[r-t] Anything Goes vs Peals Mean Something

Don Morrison dfm at ringing.org
Mon Aug 11 01:04:35 UTC 2008

On Sun, Aug 10, 2008 at 7:09 PM, Mark Davies <mark at snowtiger.net> wrote:
> OK, here's the latest. I don't know, you might like this!
> A peal is true if:
> 1. It is rung on one stage, and each change in the extent at  this stage is
> rung either N or N+1 times in the peal, and no more, for N>=0.
> 2. It is rung on two stages, A and B, where |B-A|=1, and each change in the
> extent on A is rung M times in the peal, and no more, and each change in the
> extent on B is rung N or N+1 times, and no more, for M>0 and N>0.
> 3. In a two-stage peal, the structure of the composition should make clear
> which changes are treated at which stage.
> 4. For the purposes of proof in (1) and (2) above, methods at any lower
> stage may be considered rung at a higher stage by: (a) including leading or
> covering bells; (b) ringing two or more methods at a lower stage in
> parallel; or (c) both of the above.

Close, but on a first reading I do have two concerns. Maybe I'll have
more later after I've tried to digest it. (Despite what some may
think, I'm having a lot of trouble keeping up with this. I know, I
know, it's my own fault....)

1) It doesn't allow that peal of spliced Stedman Caters and Triples
that really was rung at Basingstoke. And my guess (I don't honestly
know, never having seen the composition) is that it was probably such
that even Mark wouldn't assert it was false, since it could easily
have been arranged that all rows extended to nine bell rows were

2) I really don't know what your point #3 means. If I wrote out all
5,040 (or however many) rows of the composition and ticked those that
are at stage A and those that are stage B it would be clear which are
which, but I'm sure that doesn't pass the test you are hoping to

For a less contrived example of a structure that makes it clear,
imagine a composition where we say "every 120th row is of stage A, and
all the rest are of stage B". That's a pretty rigid structure. But
probably capable of what you would consider an abuse. Probably in
itself already an abuse. But nonetheless a structure. Even an arguably
elegant one.

If you're just saying

    "Well, we really want folks to do something sensible, and are
    trusting them to do so. If a few folks choose to step over the
    line and do something contrived, it's a shame, but we can't stop
    them. It's on their consciences, and we'll not worry about it any

then I am perfectly content. If instead it is

    "If subsequent to ringing it MBD doesn't like the structure
    the band has asserted and thinks it doesn't pass muster as a
    real structure, we're not going to allow the peal"

then I don't think it really helps.

Is there some way to make the test applied in #3 less ill-defined? At
least stipulate whose judgement is being applied to what a "structure"

Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org>
"There is a fine line between fishing and just standing on the
shore like a dork."                             -- author unknown

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