[r-t] Little Bell Music

Ian Partridge ian at poncho.org.uk
Wed Sep 29 11:54:39 UTC 2004

On Wed, Sep 29, 2004 at 10:26:14AM +0100, Ben Willetts wrote:
> 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.

That would have been me, on ringing-chat. It occurred to me
during a particularly dull cru-fest composition.

> 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.

Absolutely. I proposed that a good way to measure the
"musicality" of a row was to take the mean of the intervals
between adjacent blows. Then you could sum these numbers over the entire peal
to get a total.

I didn't actually get round to computing the numbers for some
well-known "musical" and "unmusical" compositions, but I think it
would be interesting to do.

Ian Partridge

Carpe Noctem...

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