Minor rings

Chris Povey cmpovey at 3...
Sat Feb 14 17:57:53 GMT 2004

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Nick Bowden's list of 'non-major' rings from Dove was interesting, but sure=
ly this should be a list of those rings that were clearly intended to be no=
n-major. The inclusion of Grafton Flyford, for instance, is unreasonable, a=
s the ring was originally a major 6, but the 3rd bell was lost or stolen so=
metime prior to 1854. Some of the others on the list must be victims of chr=
onic tuning errors for the major key, and these should be excluded.

Ringing in the Minor key (aeolian mode) can be rewarding. We have two eight=
s in this mode at Evesham (plus a 10 and a 12) and have rung the lighter ae=
olian 8 a number of times. Triples is quite musical. Bob Major took some ge=
tting used to with the tenors together, but it was much better when they we=
re parted. We rang a peal of Evesham S Major in the minor key and I have to=
confess it took a long time for the music to become acceptable, probably b=
ecause the tenors were together. Compositions are, of course, tailored to t=
he major key. There should be musically-acceptable changes in the aeolian m=
ode, just as there are in the major key. If these were known, compositions =
could be tailored to suit - but I accept it could be a restricted market. H=
ere's a question: have peals been rung in the aeolian mode on 10 or 12?

As a matter of interest, Evesham has a 6 that has a treble 16cents sharp of=
the tenor, the 2nd 15cents sharp and the 3rd 8cents sharp. Nobody complain=
s; in fact, many are very complimentary. They are the front 6 (0-5) at the =
Bell Tower. The off-key tuning is not accidental. The trebles of the 12 wer=
e stretched by Paul Taylor when they were cast and tuned in 1951; and there=
fore the 1992 extra treble had to be stretched to match. Research via the f=
oundry records has shown that Evesham was the first modern ring to be stret=
ched. Bengeo, Herts, also of 1951, were widely thought to be the first, but=
they went through the tuning shop a few months later.

Chris Povey
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