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Frequently Asked Questions

We have provided our top questions which you may want to ask us, but if there are other questions you want to raise, please contact us.

What is a bell lyre?

The bell lyre is a form of glockenspiel commonly used in marching bands. It is similar to a xylophone, although the xylophone's bars are made of wood and a bell lyre's notes are manufactured out of aluminium. It is played upright and has an extendable spike which is held on a strap. The player marches with the strap over his shoulder and plays the instrument upright with a beater.

What is a marching bell?

A marching bell is similar to a bell lyre however it is held by a harness around the shoulders. This variation is played horizontally with two beaters as it does not need to be held upright.

What is the difference between a bell lyre and marching bell?

Both instruments have identical note formation, however they are carried and played differently. A bell lyre is played upright with 1 beater and has an extendable spike which is held on a strap over the players shoulder. The marching bell is held on by a harness around the shoulders and is played horizontally with 2 beaters.

What’s the difference between Standard, Star and Starlite bell lyres?

A Standard bell lyre is compact and sturdy, but it is a light instrument in polished aluminium and matt black. It weighs 3.4kg (7.5lb). A Star bell lyre is finished as the Standard, but with greater resonance and a heavier construction, weighing 4.7kg (10.5lb). A Starlite bell lyre is approximately the same size and weight as the Star, but the design has been created to practically eliminate the shearing chords, subject to normal non-abused use. The notes are tuned to A-440, but the sound is less sustained, giving a shorter ring.

Why does it take so long to manufacture the instruments?

Mayfield instruments are bespoke and made to order. All components are made by hand by our staff and service users. We pride ourselves on producing robust products, manufactured to the highest quality.

Do the instruments need to be re-tuned on a regular basis?

Under proper usage, these instruments do not need to be re-tuned, however if any damages occur, it is always advisable to have the instrument re-tuned.

How should I care for my instrument?

We recommend using a clean polishing cloth to wipe down your instrument. Make sure you polish the notes horizontally rather than vertically. This is to ensure the notes retain as much of the highly polished sheen as possible. Take notice to the high contact areas where you hold the instrument as there will be more to clean. Although our instruments are robust, we advise placing the instrument on a soft surface or on your lap to prevent dents being made.

Why is Autism Plus involved in manufacturing Mayfield instruments?

Autism Plus acquired the Mayfield Company at the end of 2013. The charity has a number of social enterprises where we enable and support our service users to undertake work related tasks. Providing them with work experience opportunities helps to build their confidence, self-esteem and helps them to become more independent.

I’d like to volunteer in the Mayfield workshop. How do I get involved?

We are always looking for new volunteers to help us with our social enterprises. If you are interested in participating, there are a number of ways to get involved. Telephone us on 0114 384 0284, Email: or call in and see us at The Exchange Brewery, 2 Bridge Street, Sheffield, S3 8NS.

How should I store my instrument?

Preferably your instrument should be contained in a seal proof box/bag with internal padding to prevent scratches. However if these are not available to you, store your instrument in a dry area.

How do I get a refund if I am not happy with my product?

If you are not satisfied with the product you have bought, please return it to us within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.