[r-t] New Grandsire [was Old methods]

Mark Davies mark at snowtiger.net
Sat Jul 19 07:08:07 UTC 2008

Don writes,

> If it is our desire to never name a new method because there is some way
> of viewing it as something else, why are we willing to accept Stedman as a
> distinct principle? All it is is spliced Erin and Bastow, with a change of
> method at every lead end. And why have a method Single Court Minor? It's
> really just original.

This is an entirely understandable point, but one that is easy to address if
we keep a clear distinction between methods and compositions.

So methods are (or should be):

1. Made out of blocks of place notation (the lead).
2. Round blocks, so invariant by rotation.
3. Uniquely classifiable. Give me the place notation for a method and I
should be able to tell you what sort of method it is.

Compositions are:

1. Made out of methods and calls.
2. Round blocks, so invariant by rotation (you don't get a new composition
just by rotating it).
3. Not uniquely classifiable. You give me the place notation for a
composition and I won't be able to tell you what it is, for sure. You have
to describe it for me with reference to the methods and calls it contains.

So you should be quite at liberty to ring a peal of Stedman by splicing Erin
and Bastow and calling it as such. You haven't created a new method here.
Conversely, if Single Court Minor didn't exist, and people rang it using
touches of Original, why you could ring a peal of Single Court Minor and
call it Single Court Minor - you've created a new method. You could ring a
7-part peal of 8-spliced and name it as a new, very long, treble place
method. I've been tempted to do this several times. ;-)

Nothing wrong with any of that. BUT if you give me a method, then I want to
be able to look at that method and classify it on its own, without reference
to any particular compositions. Give me "New Grandsire" and I'll tell you
it's Grandsire.

So our fundamental disagreement is on this separation between methods and
compositions. I quite understand if you don't like it, if you think that a
method should have its calls bundled with it, and not stand alone.
Anciently, that's been the way it has worked. But I just don't think it's
very useful in our modern world of thousands of methods. It gives more
freedom and more accuracy by treating a method as a method, and letting the
composers worry about the calls. It's not as if we're likely to run out of
(unique by rotation) new methods!


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