Non-diatonic rings

Ben Willetts ben at b...
Fri Jan 7 17:17:28 GMT 2005

>> Far better to describe what it actually is.
Bill H:
> I think one can get too precious about this. Let's take the
> example of three bells with notes D, B and G. ...
> I'd say to describe them as 1, 3 & 5 of 5 is misleading.

I am not at all sure that anyone reading "1-8 of 12" in Dove will
automatically think "aha, they're going to put in another four tenors
sometime soon" or anything similar. It is genuinely useful to describe what
notes the bells actually are.

Of course, "1-8 of 12" and "second a semitone flat" turn out to mean the
same thing and are equally useful, but taking your case of "1,3,5 of 5"...
how else can we describe them? Ring of 3, treble a semitone sharp, tenor a
tone flat? Collection of miscellaneous bells? What if they were actually
cast as a three?

I think one can get too precious taking it the other way, Bill. At
Stoke-next-Guildford (my tower) there was originally a ring of three, to
which was added around 100 years ago a treble. These four bells were
2,4,5,6 of a ring of six [ = 1,3,4,5 of 5]. Bill would be violently against
describing them as such, but as it turns out that's effectively what they
became, as in 1954 the missing bells were added. How should they be
described now, considering that the four bells "weren't" part of a ring of
six, is anyone's guess, especially as they are in a frame for eight...
perhaps "3-8 of an 8" is better than "ring of 6"? And what if someone in
the future wants to augment to a light ten by adding a second layer of
frame? Surely we can't deny them the opportunity by not describing them now
as "5-10 of 10"... ;-)

Yours T-I-C,

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