[r-t] Little Bell Music

Mark Davies mark at snowtiger.net
Fri Oct 1 20:09:36 UTC 2004

> I don't think it's too strong  to suggest that this acceptance of CRU
> count as the measure of musicality ... delayed the emergence of
> little bell music - no one found it because no one was looking for it.

Definitely, Michael, and I agree with you that little-bell music shouldn't
blind us to other, even newer possibilities.

However I suppose there is something to be said for a consensus, at least a
consensus with a lifetime of a decade or two. As I said before, it's all
about recognition, and if no-one understands the music you as a composer are
trying to produce, they're unlikely to enjoy it. These days little-bell
music is widely appreciated, but I expect the ringers in the first few
performances wondered what all the fuss was about... if they even noticed
anything out of the ordinary, apart from fewer rollups than usual. So I
think it helps to establish a convention, a common language if you will
between ringer and composer.

For me, the most important thing about little-bell music is its sense of
democracy. If you ring a CRU peal, it's pretty much like the composer, and
conductor, are saying "the treble, two and three aren't going to contribute
anything to this peal, so I'll ignore them." However in a little-bell peal,
the back bells are still going to have their rollups, but suddently the
front bells become part of the action too. Do I like ringing round the front
in a CRU peal? No. Do I like ringing round the front in a LB peal? Yes. It
distributes the pleasure of generating music throughout the whole band, and
that's got to be a good thing.

Graham writes,

> There are a number of compositions around now which in attempting
> to maximise the little bell music, miss out most of the 5-6 and 6-5 roll
> ups. A variety of music is much better.

Now, what's that fantastic one of Yorkshire Max with LB runs and 56 rollups
in every full course? :-)


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