[r-t] Original

Don Morrison dfm at mv.com
Sat Mar 11 14:21:17 UTC 2006

On Mar 5, 2006, at 7:04 AM, alexander pool wrote:

> Does anyone have any suggestions on how to call Original?

It doesn't look like anyone has responded to the spirit of this  
request, though there have been some comments on its form.

Appended below is a reply to a similar request I received privately  
from someone a few months ago, somewhat redacted, and refers only to  
calling (generally false) short touches at practices and the like,  
and is aimed at someone wishing to call minor.

If you're looking for quarters or peals, there are a few, simple  
compositions on http://ringing.org.

Coming up with true compositions yourself is fairly straightforward,  
particularly if you stick with N-2 place calls, and part structures  
that exhaust all the changes on sets of bells swapping over at the  
part head (e.g the part heads of Parker's twelve part). If you  
assemble things out of whole courses, you just need to make sure you  
don't include the reverses of any. By limiting one pair to a set of  
fixed relationships to each other, that can usually be easily  
ensured, after which you just have to make sure you don't include any  
courses twice. It's probably nicest if you ensure no bell is  
completely unaffected throughout -- otherwise it ends up feeling like  
a hunt bell, and the whole thing potentially feels a little bit of a  


For short touches, rather than peals or quarters, I usually just call  
stuff at random [starting with lots of bobs, for general  
entertainment value], and then call it round, usually aiming at  

[To call it round] you can observe the coursing order and stick each  
bell into it in the right place. To come round at back you're aiming  
at 531246, or at hand 642135. So first for example you might get the  
5 coursing after the 6. Then the 4 ahead of the 6. Then the 3 after  
the 5. Then just make sure 1 and 2 are the right way round.

... A trick I often use is when trying to get bell A into the right  
place, is to just start calling A to make the bob over and over  
again. For minor (or major, but not for royal) that will put it in  
turn everywhere it can be in the coursing order, leaving the others  
unchanged with respect to each other. So if you do as described above  
it's "call the 5 to make the bob over and over until it's after the  
6." Then "call the 4 to make the bob over and over until it's before  
the 6." And so on.

It's pretty easy to see when a bell is going to make the bob. You see  
it lead. And then you call the bob at the next backstroke, as it  
comes down in 3rds. If you miss one, just wait a whole course and  
it'll come back again. Or if you call one bob too many on it, just  
keep calling it to make the bob and you'll come back there again. Or  
if you call a bob in the wrong place, just call 3 more (or 5 more in  
major with 4th place bobs) and you'll come right back where you started.

If [that scheme doesn't appeal], here's a different sort of trick  
that doesn't require watching the coursing order: start calling bobs  
at random, but make a mental note of where your own bell is at each  
of them. When you've had enough, simply go back and call bobs again  
that affect you exactly the same as they did the first time. Keep  
repeating until it comes round at back stroke. For minor it's  
guaranteed to come round with at most five repetitions, and usually  
fewer. Of course, it can also come round somewhere in the middle, but  
if you don't notice and say "that's all" folks will just laugh and  
keep ringing anyway. When I say "at random" above, you can also make  
a plan ahead of time for what you're going to call yourself to do.

A small advantage of the "call it round by watching the coursing  
order" flavor is it's robust even in the face of folks making  
mistakes. You're actually watching to force it round, so if two folks  
swap over, it's no big deal. If two folks swap over in the second  
scheme it might never come round!

Another popular scheme is to just put the calls in so folks are  
ringing a plain course or touch of a method that only has hunts and  
4ths places, such as Single Court. To ring a plain course you'd  
simply make the calls so that a bob is made anytime the treble is  
passing from 2 to 3 or from 3 to 2. The treble will then just ring  
five plain hunts, but everyone else will get something entertaining  
to do. If you don't want to ring the treble, or want to better hide  
what you're doing, just ring a different bell and make the calls with  
it -- you'll then be ringing Single Court, but with that bell as the  
hunt instead of the treble. It's even true!

Don Morrison <dfm at mv.com>
"I believe that my duties as a poet involve friendship not only with
the rose and with symmetry, with exalted love and endless longing,
but also with unrelenting human occupations."
                                   -- Pablo Neruda, 1971 Nobel lecture

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