This is something I've wondered for a long time but could never get a straight answer... There's a famous TV commercial for Hershey Kisses where the kisses are handbells, playing we wish you a merry Christmas. You can see it here:

My question: is it consistent? As in, when a given kiss rings, does the same note sound each time? My ear isn't good enough to tell, but visually, it looks reasonable (it seems like each heard note corresponds to one shaking kiss, but I can't tell if the notes change). I've never found anybody who could answer but this seems like the place. Thanks.

1 Answer 1


Of the 10 kisses, seven of them are consistent. I've labeled these pitches below, with numbers for the non-consistent bells:

    F   G 
  C   D  E♭
B♭  8   9  10

The remaining three, however, switch pitches for various harmonic and bass support. As one example, on "Christ" of the first "Christmas," bell 8 plays an A♭. (Also note that, on the succeeding "wish," there's an A♮ that doesn't seem to be represented by any bell.) On the very last "we" of "we wish," bell 8 now suddenly plays a D, which is obviously different from its prior A♭.

  • 1
    I agree with the consistent vs. non-consistent bells. Toward the end, there seem to be a number of chord notes in the harmony that are not played consistently by any bell (or by any bell at all, aside from the A-natural you specifically mention). Also, I think we get an unheard ring of bell 10 (that is, the bell appears to "ring" but there's no sound corresponding to it) around the D-Bb end of the second phrase.
    – Athanasius
    Oct 31, 2019 at 0:31
  • I agree completely. Once they begin to flesh out the harmony, it becomes more of a visual effect than one of pitch consistency.
    – Richard
    Oct 31, 2019 at 0:41
  • Fast and thorough. I'm very impressed with how quickly pros can answer this (I'm a serious amateur guitarist) and also the fact that the ad agency was pretty close to consistent with this ad.
    – Matt
    Oct 31, 2019 at 21:27

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