[r-t] New Alan Reading Composition

Philip Earis pje24 at cantab.net
Sat Dec 8 20:50:30 UTC 2012

Yesterday Alan Reading conducted a new peal of his creation which must
rank as one of the most musical, best spliced major compositions yet
devised. See <http://www.bb.ringingworld.co.uk/view.php?id=195673>

Alan's composition is a cyclic 8-part containing all 480 possible runs of
4 consecutive bells at front or back (ie all 24 each of 1234xxxx,
4321xxxx, xxxx1234, xxxx4321 and all cyclic rotations involving 2345s,
3456s, 4567s and 5678s).  This is, as far as I'm aware, unprecedented
(obviously with the exception of the extents of major that have been
rung). I've been willing such a composition for some time, and am
delighted to see Alan's great achievement.

Cyclic music is ideally suited to fully n-part (including the treble)
compositions, as I extolled when describing the new "quark" spliced
maximus composition. Indeed, having all the bells involved is arguably a
critical condition for a cyclic composition's music to be fully effective.

The net result Alan has achieved in his new composition is a glorious,
concentrated and varied music box. The music contained is an 8-part
analogue of Rob Lee's superb cyclic 7-part that I felt was the composition
of the last decade (see my usual excited ramblings at

I've reproduced Alan's composition below.  Very pleasingly and skillfully,
the composition employs some extremely attractive key features:

- There's a very elegant bobs-only calling structure, starting with a
simple palindromic link method to bring up a wrap of reverse rounds at the
lead-end (handstroke) row, in the style pioneered in DJP's cyclic maximus
compositions. Alan then bobs this first, link method lead.  There are then
simply two more bobs on the same three bells to complete the q-set, and
then three homes to bring up the partend.

- Alan has used a palindromic structure for the composition (also in the
style of DJP's cyclic maximus), to load with music whilst mitigating
against potential falseness problems.

- The composition contains 12 methods (though really 11, as Old Fish
Market and Llandoger Trow are 2nds / 8ths variants). The methods are
reasonably (though not comprehensively) varied, and not too
"sledgehammer". Four of the methods are right place. The leadhead
distribution is slightly 7-pivot heavy: b-1, c-1, e-1, d-2, f-3, l-2, m-1,

Together these factors mean the composition is fluid and dynamic.  Very
importantly, the music in each part does not just consist of the same
types of runs affecting the same bells, but is genuinely diverse. This is
a step-change improvement on some previous compositions, such as
repeat-lead dominated efforts such as this (also from Alan) a few years

Incidentally, it is also pleasing to see Alan has simply used methods
which do the job well, many of which happen to be Delight. Indeed, only 4
of the 12 methods are Surprise. Truly (and happily), the age of "surprise
at all costs" for treble-dodging major has passed.

In terms of development, I'm sure there could be some tweaking of methods
- let's see what emerges in the weeks ahead.  A minor quibble with Alan's
new composition is with the run distribution: in contrast to Rob Lee's
7-part not every lead in Alan's composition contains run music. 
Principally, the two leads of Bank Delight in each part are run-less.

In any case, though, it is a marvellous achievement to create such a neat
and maximally-musical composition, and I offer Alan my heartiest
congratulations. His application here is stunning. This composition is
superb, and will set a new benchmark.

Regarding other avenues - Rob Lee has an alternative and extremely
attractive "natural" cyclic 8-part framework where each call changes the
treble, but as far as I'm aware he hasn't yet managed to use this to
achieve the same 480-run property as Alan.  Perhaps he'd be happy to share
his progress to date?


5088 Spliced Major (12 Methods)
Composed by A G Reading

5088 Spliced Major (12 Methods)
 A G Reading
 12345678 Seven Stars DLH
-28175634 Knights Templar S
 26748315 Bank D
 24637581 Commercial Rooms S
-27815634 Cornubia D
 26147385 Portwall S
 24631578 Old Fish Market D
 23456817 Dunster S
-21785634 Prairial D
 28167453 Bridge LTB
 27513846 Apple D
 26841375 Apple D
 25374168 Bridge LTB
 24638517 Prairial D
-25346781 Dunster S
 21784653 Llandoger Trow D
 26831574 Portwall S
 23658417 Cornubia D
-24536781 Commercial Rooms S
 28167534 Bank D
 26851473 Knights Templar S

 8 Part

 512 each Apple D, Bank D, Commercial Rooms S, Cornubia D,
 Dunster S, Knights Templar S, Portwall S, Prairial D;
 256 each Bridge LTB, Llandoger Trow D, Old Fish Market D;
 224 Seven Stars DLH; 159 com, atw for all 8 bells.

 Contains all 480 runs of 4 consecutive bells at the front or

Bank D: f -36-6-56-1-4-5-6-3
Bridge LTB: b 3-36.1-5-34
Commercial Rooms S: c -36-456-5-6-4-5-34-3
Cornubia D: l -3-4-2-1-2-5-36-5
Knights Templar S: e -36-4-2-6.34-34.5.6-36.5
Llandoger Trow D: l -5-4.5.2-1-4-5-34-5
Portwall S: m -3-6-256-3-34-5-36-1
Old Fish Market D: f -5-4.5.2-1-4-5-34-5
Seven Stars DLH: 2z -5-4.5-5-4-5-36-

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