[r-t] Naming methods & compositional devices

Don Morrison dfm at ringing.org
Sat Aug 2 15:53:19 UTC 2008

On Sat, Aug 2, 2008 at 8:19 AM, Graham John <graham at changeringing.co.uk> wrote:
> Nevertheless, defining default calls for groups of methods does make sense,
> since compositions don't then have to state which calls are used. This is
> current practice, except that the CC has removed definitions of bobs and
> singles from the decisions. I think that this can easily be remedied in a
> descriptive way, but in a definition of standard calls, not methods.

What about ambiguous cases where there are two different sets of
standard calls in common use? For example, Glasgow is frequently rung
with 6th place bobs and singles, and with 4th place bobs and singles.
Or Bristol on higher numbers with 4th place calls or N-2'th place
calls. While I may opinions of my own about which is better in these
cases, I don't think I'd like to see us collectively claiming one is
inherently better than the other.

And I doubt you can say "whichever is more commonly used wins" will
really work. Consider Glasgow. I think when rung by itself 6th place
calls are probably more commonly used. But when rung in spliced 4th
place calls are far more common.

I doubt that this ambiguity is an intractable impediment to doing as
you and Richard suggest, I'm just curious about what you view as the
appropriate mechanics for coping with the issue.

> The only problem with the current decisions here is that " A call is a means
> of passing from one course of a method to another." If this definition is
> amended to include "or to another part of the same course", then a 1T call
> can be used in Cambridge Max rather than the unnecessary use of Primrose.

Plain hunt type calls can be used profitably for more than just
getting unusual lengths. At the risk of Narcissism, have a look at


It is the record, I think, for most crus (yes, I know, a rightly
unfashionable metric of musical worth, but still sometimes an
entertaining goal to aim at) in a peal Cambridge Major. But to avoid
falling foul of the current Decisions it has to be force fit into
masquerading as a peal of 2-spliced. Definitely it was not composed
the way I'd do spliced, but rather by using 18 calls.

And the current Decisions do seem to be demanding the opposite of what
we'd really like. I think most ringers would consider the modification
implied by a call to be somehow "less" than the modification implied
by a change of method. A call that merely shunts you to a different
part of the same course is arguably even "less" of a modification than
one that moves you to a different course, yet we are being forced to
describe it as the "greater" modification, a change of method.

> Ted's suggested provisional list of peals not conforming to CC decisions
> could be dramatically reduced by creating a catch-all class for any
> "unclassifiable methods". A new type of method is just put into the
> catch-all class, and is documented as such in the libraries (with just name
> and stage as its title - although its name must be unique against
> principles). If, enough methods of this new type are rung, then the methods
> committee could propose a new class name to be added into the title, at a
> later date.

While that's certainly good, it does nothing to address the problem,
probably more common, of methods omitted despite being perfectly
classifiable currently. Methods like Richard's False Course Bob Minor
and Double Stromboli Bob Minor fit perfectly into the existing
taxonomy. But they are no where to be found, not even in the list of
provisionally named methods, simply because they include properties,
irrelevant to the taxonomy, that the Council or its committees find

Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org>
"The world of beauty and the world of money never touch, even when
beautiful things are sold."  -- Will Durant, _Our Oriental Heritage_

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