[r-t] Handbell all-the-work compositions

Simon Gay Simon.Gay at glasgow.ac.uk
Wed Jul 27 22:15:07 UTC 2011

On 27/07/2011 16:40, Graham John wrote:

Simon wrote:

I have been thinking about this problem on and off for a long time, and
I produced a couple of compositions of spliced surprise major a year or
so ago. They are not variable treble, but they have the property that
every pair of bells (not just the standard handbell pairs) rings all 21
pairs of place bells in every method.

Very interesting, Simon. I was asked whether I could come up with something
by Eddie Futcher at a CY meeting in the 1980s, but I never got round to
looking at it seriously.

I need to look at these compositions in more detail, but at first glance
they look not too bad to call, but very difficult to check the coursing
orders or lead ends.

Indeed, that seems to be the main problem in ringing them.

Having something that is more cyclical might improve
the music and keeping right.

I didn't think about music at all, I'm afraid. These are combinatorial compositions rather than musical compositions. I haven't checked, but I don't suppose there is much noteworthy music in either composition.

With regard to the all the pairs feature, my first thought was - wouldn't
any composition having all the handbell pairs doing all the work have this
as a by-product?

I don't think so. Consider three courses of a single method, with course heads 12345678, 12567834, 12783456. Imagine that these three courses could somehow be joined together; then you would have a touch of one method that is handbell-atw for 3-4, 5-6 and 7-8. But, for example, the pair 6-8 would ring the coursing course twice, the 3-4 course once, and the 5-6 course not at all.

My second thought was - can it be done using a standard
cylic 7-part composition, reducing the number of methods from 23 to 7?

Depending on what you mean by cyclic:

- if you mean plain bob lead ends, both compositions are based on this structure, with the part being a 3-part; but actually the part in the 7-part structure is a round block, so the parts have to be joined together in some other way.

- if (more likely) you mean part ends 13456782 etc: off the top of my head I don't remember how much I investigated this (it was a while ago); either I didn't look into it, or it didn't turn out to be the most promising idea for getting the calling and fitting in the methods. I'll have to look back at the intermediate results to check.

The main idea in both compositions is a 3-part with a part end corresponding to the coursing order 8526734, in which *every* pair of bells is in a different relative position than it is in the plain course.


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