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Marching Bells & Lyras

It takes a good complement of instruments to make up a marching band, and with as many different types of marching band as there are, knowing what's considered a "good complement" definitely comes on a case-by-case basis. But there's one family of instruments that's in every marching band, and that's percussion - including melodic percussion like the marching bells featured in this section. It would be easier to count the types of bands that don't feature marching bells than the types that do, and in small bands, these instruments are often responsible for carrying the melody all by themselves. They're a permanent part of marching band culture, and playing them is as rewarding as it is challenging.

Marching bells come in two general shapes, and the first of these is the horizontal type, which attach to a carrier or harness and sit at waist-height in front of the player. These bells, such as the Musser M65-S Bells with Carrier and the Musser M-65-V Marching Bells, don't require you to lift up your arms to hold and play, which makes them good choices for long marches. They do take up a lot of width, though, and you may need to plan your formations with care to give them enough space to maneuver.

For a more compact option that carries slightly steeper endurance demands for the player, check out upright bells like the Musser M-2041 Glockenspiel, Musser M-2044 Deluxe Bell Lyra or Ludwig M-2040 Bell Lyra. Unlike the horizontal bells that take a full-sized harness, these can easily sit in an over-the-shoulder sling. Their height-adjustable posts make them a cinch to adjust to a comfortable position for any size player, and their slim profiles allow great flexibility in marching movements where band members need to pass close by one another.

From the main melodic component of a glock & drums band to a key accent instrument in a brass band, the marching bells have a definite home in just about every parade or field show there is. Maybe you're adding a bell section to your band for the first time, expanding one that's already there or simply replacing some aging bells that are past their prime - no matter the reason you're looking for marching bells, you've come to the right place to find them.