[r-t] Double Treble-Bob Maximus Methods

Mark Davies mark at snowtiger.net
Wed Dec 16 19:49:39 UTC 2009

Andrew Johnson writes,

> Swi is swings of the blue line in the plain course - front to back to
> front.

Ah, makes sense. A useful property.

> Graham John mentions 'This has 120 changes of 4-bell coursing, compared to
> 112 in Snow Tiger.'
> Is 4-bell coursing the number of rows with 4 coursing bells in the same
> positions as in a row of a plain hunt or is there another definition?

I think he was quoting me. But yes, that is pretty much what I meant. Take
any set of four coursing bells (for instance, 90ET in Maximus) and count how
many times in the plain course of the method they fall into the same
positions as a row of plain hunt. That's my "coursing-4" measure.

The original idea came out of my observation, some years back, that the real
music of ringing is not in the individual rows or rollups that we usually
count, but in the continuous sound of coursing bells that rolls out change
after change. I was driving through Bristol when this revelation hit me. I
was not in Bristol to ring, just passing through, but it just so happened
there was a peal of Avon in progress at Redcliffe. For several minutes as I
wound my way through the city centre I could hear this wonderful sound
pulsing out. It wasn't distinct enough for me to hear individual runs or
whole changes, but the effect of the perpetually coursing tenors, with the
little bells blossoming into the interstices of their pattern, was simply
mesmerising. It was at that point that I thought "coursing is where it's

Later it struck me that the whole thrust of method design revolved
around the desire to prolong the music of the plain course of plain hunt,
and to do so using increasingly complex structures - spikier bluelines and
more tangled grids. The same music, just extended into more complex
and interesting variations.  It is this centuries-long quest which has led
us from Plain Hunt through Plain Bob, Grandsire and Kent to Yorkshire then 
Bristol and Avon. In my mind, I was carrying on this quest when I developed 
Snow Tiger, Aotearoa and the rest.

Of course, when I started composing these methods, I had to have some way of
measuring whether I had succeeded or not. That's where the "coursing-4"
metric came from. Ironically it too only measures single rows, but it does I
feel give a good picture of how effective a method is in achieving
plain-hunt coursing throughout its structure.


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