[r-t] round trip terminology

Richard Smith richard at ex-parrot.com
Sun Dec 4 23:03:49 UTC 2011

Frederick Karl Kepner DuPuy wrote:

> To state the obvious: in the seven leads that make up a plain course
> of Plain Bob Major, each individual working bell makes six 'round
> trips' down to lead then back up to lie behind.  Six trips is fairly
> common for Major

Is it?  Let's look at the twenty most popular major methods 
(based on peals this century) and the number of trips in 

   Yorkshire Surprise Major         5
   Bristol Surprise Major           3
   Cambridge Surprise Major         5
   London Surprise Major            6
   Rutland Surprise Major           4
   Plain Bob Major                  6
   Lincolnshire Surprise Major      5
   Superlative Surprise Major       1
   Double Norwich Court Bob Major   3
   Pudsey Surprise Major            5
   Glasgow Surprise Major           3
   Uxbridge Surprise Major          1
   Lessness Surprise Major          1
   Cornwall Surprise Major          2
   Belfast Surprise Major           1
   Kent Treble Bob Major            7
   Evesham Surprise Major           4
   Ullesthorpe Surprise Major       5
   Ealing Surprise Major            1
   Cassiobury Surprise Major        4

Only two of these have six round trips, the mean is 3.6, the 
median is 4, and 5 and 1 are the modal numbers of trips. 
But perhaps the methods people choose to ring are actually 
atypical.  To see, I took a random sample of 10000 
treble-dodging methods.

   Round   Number of
   trips    methods
     1       2348
     2       2150
     3       3283
     4       1505
     5        600
     6        105
     7          9

Fairly clearly, a randomly chosen method actually has fewer 
trips from front to back than the ones we choose to ring: 
the mean here is 2.6, and the median and mode are 3.

(I should perhaps comment briefly on how I've selected 
methods at random.  I have specified a set of criteria that 
most people would consider desirable in a method, and then 
started searching for such a method, exploring the search 
space in a random order.  That means that methods are not 
selected with uniform probability and there is a bias in 
favour of methods in sparsely populated areas of the search 
space.  I had assumed that this would bias the analysis in 
favour of methods with more round trips as previous analysis 
has demonstrated that for other measures of staticity, the 
random selection is biased towards more dyanamic methods; 
however for your round trip measure of staticity, the bias 
is actually the other way around.)

> Obviously the extent to which we are aware of these 'round trips'
> varies from person to person and from method to method. (They are more
> noticeable in methods which you ring algorithmically, and less so in
> methods you ring mainly by place bells.)

I'm not sure how useful a measure it is.  Consider 
Superlative, say.  It only has one round trip from front to 
back, but quite a bit of movement between lead and 6ths, and 
3rds and 8ths.  Bristol, on the other hand, feels to me like 
it only really has one movement from front to back -- the 
two extra from the lightning work not really counting.

But I expect any attempt to quantify how dynamic a method 
feels (which is effectively what this is) is going to result 
in methods that a rated differently from how we typically 
perceive them.

> My question is whether there's any term more appropriate than 'round
> trip' which I should be using here. And has this particular feature of
> a method been much discussed?

It may be possible to come up with a better term, but I 
cannot immediately think of one.  Certainly I'm not aware of 
an established term with this meaning.


More information about the ringing-theory mailing list