[r-t] Methods for peals on higher numbers of handbells

Philip Earis Earisp at rsc.org
Tue Aug 11 13:57:32 UTC 2009

"A question for PJE (or anyone else who has ideas on this topic). Have you developed any of the concepts in your dinner / signing the register touches on higher numbers (16+) into peal lengths that are both musical and ringable on handbells? Methods that produce cyclic leadheads, for example, have the advantage that all the pairs are coursing and do the same work. Ringability is improved if the line is elegant/simple, pairs are kept close together and/or they pass the other bells in a very predictable way"

I think you are talking about two different concepts here.

*       All bells coursing (mega-tittums) is an effect that I think works very well of higher numbers, for the reasons I outlined earlier

*       A cyclic multi-part construction is also very elegant, and produces many benefits in music obtained

Now there have been various peal compositions that try to achieve just the former, especially with coursing-dominated methods, eg Erin, Kent. See for example http://www.campanophile.co.uk/show.aspx?Code=40704

To achieve the cyclic, this has been done both with:

1)       Compositions involving mostly regular methods and a link method to jump to a different cyclic course. The most notable example of the link method approach is DJP's 11-part palindromic classic:

  234567890ET Slinky Little Treble Place
  4523ET90786 Deimos Alliance
  534T20E8967 Phobos Surprise
  24E5937T608 Maypole Alliance
  3T504826E79 Ariel Surprise
  E29475638T0 Zanussi Surprise
  T038564729E Zanussi Surprise
  9E72648503T Ariel Surprise
  08T637594E2 Maypole Alliance
  796E8204T53 Phobos Surprise
  8607T93E524 Deimos Alliance

2)       Methods with cyclic leadhead in their plain course. These cannot have the usual "palindromic" method symmetry, but can include different types of symmetry. For example, Anglia Cyclic Bob Major (which has rotational symmetry), and Double Ascension Cyclic Bob Maximus (which has glide symmetry).

Now naturally, people's thoughts have turned to compositions combining both mega-tittums music with a cyclic construction.  The problem is that the mega-tittums coursing order is the same in different cyclic rotations.  Ie the coursing order 5432876 is the same course as 7654328.

You can only therefore have one lead / division in the mega-tittums in each part.  Alan Reading recently showed a composition with this property Superlative major to get runs whilst in mega-tittums, which may sound counter-intuitive.  DJP had previously used this in his "Jupiter" cyclic 12-part maximus composition which I've discussed here before.

There's plenty of scope for future developments on this theme, though, and new ideas are always welcome...


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