[r-t] Change ringing on 20 handbells

Philip Earis Earisp at rsc.org
Tue Aug 11 09:56:54 UTC 2009

It's possibly verging more towards marketing than new ringing theory, but people may be interested in this video recording of change ringing on 20 handbells:


The touch was rung during the wedding on Saturday of Philip Saddleton and Anthea Edwards. I arranged the touch - it consisted of 98 changes (2000 "bongs" including a whole pull of opening rounds!), rung in the "mega-tittums" style with consecutive bells coursing.

As such, it was quite analogous to the 16-bell handbell touch rung at the 2006 ASCY dinner (which I described in a message to this list here - http://www.bellringers.org/pipermail/ringing-theory_bellringers.net/2006-November/001637.html

I've been cheerfully promoting mega-tittums on higher numbers for a few years, and various compositions by David Pipe, Robert Lee and others have used this concept. The beauty is that the effect is of rounds / backrounds of both little bells and big bells, with a transition between the two as bells hunt up and down in the course, and moreover the effect propagates continually through as many changes as are rung when the bells course in that order .

The touch we rang on Saturday consisted of three blocks:

-          A section to get into the mega-tittums.  This had sequences of Bristol-style hunting to a point and back to the rollup above the treble, with appropriate places made to ensure the treble passed the bells in the order 2-3-4-5-6...etc. Below the treble, the bells just treble-bob-hunt.

-          Some Forward 20 (this is just treble-bob hunting with Kent places in 3-4 to prevent obvious falseness, ie the notation of each section is 34-34.1) for when the bells are in the mega-tittums, until the treble gets back to the front

-          A section to get back to rounds - bells just plain hunt until they hit a front roll-up, and then stay dodging together in pairs until the touch comes round.

The notations for the whole touch is: x5.34.4.5x56.6x9.78.8.9x90.0xA.ET.T.AxAB.BxF.CD.D.FxFG.GxHx1.34x34.1.34x34.1.34x34.1.34x34.1.34x34.1.34x34.1.34x34.1.34x34.1.34x34.1.34x34.1.34x34.1.x3x5x7x9xExAxCxFxH

Robin Hall has made a file where this can be easily imported into Abel - http://www.twiddlepin.org.uk/sounds/Northfield20.mcf - (you'll need to load it into Abel and set the composition to
Northfield20 (rather than Plain Course))

The grid for the touch is attached as a .pdf file. As you will see, it really is very simple, and the coursing makes it really quite straightforward to ring.  The only challenge is the unfamiliarity of the high numbers of bells.

I especially like the way various concepts people naively sometimes look on as undesirable or deeply eccentric (eg diverting from the "regular" coursing order, 3 consecutive blows, the tenors the "wrong" way at backstroke, ringing Kent, even-bell principles) can be combined together to create what is to my mind a lovely effect. It's like shocking people with a blind wine tasting, or something similar.

This sort of touch can be easily extended or contracted.  There are various modifications that can be introduced - for example, the end section to get back to rounds becomes a bit more sledgehammer the more bells you add.  It could (indeed probably should) be replaced with some hunting to a point and back again with the little bells for a bit of variety.

The ringers were:

1-2 Jennifer Butler
3-4 Mark Eccleston
5-6 Patrick Brooke
7-8 Philip Earis
9-10 David Pipe
11-12 Paul Mounsey
13-14 Richard Pearce
15-16 Graham Firman
17-18 Robert Newton
19-20 Michael Wilby.

DJP conducted. Martin Cansdale kindly recorded the video clip above with my camera whilst I was ringing. Dickon Love also made a recording which he's put onto YouTube here:


This communication (including any attachments) is intended for the use of the addressee only and may contain confidential, privileged or copyright material. It may not be relied upon or disclosed to any other person without the consent of the RSC. If you have received it in error, please contact us immediately. Any advice given by the RSC has been carefully formulated but is necessarily based on the information available, and the RSC cannot be held responsible for accuracy or completeness. In this respect, the RSC owes no duty of care and shall not be liable for any resulting damage or loss. The RSC acknowledges that a disclaimer cannot restrict liability at law for personal injury or death arising through a finding of negligence. The RSC does not warrant that its emails or attachments are Virus-free: Please rely on your own screening.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://bellringers.net/pipermail/ringing-theory_bellringers.net/attachments/20090811/e438e35e/attachment-0003.html>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: all grids.pdf
Type: application/pdf
Size: 10824 bytes
Desc: all grids.pdf
URL: <http://bellringers.net/pipermail/ringing-theory_bellringers.net/attachments/20090811/e438e35e/attachment.pdf>

More information about the ringing-theory mailing list