[r-t] Compositions of the Decade: Part 9 - Maximus

Alexander Holroyd holroyd at math.ubc.ca
Wed Dec 23 07:29:21 UTC 2009

Fantastic articles, Philip; great job.  And even more thanks to the 
composers of the fine specimens on display.  I assume Maximus is not the 
last installment...

Seeing some of these finely-honed masterpieces, I'm especially hesitant to 
tout another of my contributions (since, like most of my efforts, it's 
more of a simple one-shot idea).  However: I'm a bit disappointed not to 
see Limited Slip Differential make it into the maximus list. Like Wee 
Willie Winkie, it's not the kind of thing you want to ring every day, but 
the concept is novel, amusing, and has further potential.

Limited Slip Differential Maximus

5040 (traditional arranged Alexander E. Holroyd and Adam P. Shepherd):
60 plain leads

This is a differential method in what I think is the original sense: there 
are 3 different blue lines, which are rung by bells 123, 579E, and 4680T 
respectively.  Thus the number of leads in the plain course is the least 
common multiple of 3, 4 and 5, i.e. 60.  I believe it's the only rung 
method in which the plain course is a peal length.  (A suitably-placed 
9ths-place brings it round at 1260, incidentally.)

I heard from someone that something similar was tried once before (but 
never scored), with a different method where the sets of bells are 123, 
4567 and 890ET.  Can anyone confirm this?

Limited Slip has a very simple structure: basically treble bob, plus a 
"slow work" that is slightly different for the 3 different types of bells. 
At any time, two different bell types are in the slow.  It's very easy to 
ring, because there are simple rules to tell you when to go into the slow.

The real entertainment comes from the music: the bells of any one type 
always course together, and they are shifted cyclically by the lead ends; 
thus 579E becomes E579, and 4680T becomes 680T4.  While it doesn't quite 
have the "gems in every lead" property of many of Philip's selections, 
there are some very interesting effects as these sets of bells course 
through each other; e.g. a few rows from the first few leads are:

32E65178904T 	(note that 4 is an octave above E - the effect is very
 		 noticeable here!)

It's really a huge amount of fun to ring, especially because there's no 
conductor - everyone just follows the rules, and these kinds of rows just 
keep popping up.

Maximus just seems to work perfectly for this concept - the natural lead 
is exactly the right length, and these sets of bells are ideal. I think 
there is potential for something similar on other numbers of bells, but I 
never quite managed to get it to work....


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