[r-t] Proposed definition of a peal

Don Morrison dfm at ringing.org
Wed Aug 6 01:03:15 UTC 2008

On Tue, Aug 5, 2008 at 8:41 PM, Matthew Frye <matthew__100 at hotmail.com> wrote:
> For determining the stage being rung I think that some reference to leads is
> needed rather than arbitary undefined block of changes:

I'm trying very hard to define this *without* defining what a method
is. This seems desirable for a couple of reasons

- It would be nice to define methods after defining what ringing
  itself is, if possible, lest we create unattractive circularities.

- More importantly, I don't think all change ringing has methods
  composed of leads. For example Dixonoids are not composed of leads
  the same way normal methods are. And I think there may well be
  change ringing in the not distant future where there are really just
  blobs of place notation in some strategic places. Some of the current
  link methods are near that, and weep loudly with all the pain we
  cause them by squeezing and distorting them so we can pretend they
  are our more familiar shapes of methods. Similar already extent
  constructs are the starts of some unusual length compositions that
  have been published in the past decade.

- While I have not yet put them on (virtual) paper I have some further
  thoughts on methods, their importance and how best to approach them,
  that would make it better to define ringing, truth and peals without
  recourse to such a higher-level structure, which may or may not be
  germane for any given performance.

In summary, while it would undoubtedly be eaiser for us, the writers,
to express our thoughts in terms of the leads we are most familiar
with, I think think that makes the result less generally useful. And
I've got to believe a reasonable wording can be had without recourse
to such a large hammer. Though I've not yet figured out what that
method-free, clear wording is, and remain hopeful that someone more
facile with such things than I am will beat me to it.

Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org>
"She thought I knew a lot because I knew different things
from her."        -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, _The Great Gatsby_

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