[r-t] Little Bell Music

Alexander Holroyd holroyd at math.ubc.ca
Thu Aug 19 19:53:06 UTC 2004

In seems odd not to inculde 1234s and 4321s.  These seem at least as
musical as the others, and I don't understand either of the reasons given
for excluding them:
 - methods with same above work can have different numbers of them (but the
same applies to 5678s off the front, queens, near misses etc etc - I don't
see how this makes them less musical or "not valid"!)
 - many compositions don't have many of them (again, the same applies to

People often don't _quote_ 1234s in a composition if there aren't
especially many of them, but that's another issue.  For similar reasons
I'm not in the habit of appending "Does not contain Queens" to my
compositions...!  ;-)

4-bell runs off the back (perhaps excluding the usual (n-3)(n-2)(n-1)n's)
seems a sensible thing to agree on.

Cheers, Ander

On Thu, 19 Aug 2004, rchat wrote:

> Can I enquire as to what various people count as little bell music? I
> currently count forward and backward runs of 2345, 3456 and 4567. However,
> others also count runs of 1234. My reasoning for this (which I have evolved
> after discussion with some others) is that in normal methods, the treble
> being fixed almost makes these incidental. For instance, the plain course of
> Yorkshire has two 4321s at the half-course, but these are not present if the
> same composition is used for Lincolnshire. Conversely, a composition of
> Yorkshire that has 2345s at the back will have the same number for any other
> method with the same upwork. I doubt the validity of including 1234s and
> 4321s because usually there are significantly less than any of the other
> groups.
> Ideally I am looking for a consensus so that going forward a standard can be
> evolved so that in a similar way to being told that there are 'n' crus, for
> which the options are firmly defined, if we are informed that there are 'm'
> little bell runs, what that count is made up from.
> Incidentally, everyone knows what M W and H means, and we all know that they
> are constant headings whatever the number of bells, from 6 to 16 and beyond.
> It would make life easier if we could have a similar name for the calling
> position affecting 3,5 and 7, now regularly used to gain 4567s. On Major it
> is 5 or V (Fifths), Royal 7 or S (Sevenths), Maximus 9 or N (Ninths) and so
> on. Current practice seems to want to not mix numbers and letters in the
> calling headings (yes I know not everyone agrees with that), so it would
> make life a lot easier if we could use another letter that did not need
> explaining every time.
> Question: can anyone think of a consistent letter (with good reasons!) for
> all stages, or conversely, have we got to the stage where we do not need an
> explanation in the rubric each time?
> Thanks
> Richard
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