[r-t] FW: A compositional question I am hoping a change-ringing theorist could help with! (re-sending)

Ian Partridge ian at poncho.org.uk
Wed Jun 9 14:46:29 UTC 2010

On 9 June 2010 15:08, Mark Simos <msimos at berklee.edu> wrote:
> Ian: Thanks for your comments and thoughts. I need to decide the best way to
> discuss the musical principles of the subset I identified - I will work on a
> brief description of this.

I'd be interested to hear your description of these principles,
because if there is a logical (algorithmic?) way that you chose the
permutations, perhaps this could be reused or adapted to help you
decide the order the permutations should appear in?  Since
conventional change-ringing methods do not use "jump changes", you
will have to be inventive in defining how your "method" works.

> I'm fascinated by the modal ringing scenario you described. Would
> change-ringers discuss such peals using language like "Dorian" I wonder; or
> is there different terminology for such peals?

Ringers would probably describe that as ringing on a "minor 8".
Musicians realise that there is more than one minor scale, though.

>> You may be interested to learn that non-modal ringing does take place
>> - VERY occasionally.  I was privileged to ring in what we believe to
>> be the first ever peal on a set of chromatic bells - you can see the
>> details of the performance at
>> http://www.campanophile.com/view.aspx?78331  The notes of the bells
>> were (descending):  A flat, G, G flat, F, E, E flat.  The effect was
>> very eerie, and quite mesmeric.

> Here I assume you meant "non-diatonic" rather than non-modal?

Yes, non-diatonic, sorry :-)

> Or would the
> Ionian change-ringing with its limited implicit harmony and lack of
> accidentals be considered essentially modal (which would explain your
> mention of 'non-Ionian' change-ringing)?

I used "Ionian" to refer to the Western major scale, with the tonic as
the lowest note.  This is by far the most common mode used in

Ian Partridge

City of Southampton Orchestra - http://www.csorchestra.org

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