[r-t] Compositions and secrecy (was: 1-part tenors together atw compositions of 23-splicedmajor)

Philip Saddleton pabs at cantab.net
Sat Dec 5 11:21:58 UTC 2015

On 04/12/2015 13:51, Andrew Johnson wrote:
> > From: Philip Earis <pje24 at cantab.net>
> > RAS:
> > "Are you puzzled by Messrs Johnson, Saddleton and Wyld have kept
> > their compositions of Stedman secret in 1995 until they were pealed? "
> >
> > Yes, absolutely. From Colin Wyld's perspective, keeping his
> > composition unpublished surely led directly to it *not* being used
> > for the first rung peal of Stedman triples. What did he gain by
> > keeping it secret? I'm sure PABS / Andrew Johnson will correct me if
> > I'm wrong, but if the Wyld comp had been published and in the public
> > domain I'd be a bit surprised if a CUG band would have independently
> > searched for (and soon pealed) a conceptually similar but different
> > composition - that would have seemed poor form.
As it was, we were accused of plagiarism (see RW 4374 p188 and RW 4375 
> >
> I'm not sure what we would have done. Perhaps I would have started the 
> 10-part search earlier. There had been an attempt to ring Colin Wyld's 
> composition before. Should Colin have published the magic blocks 
> before finding out how to link them? Publishing a partial, but not 
> optimal solution means possibly losing out on being first to find the 
> best solution. If there is a new problem then people will want to have 
> a go at solving it, and also see if solutions can be improved. If the 
> improved solution is more than a bit better the first solution might 
> never be pealed.
I'm sure that if Colin had published the magic blocks several people 
(Andrew and myself included) would have had a go and come up with a 
solution sooner - it took Colin three years (RW 4374 p197), Andrew asked 
for help after a fortnight, and I spent a few hours on it.

What was remarkable was the speed with which the peal was then organized 
and rung, in the days when not many of us were on line: I posted the 
composition to Andrew on Sunday afternoon, had a phone call in response 
before I left for work on Monday, by Wednesday Dickon Love had got the 
bells and most of the band fixed, and Philip Agg did a remarkable job in 
learning and then calling the composition on the following Sunday.

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