[r-t] Survey #3: One-lead courses. Results.

Matthew Frye matthew at frye.org.uk
Wed Oct 15 16:39:36 UTC 2014

On 15 Oct 2014, at 16:50, Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org> wrote:
> Thanks for mentioning this. It brings to light another point that
> really should be on Tim's list. *Can* we divorce methods from calls?
> The CCCBR certainly tries to, but as Eddie Martin used to love to
> point out, that can be viewed as a relatively recent innovation. If I
> understood him correctly, he believed that Grandsire Doubles as a
> method historically included its calls as part of itself.

Grandsire Doubles was a method with a repeating block of two leads (which we would now retrospectively associate with being bob and plain leads), not a method with calls included. Saying Grandsire Doubles was historically a method with calls included is still projecting our current framework back in time. I think you probably know this, but it's a subtle point which is important to get right when bringing up the history of calls; whoever came up with Grandsire couldn't have described it with calls even if they'd wanted to.

Regardless, I don't think we should get overly hung up on history, calls are now an integral part of change ringing and must be treated as such. And there are now such things as a plain and a bobbed lead of Grandsire Doubles, wherever/whenever they came from.

> Whenever I have rung it I think of Dixon's as a rule
> based "method." But, if I understand correctly, the CCCBR
> assures us it's just Plain Bob, with bits that I think of as
> parts of the method being just unusual calls, made silently.
> If we adopt that view, how come we think Single Court Minor is
> a method? It's just Original with the usual bob. Why is it
> somehow more method-y than Dixon's?

The difference is then that the CCCBR recognises both descriptions for Single Court*, but only one (worse) description for Dixon's. I see this as a fairly superficial failing of the Decisions rather than having any kind of deep meaning on method-ness or calls.

> There's something here every bit as relevant as the existing
> six points, I think.

Yes. But one has to start somewhere and Tim made a choice!

Here I would like to re-mention my suggestion that you could in general consider/define a method as a regular/repeating part of a composition (which may be common between many compositions), which can be joined by calls; then define a composition as any set recipe for generating a set of changes. It's quite a drastic conceptual reversal but in this way you avoid many of the possible artificial limitations and other silly situations automatically as definitions of methods and calls follow naturally from peals and quarters and compositions (things which I think may be easier to define in nicely general ways) and you're only left with classifying the results. It also provides a nice framework to answer the question about how to separate calls and methods (even if it doesn't actually answer the question).


* I have actually once rung a touch of Single Court as Original with all the calls put in, goodness only knows why I learned and rang of Original before I could ring Single Court.

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