Non-diatonic rings

Bill Hibbert bill at h...
Thu Jan 6 15:17:36 GMT 2005

>Wouldn't "non-diatonic ring" be an easier description
>for publications such as Dove?
>No, because that tells you bugger all apart from the
>fact that it isn't major! Far better to describe what
>it actually is.

I think one can get too precious about this. Let's take the example 
of three bells with notes D, B and G. A possible description of these 
is 1, 3 and 5 of 5. If there is some evidence (empty pits? records of 
bells being ordered but not installed?) then this might be a useful 
description. But if the actual situation is that they are three bells 
of different provenance that 'happened' to end up in the same tower, 
I'd say to describe them as 1, 3 & 5 of 5 is misleading.

Two real examples. Ugborough is described as 1-8 of 12. But, having 
rung there, it was clearly not ever a possibility of them being a 12. 
I would say that 'second flat' is a much better description.

My second example is Gidleigh, which are described as 1flat,2,3,4,5 
of 6. But actually (I assume, I do not know their history) the 
situation is that they are a set of bells which came together over 
time without consideration of tuning, apart from the modern Taylor 
bell. In this case, 'non-diatonic' is a more historically meaningful 

Now, in fun, I wonder if we should describe St Peter, St Albans as '3-
12 of 12' or West Bromwich, before the fire, as '5-12 of 12'? Perhaps 
I had better get back to work!

Bill H

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