[r-t] Ben Constant's Yorkshire Royal

Mark Davies mark at snowtiger.net
Wed Jan 14 13:12:45 UTC 2009

Rob Lee writes,

> There was no intent here to make use of an existing composition (I
> strongly doubt Ben was aware of it), therefore the term 'arrangement'
> seems to me to be incorrect.

I'm surprised at this view, expressed not just by you, Rob. Whether a
composition is a variation of another is a reasonably objective measure;
but exactly how much one composer was influenced by another is very
subjective and ultimately unknowable. So I think the only consistent
approach is to ignore what you think you know about how much the arranger
knew about the previous composition, and just look at the figures.

Take your argument to its logical conclusion - my daughter Rosie gets a bit
older and learns about ringing and composition from her dad. I explain to
her how twin-bob compositions work in Stedman Triples. A couple of weeks
later she shows me an excellent true extent she has come up with. Fantastic!
I say. We get a band and ring it.

Before sending up the peal, I check in the composition books, and realise it
is Thurstans' five part, exactly. Am I going to send it up "comp. Rosanna
A.E. Davies"?

No I'm not. It doesn't matter that she came up with the composition entirely
on her own, with no knowledge of the old peal. What matters is the objective
comparison between the two compositions - they are the same.


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