Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Virginia Bells

A friend of mine, Rg Huff, is leading a handbell festival in Virginia next year. He was looking for a three octave piece without a lot of extra 4 and 5 octave notes. The group he will be leading will be a level 2 or 3 type group with many new ringers and he didn't want them distracted by all of the parethises that the extra octaves add.

He thought my arrangement of Immortal Invisible published by Beckenhorst would be just right.

You can follow this link to an earlier post and on that post is a link where you can hear it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Will Give Thanks to the Lord

On an earlier post I mentioned how one of my songs had been translated into Korean.

일 자 : 2008-04-27
제 목 : 사랑성가대“마음 다해 주께 감사 드리리”- R.Lyndel Littleton

Now - through the wonders of the world wid web, google and youtube - I'm able to share a video of a choir singing I Will Give Thanks to the Lord in Korean. How cool is that? Hmmm, I can't get youtube to post it here. You can see it on youtube at

It's kind of funny. I wrote it as a sort of up beat kind of song but the Koreans sing it slow and pretty. I like it both ways.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

I don't think this piece is in print anymore. I ran across this recording because on my "feedjit" on my worship blog - - I noticed that someone in Japan had googled my name. Wierd! I don't know why anyone in Japan would do that. Unless perhaps Lyndel Littleton is a common name there. I don't think it is since the letter "L" isn't one of their favorite letters...

Anyway, when I clicked on the google link from feedjit I saw this link to the Georgetown College Handbell Ensemble playing an arrangement of mine. It was published by LifeWay several years ago.

Here's what is on the link. (I think the "click here" link will work from blogger.)

Georgetown College Handbell Ensemble
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
arr. R. Lyndel Littleton
Click here if the video does not load automatically.

This is an excerpt recorded on November 4, 1999 at the combined concert of the Handbells, Chapel Brass and String Ensemble.
The Handbell Ensemble is under the direction of Dr. Angela Easterday.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Come, Thou fount of Every Blessing is a great hymn tune. In this arrangement, the bass bells play the accompaniment in 6/8, but when the melody comes in it is in 3/4. It makes for a cool feel to have the bass bells in one meter and the treble in another. I now don't remember if I directed it in 2 (6/8) or in 3. I know it changes later.

There are some interesting, quick key changes in this piece too. It's hard for me to write a piece and keep it in one key. You can hear the meters and the keys easier than I can describe them, so click on the link and listen.

It is published by Beckenhorst. And of course you can buy it from Jeffers Handbell Supply 1-800-JHS-BELL

Listen here

Handbell Level 4
Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
R. Lyndel Littleton

Friday, July 04, 2008

Count Your Blessings

A really fun handbell piece of mine is Count Your Blessings. Here's the description of it found at

"Mix white, beach sand, turquoise water, palm trees, warm sun, a parrot or two and Lyndel Littleton's arrangement of this favorite gospel hymn for a taste of the Caribbean! Both the melody and accompaniment are syncopated with several techniques added to give the effect of steel drums and other island sounds. For further imagery add the optional instruments triangle, maracas, claves, bongos, string bass and guitar. Refreshing!"
The treble bells play a fun synchopated accompaniment and then the bass bells begin playing the melody. At one place there are three different themese going at the same time.
Practice the different parts separately and then put them together. A fun idea for m.74-89 is to have your bass players lay their bells out like a piano (with "black" keys moved up) and then let one ringer play all the bass bells as a solo - like on a big marimba. Then all ringers should step back into place on m.89. This piece is fun to play and fun to watch!
That is how I performed it the very first time it was played. I had written the piece for the handbell choir at Central Baptist Church in Martin. I was their director, but on this piece I played with them. When the choir stepped back and I played the "marimba" bells the crowd loved it!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Immortal Invisible

I love this old Welsh hymn tune.
The text has a very mysterious quality to it.
"Immortal, Invisible, God only wise.
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes.
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days.
Almighty, victorious, Thy great name we praise."
So when I set this tune for handbells I began the piece with a rather mysterious sound with the lower bells played quietly with mallets. The tune is then played in a mode - not quite minor, not quite major, which adds to the mysterious sound. Later the tune is played in a bright major key before it returns the the modal quality of the beginning. It ends with exciting shakes of big chords to the phrase "Thy great Name we praise!"
You can hear it by clicking on the link below.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

God of Our Fathers

God of Our Fathers is a challenging piece - Level 4. It has marts, mart lifts, key changes, shakes, triplets against duplets and my favorite, eighth note triplets against quarter note triplets. Ooooo, it is so exciting to hear. It is published by Alfred music. You can purchase it from them or from

I found this listing of God of Our Fathers in a church order of worship from First United Methodist Church in Iowa City, Iowa.
I always enjoy seeing that someone has played one of my pieces in worship or in a concert.
Here's the listing from Alfred
God of Our Fathers
Arr. R. Lyndel Littleton
ITEM: 00-18569
UPC: 038081169415
PRICE: $3.50
SERIES: Alfred Handbell Series
CATEGORY: Handbell Music
VOICING: 3-5 Octaves
LEVEL: 4 (Advanced Ringers)
A dynamic and energetic arrangement of the "National Hymn" for 3-5 octaves handbell choir. Recurring triplet figure recalls the trumpets that herald each verse of the hymn. Appropriate for church, school and festivals. Especially useful for patriotic events.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

How Great Is Our God - Handbells

This is my arrangement of "How Great Is Our God". Our handbell choir played it for the Middle Tennessee Baptist Handbell Festival. Since the camera is by the bass bells the balance isn't great. And we ran out of memory in the middle of the song just before the exciting key change. Still looking for a publisher ofr this one.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Brethren Keeps Ringing

I got an e-mail today from a lady who lives in Denver. I knew her from Martin. She wrote that she was playing bells at her new church and she had asked the director if they had ever played any of my pieces. The director - at that time - said she didn't remember ever playing anything with my name on it. then this past week in rehearsal she brought out a new song. It was "Brethren"! The lady who wrote me told me she stopped the rehearsal and told everyone that she knew me and that we were in Martin at the same time.

How fun is that?

We started "Brethren" at Hilldale this past Sunday too.
Hilldale's handbell choir at festival.
It was already in their library. They did great playing through it for their first time. It takes playing it for awhile to get comfortable with all of the key changes, the syncopations and the marts at interesting times. The music says it is a level 3, but I've always thought it was a level 4.

This site brought to you by Gold Coast Music co. lists it as level 4. I think that is more acurate.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

How Beautiful

Twyla Paris has written many beautiful songs. Her lyrics and her melodies are all so lovely. One of my favorites is How Beautiful. I have sung it many times for worship services and for weddings. My choirs have sung it.

A few years back I felt that it would make a lovely handbell piece, so I crafted an arrangement that I think captures the simple beauty of the piece.

Here is a description written by the folks at Handbell World.

How Beautiful: Paris, T.,,RW
Twila Paris' beautifully crafted melody is combined with Lyndel Littleton's skill at setting it for handbells in this 3, 4, or 5 octave setting. The beauty shines through gently syncopated accompaniment, playful staccato technique at just the right place, and shimmering mallets on suspended treble bells. Make the text available to your listeners for greater effect.

I think I'll order it for my handbell choir this week.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

As the Deer

Here's a review of my arrangement of As the Deer published by Ringing Word (A division of Jeffers Handbell Supply). If you are looking for an easy arrangement of a lovely praise chorus, you'll love this one.

As the Deer
Review: Here's a set-up you don't see often, an arrangement JUST for three octaves with no parentheses! The favorite praise chorus is set in fast four, making good use of all the bells in the three octave range. The melody appears in upper and lower registers. Opportunities for expressive ringing through use of crescendos, diminuendos, and dynamic variance will strengthen and challenge your choir's skill toward the level II repertoire.

Published by: Ringing Word Publications Copyright: 2003
Composer: Nystrom, M.
Arranger: Littleton, R. Lyndel
Octaves: 3
Level: 1+
Rating: Easy
Classification: Hymn Tune , Praise and Worship , Beginning Music - step 2, "Very Easy"
Technique: LV (Let Vibrate)
Voicing: Handbells, No Choral
Instrument: Handbells OR Chimes
Bells Used: Three Octaves: 24 Bells

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

TMG Handbell Choir 1

What a fun surprise to find this arrangement of Promised Land on Youtube. They did a nice job with it.