Music is a moral law.
It gives soul to the universe,
wings to the mind,
flight to the imagination,
a charm to gaiety, and
fire to everything.
It is the essence of order and leads
to all that is just and beautiful.
- Plato

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Handbell Font


If you are a composer of handbell music, use notation software, are frustrated because you cannot enter the special handbell notation, and the software does allow you to enter text around notes, then I have the solution for you!  Click on one of the topic links to view information about that topic.

About the Font

The font was developed to fulfill a need I had to enter the special handbell notation symbols in the compositions and arrangements I write using the notation software I own.  The software does not have a symbol editor which provides the user the capability of creating their own symbols, but it does allow me to enter and "anchor" text to notes.  (When text is "anchored" to a note, it moves and maintains its relative distance from the note whenever the note is moved).  So I purchased Fontographer ... software for my Macintosh that allows me to create my own fonts and created a handbell symbol font.

In the month of June 1996, I casually mentioned I had the font on a list processor that I had subscribed to on the Internet, and found there was interest in the font.

I spent a considerable amount of time upgrading the font to add the vast majority of the notation (as described in the latest Handbell Notation and Grading System publication released by The Handbell Musicians of America, Inc.) and to "clean-up" and improve on my initial efforts.  The result: two fonts that many of you will find extremely useful.

The fonts are available in both TrueType and PostScript varieties for both the Macintosh and Windows platforms.

More information is available, such as installation instructions and a keymap, are available online in my pdf file, HBFont.pdf.  You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free software program that is available from the Adobe Web Site (, in order to read the file.

What's For Sale

When you make your purchase, you will receive two fonts which are almost identical:


All of the text- and symbol-notation are uniformly scaled.  When using this font, you will need to occassionally change point sizes when switching from one symbol to another because some of the symbols are optimally displayed better at a larger point size.  (The text notation typically looks the best at the 12 or 10 point mode).  For example, the mallet notation symbol is optimally displayed at 12 points, but the damp sign looks the best at 18 or 20 points.


The text- and symbol-notation are not uniformly scaled.  This version was developed due to a submitted suggestion.  Apparently, the notation software product Finale uses a default text size of 24 points, and a suggestion was made to develop the font so that all the text- and symbol-notation would optimally be displayed at 24 points.

I recommend that if you do not use Finale, then use the HBELL font.  Finale users may want to try both fonts.

The fonts are available for download.  Once I have received payment, I will email you the userid and password that you will need to use to access the files.

Price & Ordering Instructions

$8.00 USD  (Includes postage and handling)

Ordering Instructions

On a piece of paper, legibly write or type:

  • your name,
  • mailing address,
  • email address (if available),
  • font type (TrueType or Postscript), and
  • computer platform (Windows or Macintosh)

Send check or money order payable to "Paul A. McKlveen" in the amount of $8.00 (USD) and the piece of paper containing the requested information to the following address:

Paul A. McKlveen
871 Mandalay Ter
De Pere, WI 54115-4112

Allow 2-3 weeks for me to contact you.


After your order is received, I will email you the userid and password that you will need to link to the appropriate web page listed below.  Follow the instructions on the web page to download the fonts.

Type Computer Platform Download Page Link
PostScript Macintosh Go to download page
PostScript Windows Go to download page
TrueType Macintosh Go to download page
TrueType Windows Go to download page

Note: these pages are password protected.

Copyright © 2012-2018 Paul A. McKlveen.  All rights reserved.