[r-t] Methods [was Grandsire/New Grandsire, etc]

King, Peter R peter.king at imperial.ac.uk
Wed Jul 23 11:17:48 UTC 2008

To be pedantic I would say that we actually ring rows (or permutations or whatever) and the changes are what take us from one row to another. so I would take the view of defining what we mean by a "legitimate" row. I think a sensible definition is any permutation on the n bells being rung which includes all the bells striking independently of each other. So you cannot omit a bell from a row, you cannot repeat any bell in a row and you cannot have two (or more) bells striking at the same time (ideally they should also have equal intervals between them). I don't think this is overly restrictive it disallows the more outre suggestions I made somewhat facetiously the other day. It also disallows cylindrical. I don't know that this is a major issue.

The other requirement is then to define what sequences of rows are "legitimate". I have no objection to saying that all sequences of rows are permissible (regardless of jump changes etc) - although they may not be practical. The only requirements that I would insist on are that there are no repetitions in a true touch. So you can have places for 10 blows if you wish, you can go directly from rounds to back rounds if you wish (& are able to pull it off perfectly!). I think these are the minimum requirements to define change ringing (I wouldn't insist on calling it row ringing as the other term is so ingrained).

finally comes the point of classification. Clearly you could call everything Original with a collection of half lead and lead end calls (effectively the conductor calls out the place notation as you go along - or whatever notation is required for jump changes). This is impractical and doesn't correspond with the way most people ring (although I do know people who ring hand bells by mentally calling the place notation). This is a very thorny subject but it does seem to hinge on the basic repeat element and the symmetry points about which methods are constructed. The present definitions seem to summarise pretty well the situation for the standard method classes. where it falls down is it simply "bans" methods which fall outside these, like having multiple places, or jump changes etc, with the exception of some historical exceptions (eg Beverley Major). It does seem that the problem arises from trying to retro-fit these historical anomalies into modern conceptions. The cleanest thing would be simply to accept that there will be these historical anomalies but to keep modern definitions as flexible as possible to allow them. Although not mathematically perfect I think a good starting point is what a method feels like to ring, call and compose for. So Grandsire is completely different in all these respects from plain bob, for which, allegedly, it is the odd bell extension.

-----Original Message-----
From: ringing-theory-bounces at bellringers.net on behalf of Ben Willetts
Sent: Wed 7/23/2008 9:20 AM
To: ringing-theory at bellringers.net
Subject: Re: [r-t] Methods [was Grandsire/New Grandsire, etc]
> Oh, it's the opinion of the listener that's important? A definition
> of ringing that depends on whether me or Rod Pipe is listening
> probably needs more work.

Clearly, you have not been following this thread.  Here's a summary:

People's opinions differ on whether, in the official nomenclature, jump 
changes (etc) should be classed as "change ringing" or not.

However, most people, when vaguely listening to some ringing in the 
background, would colloquially call it "change ringing" without worrying 
about whether it is jump changes (etc) or not.

It would be handy to make the official nomenclature and the colloquial names 

Tom Willis declared that he 'would never refer to jump changes as "change 
ringing".'  I was asking if he would not possibly colloquially refer to it 
as such.

So, in conclusion, no, it's not the opinion of the listener that's all 
important, but it would be nice to have the person listening and the person 
ringing to say the same thing.


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