleibet and the Pachelbel Canon were both developed for this group. Originally scored for 3 violins
and continuo, this adaptation of Canon in D is scored for 2 woodwinds, organ, bells, and a mezzo soprano singing
a small chunk of text.
I started with the original score for two violins and continuo. I decided which of the repetitions (of the more
than 2 dozen) that I thought would be suitable or would fit the medium of handbells. Early on I also had the
notion that I wanted to add a vocal part, for a wonderful singer in my Church. Finding the text was the hard part,
but writing the line was not. The singer needs to keep in mind that the line is often part of the 'chamber
counterpoint', so you must listen to the other instruments. The singer is mischievous and asserts something new on
the music. It is the part I wanted to sing.
The handbell part uses 20 bells, and can be done by three competent ringers, but nothing says that you can
not use more. I worked with a very competent clarinet player to develop the clarinet part. I hope that it is
usable, and also a challenge to your clarinet player. If you cannot find a clarinet, find an oboe player, or maybe
even a violinist or recorder player. I encourage using your own folks if at all possible. Encourage, teach and
coach your folks, that's what music ministry is about. The flute part is probably the closet to the original, but it
has all clearly been adapted to the purposes of my own resources.