[r-t] Extension question

Mark Davies mark at snowtiger.net
Thu Jun 30 19:47:59 UTC 2016

Ted writes,

> I subscribed very much to the old-fashioned idea that methods are based
> upon principles; not only principles in the sense of them being methods
> but as being clearly stated plans for a method's construction.

I know what you mean, and there is certainly sense in that point of 
view. With some methods - Stedman, Bristol, Yorkshire, Halloween - there 
is a clear plan of construction which can be applied at all stages.

But as it happens, the plans for these methods also correspond nicely to 
the places which are to be made within the half-lead. And it turns out 
that looking at the place-making is a more widely-applicable way of 
generalising the structure of a method to multiple stages.

The thing is, most methods *aren't* built from a guiding plan which will 
work on all stages. Take my old method Snow Tiger Delight Maximus, for 


This was designed purely and simply to maximise the number of rows a set 
of four coursing bells (e.g. the four tenors) stay in coursing position. 
I optimised it for the 12-bell stage, and had no thought for other 
numbers of bells. But it turns out it does have an over-arching 
structure - it is sort of an opposite-Bristol, wrong-hunting where 
Bristol right-hunts and vice versa. And there are closely-related 
methods on other stages - see for example Snow Tiger Surprise Royal:


But this method was produced (by Chris Poole) by contraction of the 
Maximus place notation, not by application of the "guiding principle".

Then again, here is another of my methods, Precambrian Surprise Royal:


The design principle of this was similar to Snow Tiger: maximise 4-bell 
coursing music; but additionally I wanted a non-Double construction, and 
back rounds at the handstroke. Here there are certainly strong motifs in 
the construction, but no real guiding principle in the same way that 
Snow Tiger and Bristol have. Nevertheless - who knows - if the places 
made in the lead follow a pattern that does extend to higher number, how 
pleasant that would be!


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