[r-t] Odds and ends

Robin Woolley robin at robinw.org.uk
Sat Jul 19 05:06:54 UTC 2008

Once again, Mr. Earis really needs to check on the facts before rushing into 
print. My dictionary gives the definition of 'radical' as 'innovative or 
progressive'. I imagine he would prefer to be called radical himself and not 
the members of Methcom. (This is the OED, so perhaps the Cambridge 
Dictionary is different.)

The word 'deprecate' was not in the pre-69 decision - I used it myself as 
short-hand for the original decision which was, seemingly: "Only one type of 
bob and single may be used in any one composition. Singles in Treble Bob 
methods may be used when a desired result cannot be obtained by bobs". I 
used the word as I had seen it in an HTML definition document - a modern 
enough source, I thought.

Since Mr. Earis declares himself to be against innovation and/or progress, 
he will no doubt wish to return to the days when composers would do anything 
in their power to avoid the use of anything other than bobs. He does seem to 
advocate obsolete methods in his writings.

Just a casual glance at any turn of the (19th/20th) century will show that 
in the then most popular methods, Plain, Grandsire, Stedman, there are many 
peals, especially on the higher numbers for the latter two, containing no 
singles at all. Just one example will suffice. In the 1975 reprint of 
'Ropesight', there are 22 compositions of PB8. 11 have no singles  and four 
are of the 'single ½ way and end' variety. Grandsire and Stedman are 
similarly 'blessed'.

I've had this discussion privately with Eddie Martin several times over the 
years - usually on what constitutes a 'good' peal of Stedman for the 
'antients'. My contention was that, if a composer could come up with a 
composition with fewer calls overall, or just fewer singles, it would have 
been regarded as a 'better' peal. To put more calls, and more types of calls 
in one composition would, at one time, have been seen to be a backward step. 
Eddie points out that fashions change. They also come round again.

Best wishes


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