[r-t] Descriptions (was: A date to pencil ...)

John Harrison john at jaharrison.me.uk
Wed Sep 9 09:14:47 UTC 2015

In article
<CAHe9+Aek-DRZnrTD3rHiXhdnrhGfHp7+tp0sVSKQqu1hV_LGSw at mail.gmail.com>,
   Graham John <graham at changeringing.co.uk> wrote:

> >  the ordinary ringer would understand what was meant by ringing
> > Cambridge on the front six and London on the back six of a twelve but
> > would struggle to understand it described in any other way as a
> > Maximus method.

> I am not sure that it would be a struggle to understand ...

That was not the best word.  My point was that was that describing it as
two simultaneous 'stacked' Minor methods would seem a far more natural, and
therefore comprehensible way of describing it than describing it without
reference to the constituent Minor methods.

Graham's main concern seems to be with processing performance descriptions
by software (proving, music analysis, etc) rather than with the definitive
descriptions used in performance reports per se.  That's a legitimate
concern that would need addressing if such software is to be able to cater
for performances outside of the current method framework.  

But I don't think it is an adequate reason to require a performance of say
Cambridge on the front six and London on the back six to be reported as a
(rather unconventional) new Maximus method rather than the immediately
comprehensible description in terms of Minor methods.  

> there are many more bizarre examples ...

Of course there are, and they would be more complex to describe.  But that
is no reason to outlaw something that can be described very simply using
existing concepts.

It isn't possible in advance to codify (concisely) everything that could
possibly be rung and since the value of codification is to make
communication simpler and more concise, it should be optimised round the
things most likely to be rung.  There is a debate about whether to design
the codification to make it more easily extendible in the future but that
isn't the issue here.  

We aren't talking about inventing new ways to codify methods and
compositions, we are discussing a case where existing terminology and
concepts could describe a performance very easily and compactly.  It seems
perverse to ban such a description because there are other things that
would be more difficult to describe.

John Harrison
Website http://jaharrison.me.uk

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