[r-t] Stedman Doubles in Campanologia

edward martin edward.w.martin at gmail.com
Tue Oct 11 09:11:27 UTC 2011

On 10 October 2011 21:32, Mark Davies <mark at snowtiger.net> wrote:

> 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!
I think it would be a good reason & that his choice would have been seen to
be the most practical  Although he says there are umpteen ways of ringing
the 120, I think that he chose the particular start & positioning of singles
so that it would be familiar to those used to ringing Grandsire ie wait to
make the singles until "the 4th and 5th bells"are dodging behind and "the
treble leading at both of them" this is probably the easiest place to spot
where to call those singles.

I have absolutely no doubt that he was aware of symmetry but you are right,
he doesn't go into it as a subject other than to imply the need for it
(p95)  Elsewhere he goes into his realisation that the structure of a
method must be contained within what we now call lead-blocks but which he
called 'courses' ie with the whole hunt on a fixed path, the method's lead
block must allow for each other bell to occupy all necessary positions.  I
haven't found any false touch in his book and his methods which had a fixed
whole hunt were all constructed with the second half of the lead block being
a reflection of the first half.  50 to 75 years later, when we come to
Annables' Note Book, this seems to have been forgotten or misunderstood in
that there are quite a few asymmetric six bell methods (I believe that not
one of them runs true to a 720)
But you do raise an interesting point in that if we look  at 'Orpheus'
(p.119) this is Stedman's Principle but in whole pulls with changes
alternating double & single he starts with rounds the first row of what
might be a slow! : (12345, 13254, 13245; 31254, 31245; 32154, 32145; 23154,
23145; 21354, 21345; then into a quick without bothering with either of the
pivot points for a starting/ending row!

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