[r-t] [r-c] Definition of a peal (was Not A Block)
richard at ex-parrot.com
Tue Jun 10 11:55:26 UTC 2014
Mark Davies wrote:
> I believe strongly that we need to sort out the mess over
> method classification, in particular that of Differentials
> and false methods.
Where things don't naturally fit into a class of the common
methods, they shouldn't be forced into one, nor should their
title be dictated by irrelevant or incidental properties of
The reason we typically include a class in the method is to
convey some useful information about it. If you're asked
into a peal of an unfamiliar surprise major method, the fact
it is suffixed 'Surprise Major' puts considerable
constraints on how complicated it could be.
But this is only useful when the class conveys useful
information. In a lot of the recent advanced methods, the
class conveys no such helpful hints. Does knowing Slinky is
a Differential Little Treble Place Maximus method help in
ringing it? I don't think so. This is even more the case
with the quark methods.
Personally I think many of the changes to method
classification in the last few decades have been rather
misguided. The number of method classes has increased in
number, and the definitions of many have been relaxed.
This seemed necessary because peals had to be composed of
methods, and methods had to belong to one of the recognised
classes. In accepting non-method blocks, we have accepted
these premises to be wrong. A non-method block is
essentially an unclassified method, and I would sooner we
used the term 'unclassified method', but that isn't what I
want to discuss here.
Take the five classes based on the treble's path:
1. Plain methods. The current definition seems
2. Treble dodging methods should have exactly one dodge
in each dodging position. I don't think it's particularly
useful to classify Eryri or Double Darrowby as surprise
3. Alliance methods should consist of just hunting and
dodging. (I'm of two minds whether to go further and
just say single dodging.)
4. Treble Place methods are fairly rare, and I don't have
strong opinions on what they should be. But historically
they've usually been variants of treble-dodging methods,
so I'm inclined to require the treble makes two blows
per half lead in every position. And broadly they should
involve the treble going from the front to the back once
in a lead: i.e. two leads of plain hunting should not
count as a treble place method.
5. Hybrid methods should be abolished as a class.
The number of methods this will affect is small. But where
methods are quite different from the established canon, they
are no longer classified as such. It is only once new
styles of method become popular that they should be
classified. In this regard, I share Robin Woolley's view
that far too much time is spent trying to classify sui
generis performances. But the solution is not to prohibit
them as he appears to be advocating. The solution is to
allow them to be rung, recognised in peals, named, and
otherwise recorded in the CC's analysis and methods
collections, but not necessarily to classify them. And they
certainly shouldn't have some ridiculous tag like 'Block' at
the end of their name.
More information about the ringing-theory