Not long ago I was asked the question, “What do you call a person that rings handbells?” My obvious response was to say that we are ringers. However, when looking back on my musical experience, there are no other instrumentalists that are named by a verb instead of a noun. Percussionists are not called whackers, a cellist isn’t a bower, and a trombonist isn’t a slider. If we were named the same way as other instrumentalists, would we be called “bellists”? Why are handbell musicians are given a verb as our title? Are there any other instrumentalists named this way?
Or… Are handbell musicians inherently percussionists?