[r-t] New Bristol Major composition

Robert Lee rlee5040 at yahoo.com
Tue May 28 11:43:02 UTC 2013

[Originally sent on Friday, 24 May, but not received by some

Since the topic has come up I'd like to, if I may, also discuss a new composition which may be of interest.

As a bit of background, I noticed a few years ago that by using with a snap start, it was possible to obtain all 5678's and 8765's 

off the front and back, without the need to split the tenors, using all 12 CO's of the form xxx56 and 56xxx. I don't claim to be 

the first here - Roger Baldwin has published a similar composition predating this (although this also splits the tenors), and of 

course the same idea has been used for Superlative for many years now. However it doesn't seem to have caught on for Bristol - 

no doubt because so much music can be obtained without the need for a snap start.

I called an irregular tenors together 3 part on this plan in 2008, and Don Morrison produced a similar arrangement which also 

included all the 65's in a regular 3 part. Of course by this time MBD's groundbreaking tenors-together peals were catching on, and 

I started to wonder if there was a way to combine the two idea(l)s. Despite finding several promising looking blocks I couldn't 

find a satisfactory way of linking these into a 'no-duffers' arrangement and the idea lay dormant for several years.

Resurrecting the idea recently I had some correspondence with Mark who produced a peal on this plan for me, and combining some of 

his links with my own has produced the following:

5056 Bristol Surprise Major
RWL (5056 no. 3) after MBD

M     B     W     H     42536
      -     -s          32465
      -                 26354
s                 s     43652
      -           -     43526
            s           23546
      -                 34265
s-                s     23465
      -                 36254
s           -     s     52463
-                 s     43265
      -                 36452
s                 s     24653
      2           s     54362
            s-          56342
      -                 64523
s           s           24536
      -     s     s     62345
-           s          (42536)

Snap start and finish
All 96 5678/8765
12 4567/7654
142 LB4
All 24 65's, all 7 near misses, 86 cru's

A similar arrangement was rung a month ago at Westbury and proved to be very rewarding (although, to be honest, a peal of spliced 

Rutland and Pudsey would sound good on those bells).

As an aside, this arrangement also happens to be very handbell friendly, due to the amount of coursing for 5-6 and the fact that 

3-4 spent the vast majority of the peal coursing or home.

I'd be interested to hear any comments/feedback. Although it has appeared to be possible to up the level of 4-bell runs, the level 

of 5-bell runs is lower than in some of Mark's peals, and there is a slightly less favourable balance between front and back bell 

music, so this very much boils down to personal preferences.


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