[r-t] Handstroke-home Cyclic Maximus

Mark Davies mark at snowtiger.net
Thu Aug 18 11:27:51 UTC 2016

Thanks for the feedback, Philip. A few points for me to respond on:

> The trade-off with this is that you lose the elegant palindromic nature of
> the Pipe framework (with pivot-leads alternating between the 2nd and tenor
> of the part), and all the benefits this brings.

It may well be possible to produce similar palindromic structures with 
my plan, but this wasn't one of my aims. I know Pipe used that idea and 
the 2nd/tenor pivot leads in order to maximise music, and it is indeed 
elegant, but I took an alternative approach - brute force the best 
methods. This yielded non-palindromic splices.

If you look at the Pipe methods, the run density is not very even - the 
Phobos and Deimos pack in large numbers of runs, but the Maypole and 
Zanussi aren't so great. It is possible to improve on these using 
library methods in non-palindromic structures. Palindromicity doesn't 
necessarily yield the absolute best results. I accept it makes it easier 
to ring and call, of course!

> Moreover, in terms of the musical count the DJP composition has 9 of the
> possible 24 8-bell run rows of each type

Yes, Pipe is much better than my efforts by this count. To be honest I 
didn't look at the big runs at all - I optimised purely for 5-runs. I 
think in this I do quite a bit better than Pipe. I will take another 
look and see what I can get out optimising for 8-runs.

> The composition isn’t atw for any of the 9 methods other than Grandsire.
 > Indeed, there are only 5 leads of Deimos, Phobos and Strathclyde (and
> only 6 leads of Fallen Angel) in the whole peal. Now non-atw isn’t an
 > intrinsic flaw, but it can be symptomatic of a composition that’s an
 > assemblage of leads rather than a sculptured whole.

I wasn't fussed about ATW, but the structural reason for the lack of it 
is that the alternating parts require different methods to make the most 
of them. In the Pipe peal, all parts are the same, and so ringing the 
same splice to each part works well, and this naturally delivers ATW. In 
my peal, half the parts are rung in reverse, and so runs will appear at 
different strokes: a method that's optimal in a given lead for one part 
will not necessary work so well in the other part.

So, I optimised the method choice carefully for the "odd" and "even" 
parts, and therefore we get different splices and different methods in 
each, and the peal can no longer be ATW. I would argue that this very 
feature is what makes it a sculptured whole, but each to his own taste! 
I do have other arrangements with more methods, and even less work of 
each, which increase the 5-run counts again, however these start to look 
much less accessible - I wanted something that a half-decent 12-bell 
band might think they could have a crack at.

> My feeling is that cyclic compositions on higher numbers should be
> “architectured”, with the individual building blocks (methods) carefully
> selected to be the most appropriate for their role in the compositional
> structure.  As such, I question the use of methods as gimmicks, or which are
> selected for legacy reasons and aren’t best suited to exploit the desired
> effect.

The individual methods absolutely were carefully selected, but only from 
the existing libraries. I used the following protocol:

1. Start with the entire rung library of single-hunt Alliance and TD 

2. Filter these to retain the "best" methods (about 570 of them), rated 
by structural properties and music in the plain course.

3. Brute-force these into the "odd" and "even" courses of the peal plan, 

4. Further refine to reduce the number of methods, and favour as many 
"well-known" methods as possible, without unduly reducing 5-run counts.

I didn't look to construct new methods for the composition. There is a 
good chance this could yield improvements. Howver, it is nice to give 
library methods an outing from time to time though - I reckon 
popularising methods like Counter's Creek and Fallen Angel would be a 
good spin-off. I certainly was not constrained by 'bog-standard 
“regular” treble-dodging maximus methods'!

Anyway, in the main I accept your criticisms, and I will work on 
increasing those 8-runs.


This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.

More information about the ringing-theory mailing list