Semitones (was Rings of 12)

Michael Wilby michael_wilby at y...
Fri Mar 22 08:56:07 GMT 2002

I'm afraid I have a particular "problem" with semitone bells. Plausible arguments can be made for their use, however the real message is that bands wanting them do not have a determination to ring the back bells, or indeed the full set. Neither is a healthy situation and either lead downwards to further plausible arguments like "no one can manage the heavy bells here" or "we can't get a 12-bell band round these parts". This then becomes reality because not one of us can learn to ring a heavy or difficult bell unless we gain experience on it, and certainly no bands ever progress to ringing on 12 by practicing on lower numbers.
Even in York, where heavy-bell ringing is now exemplory, there was a time when the back bells were not much rung in favour of using the middle eight, and it was thought that it was not possible to train people to ring the heavy bells. Both of the above points have been proved there, and indeed in many other places, particularly where thriving bands now exist.
I doubt the PCCs at Writtle and King's Lynn understand the implications of what is being advocated - it's a bit like buying an electronic keyboard and using it in favour of the organ because they currently don't have an organist who can use the pedals!
I believe semitones are nothing but a retrograde step as far as the maintenance of a state of ringing is concerned: they should all be scrapped and the money used to improve ringing and training conditions in the individual towers. Mr Gawkrodger of Leeds has an awful lot to answer for! Turn 'em all into dumb-bells (the semitones and the advocates)!!!

Mrthigby at a... wrote: In a message dated 20/03/2002 23:19:28 GMT Standard Time, djb122 at y... writes:

Subj:Re: [Bell Historians] Rings of 12 
Date:20/03/2002 23:19:28 GMT Standard Time
From:djb122 at y...
Reply-to:bellhistorians at
To:bellhistorians at
Sent from the Internet 

No, I hadn't forgotten them. There are rumours that Kings Lynn are
intending to do the same (treble and 2#, omitting the 2nd). Is it just
me, or does everyone else think this idea is bloody stupid? If you want
a ten, then OK, have a ten, but if you're going to have 12 bells you
just as well make it a true 12 plus a semitone - the cost difference
won't be that great. One major problem with 1 and 2# but not 2 is that
it will give a '12 bell' rope circle, and given that many ringers are
apparently oblivious to the musical aspects of the bells they are
ringing (e.g. peal of Yorkshire 14 at Leicester recently), it seems
inevitable that they will get rung as a 12. Broadly, I think that
semitones are a good idea in the case of heavier 12s if they avoid
ringing the front eight, or a similarly unmusical combination, but the
concept seems to be being taken too far recently - 10s with semitones,
an 18 cwt 12 with a flat 6th. What is the point?


I gather Gresford are planning a similar scheme!

Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT

This message was sent to you via the Bell Historians' Mailing List. To unsubscribe from the list send an email to bellhistorians-unsubscribe at

Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service. 

Do You Yahoo!?
Get personalised at My Yahoo!.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the Bell-historians mailing list