[r-t] Stedman Doubles in Campanologia

Mark Davies mark at snowtiger.net
Mon Oct 10 20:32:28 UTC 2011

Thanks chaps. I see that I got the meaning of "cuts compass" round the 
wrong way, that is, it means wrong-place leading, not right-place 
hunting. I've re-read p130 now, and that is pretty clear:

"In the six which cuts compass, the two first bells of the three makes 
the first change of it, but in the other the two last of the three."

Assuming starting a six at handstroke, this then makes sense. I think I 
also now understand the conceptual link between this idea of "cutting 
compass" and the other old meaning of "compass" of which I'm aware - the 
rhythm or length of the changes. Thanks Eddie and Robert for that.

But this means that in fact Fabian does not discuss or explain the start 
anywhere, as far as I can see. The last paragraph is basically just 
saying you can ring the method starting at different places, including 
those with the parting change (5ths) at hand/back instead of back/hand. 
He states that, for the example he has "prickt", he's used the 
particular start we are all used to, but does not give a rationale for it.

To the reader this would surely look very odd, because he spends most of 
his discussion on the principle describing its contruction from sixes, 
saying things like, "The general method is this; the three first bells 
go the six changes, and the two hind-bells in the meantime dodg; then a 
Parting change is made...". But then you look at the figures and he has 
started us in the middle of a six, with a mention of this afterwards, 
but no explanation why.

He must have been aware that he had picked one of the two points of 
symmetry of the method, mustn't he? But why no attempt to explain that? 
I must admit I haven't read much of the rest of the book - does he cover 
the concept of symmetry anywhere?

There is another explanation, which is that the "Grandsire" style 
singles he chooses to prick out are naturally rung on this 
starting/ending change, so can be placed at the middle and end of his 
figures. That wouldn't be such a good reason for choosing the start - 
someone tell me that's not it!


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