[r-t] Handbell Touch and minor principle

Ted Steele ted.steele at tesco.net
Wed Nov 22 20:47:28 UTC 2006

I wish I could ring just a
fraction as well as this.


But you can, with Abel.  Whether you can compose a touch like that is
another matter.


And with Abel I do (well actually I go wrong on that as well but 
sometimes it's good). As for composing, I did once put together the 
extent of Plain Bob Major just to see if I could. That was way back in 
my youth and long before computers. I recently dug it out and computer 
proved it. I was most gratified to find I had got it right. At the time 
it seemed like quite an achievement. It was essentially a one part but 
with several blocks recurring frequently. Any one want to call it?

This leads me to recall a little principle for six bells that is so 
simple that it must have been seen before. I found it years ago and made 
a few short touches that we rang in the Doncaster area in the late 70's. 
It even got rung at a district meeting and I heard tell that some other 
bands had picked it up. We just called it "whatsit". The work is pretty 
much like doing Kent and Oxford TB places alternately separated by 
treble bob work at front and back. It extends readily to higher numbers.

Notation for one division of Whatsit is:    -34-16.34-34.16.  This can 
be understood in terms of the three bell hunting at front and back or 
simply in terms of the contiguous places. It extends differently in each 
case. The places approach gives the most natural looking extension but 
the former option where 34 becomes 36 or 38 etc gives some interesting 
points in the middle.

I have been surprised never to see this anywhere else. Making calls was 
a bit awkward and we used a bob that involved three places in thirds. I 
did have a 720 that I believed to be true but I have not checked it lately.

Does this have any value or is my minor principle very minor indeed?

Why do we not ring more principles on even numbers. Given the popularity 
of Stedman is it not strange that Shipway is ignored? Is it all a matter 
of obtaining good music or it there some other perhaps technical reason?


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