[r-t] New plan
mark at snowtiger.net
Tue Dec 29 12:17:46 UTC 2009
> - re 2, to my taste at least, _completely_ mixing up all the types of
> music might also be a bad thing. It's nice when you have a block that
> concentrates on one type of music for a while (perhaps with pthers thrown
> in) - the band notices it more, and get to repeatedly practice striking
> that type of run/whatever.
Yes indeed, I should have stressed that, too. I've discussed this in a
recent off-list exchange of ideas with Clarrie, and the goal is I think
best described as attaining a balance between the static and dynamic
production of music.
Compositions which mix everything up and change all the bells round all
the time can look exciting on paper, but often end up being
disappointing to ring - "chasing the rows," as Philip describes. I think
that is because part of the appeal of changeringing is the repetition of
music, giving it time and space to sink into the listener's
subconscious. We are a percussive form of music, after all; percussion
and repetition are strong allies.
In some senses, this means we can't easily get away from the classic
plan: keep the back bells fixed for a while to generate stability, and
vary the little bells to give dynamic music; then, after long enough has
elapsed, vary the back bells, and repeat. Of course there is plenty of
pleasure in tenors-togethers peals in many methods, which is the
aforementioned plan with a repeat of zero.
However, if we do have one set of bells fixed (classically, the back
bells), then rapid transitions of the remaining bells are good, which
was really what I meant by my original point 2. It's easy to see that
three Homes keeps too many bells fixed, and doesn't provide enough
movement or variety of music. If you already have bells 7..N fixed, then
you want to vary the other bells rapidly from one form of music to the
This is why, in the tenors-together sphere, I am always on the lookout
for compositions like my "Cosmic Joker", where different sorts of music
are interleaved very finely ("both LB runs and 56/65 rollups in every
full course") within a fixed framework (tenors together). In Grandsire
Caters and Stedman Cinques, I still like to keep a back-bell position
going for some good length of time, to produce the same stability, and
then to generate interest and dynamism in exactly the same way - rapidly
interleave others types of music, such as LB runs, mid/back-bell
rollups, near misses, queens effects, and so on.
The above is not to say that there are not other forms of composition
which are worthwhile, or that it is not possible to achieve the goal of
"stable dynamism" in other ways. A good example of a different plan
achieving the same goal is the cyclic part end arrangement: the cyclic
order in each part provides the stability, and as long as different
types of run are produced in each part, there is the variety. We must
explore these new ideas, whilst never forgetting that the "classic plan"
has plenty of mileage left in it still.
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