[r-t] Little Bell Music

Ben Willetts ben at benjw.org.uk
Wed Sep 29 09:26:14 UTC 2004

Michael Foulds:
> I'm troubled by the assumption here that rows containing
> runs of adjacent notes in the scale are "more musical" ...

Blimey, that was a bit of a rant!

Firstly, nobody has said that ALL rows containing runs are more musical than
ALL rows not containing runs.  That would be silly.  Of course something
like Queens or 13254768 is going to be appreciated more than 17654823.

However, not accepting the entire assumption because of a couple of examples
of better rows without runs, and because nobody has said what it is based
on, is also a bit silly.

I think we can tell that many people DO like rows with runs in.  Why?
Because this type of music in compositions has achieved general accceptance,
and because nobody has actually said "yes, but I don't actually like rows
with runs in".  Even in your own email, you never actually said you didn't
like them.  The cru scale of music is based on runs, and near-runs, of the
back bells.  They ARE pleasing to the ear.

I can't remember where it was, but I read something a while ago where it was
proposed that the most musical rows are those in which the intervals between
the notes throughout the row are much the same.  I must say that I agree
with this.

The intervals between the notes in Queens (on eight bells) are mostly
thirds, with a jump of a sixth (also quite a tuneful interval) in the
middle.  We could notate it 3336333.  Whittingtons would be 2633233 - also
fairly similar intervals throughout.  My example above - 13254768 - has
intervals 3242423;  Yeovil Octaves on ten (the row 1864297530) would be
833383338; and so on.  Rounds, of course, would be 2222222, and runs in
general would be something like xx222xx.  So you see that runs aren't too
unmusical, really.


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