[r-t] A Ringing Puzzle

Ted Steele teds.bells at tesco.net
Fri May 23 13:40:05 UTC 2014

On 23/05/2014 13:30, Matthew Sorell wrote:
> On a more serious note, and as one of those who will be at the meeting, I'm interested in hearing the range of views and I'm willing to be educated.
> A few options to dissect. I'm not going to push these but I'm genuinely interested in how these might work:
> 1. instead of Non-Method Blocks could we have "Pseudo Methods" or "Quasi Methods", with the same word in the descriptor (eg Morrison Pseudo Surprise) to encompass anything that isn't a method by current taxonomy (including false in the Plain Course) but is used in a method-like way.

The ringing and composing of these things is far beyond my abilities, 
but that is probably true for the vast majority of ringers who are 
represented at the CCCBR, so a view from that perspective is possibly 

I can readily see the value of these blocks in bringing bells into 
desired positions quickly and simply and allowing compositions that 
would otherwise be very unwieldy or even impossible. This may bring 
better music or simply allow exploration, at peal ringing level, of 
innovative ideas, both of which things are good. So lets recognise and 
legitimise them. What I do not accept is a need to name them at all, 
nor, except in the most general terms to define them.

Methods are given a name with the possibility in mind that they will 
become part of the ringers stock and be rung again. The blocks under 
discussion are I believe very unlikely to be used except in the original 
compositions of which they are part, or derivatives thereof. It is 
arguable that they have more to do with compositions than they do with 
methods. They are almost like extremely long calls spread over a number 
of rows. Why not just recognise them as special compositional  blocks 
with a special purpose of linking up other methods, or indeed of 
standing alone,

To describe a composition as containing X number of methods and y number 
of e.g  "shunts" "levers" or "shuffle blocks" or "shift courses" with 
these blocks having place notation appended to the composition, would be 
as simple as naming a new method and including its p.n..

The definition of such a block would be simply any block of changes used 
for a specific purpose within a composition and which is not otherwise 
classified. Even truth would not need to be mentioned because it is 
covered within the definition of a peal and such blocks have little use 
elsewhere. Names could be used if composers so desire but the blocks 
would not need to be separately listed anywhere except within their 
parent composition. If some such blocks have special qualities that come 
to be recognised and used elsewhere then names may come to be used for 
them;  "Thingummybob's shunt" could be as familiar as Holt's Bob Single. 
Any given names could be listed by the CCCBR, purely as a source to 
check to avoid duplication; a simple service to the Exercise to avoid 
confusion, that requires nothing else about it at all.

This suggestion I think would be workable. A name is no more needed for 
a block of changes within a composition than it is for a block of calls. 
A group of calls known as "Block A" in one composition does not have to 
be the same as a "Block A" in another. This causes no difficulty for the 
record keeper because the blocks are defined uniquely within each 
composition. Why should it be different for a block of changes which are 
used for the same purpose as a call, to bring up particular coursing 
orders or music?

Is this all too simple?


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