Musical handbells, tuned in sets and fitted with leather straps, were
introduced in the late 17th century and quickly became popular among tower bell ringers,
not only for practising change ringing, but also for playing simple tunes.
The art of tune ringing developed further in the 19th century when competitions were held, mostly in the North of England, between rival bands playing complicated scores and using large numbers of bells.
These events were popular with ringers and public alike and, although handbell ringing subsequently went into decline, its revival in the latter part of the 20th century was worldwide.