[r-t] A Ringing Puzzle

Mark Davies mark at snowtiger.net
Sat May 24 10:02:02 UTC 2014

I think there are two quite separate things here: first, are methods 
false in the plain course, or with more hunt bells than working bells, 
really methods? Second, are some compositions better described as being 
composed of "blocks" of changes, which are not methods in themselves?

On the first point, it seems increasingly crazy to argue against it. As 
Don has pointed out, you can construct perfectly worthwhile methods 
which go to true compositions whilst being false in the plain course. It 
looks like a method, it makes peals like a method - it is a method. The 
only labelling required in the method libraries is surely the "A" false 
group. No need to pussyfoot around with further messy terminology.

Similarly, what exactly is wrong with more hunt bells than working 
bells? As long as there are some working bells, I cannot see any logic 
in this restriction. It is true that, if there are no working bells at 
all, then all of a sudden whatever it is doesn't look much like a method 
any more: there is no repetition of a generating block, which does seem 
somewhat fundamental. It could be that such constructions are better 
thought of as "blocks" not methods. But then again maybe that is daft 
too. Bristol with a 2nd's place leadhead still looks like a method.

As to the second point, should compositions be constructable from 
arbitrary "blocks", which are not claimed to be methods? Well, why not I 
guess? Onr reason could be that "if it's not made up of methods, it's 
not change ringing". I think a better way of looking at this is to leave 
it to the composer or the band as to how they wish to describe the 
composition. If it works better described as containing "blocks" of 
changes, well, let 'em.

I guess these blocks wouldn't be listed in the method collections, so 
they would remain tied to the instance of the composition. I rather 
suspect that, as Ted rightly points out, if the blocks are useful, 
people will want something better than this, and in most cases this will 
lead to a desire to re-describe the block as a method. If the silly 
rules about hunt bells and falseness are relaxed, this will likely be 
possible - but not mandatory.


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