[r-t] Fwd: MC consultation

Tim Barnes tjbarnes23 at gmail.com
Thu Apr 6 20:02:53 UTC 2017

A reminder to anyone still planning to make a submission for the MC
consultation that the due date for comments on the 2017 changes is
tomorrow, Fri Apr 7th.  Comments on the 2018 changes are due Fri May 12th.

For anyone interested, my submission is below.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Tim Barnes <tjbarnes23 at gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Apr 6, 2017 at 3:47 PM
Subject: MC consultation
To: methods at cccbr.org.uk

Dear Methods Committee,

Although I'm now a consultant to the MC, I’d still like to provide the
following written response to the consultation on the CC Decisions:

*2017 Proposed Changes*

*2.0 A   Allow methods that are false in the plain course.*

I fully support this.  It's compositions that should be true, not
necessarily plain courses of the methods that underlie them.  It has
already been shown that very musical true compositions can be produced by
using individual leads of methods that have false plain courses.

*3.0 A (i)   Relax the requirement for bells to be heard outside the tower.*

Agree.  This makes the requirement for tower bell peals consistent with
handbells and mini-rings.  It also recognizes that in a growing number of
locations, imposing 3 hours of ringing on those nearby isn’t considered
neighbourly.  Of course, we hope that many peals will continue to be rung
as public performances where this is possible.

*3.0 A (ii)   Allow peals on simulators.*

Agree, though the exact wording for this change will need to be carefully
considered.  The art of tower change ringing involves controlling a heavy
swinging mass, interacting with other ringers using ropesight, and
developing accurate striking and good rhythm.  These key elements can still
be present even if the resulting sound is generated by something other than
clapper on bell, and such performances should therefore be recognized.

Furthermore, with the expectation of accelerating church closures in the
years ahead and consequent likely loss of rings, some ringers may need to
find other venues to practice change ringing.  A simulated ring can be set
up for a fraction of the cost of a real ring, and in some cases simulated
rings might be the only rings that some ringers have access to.

I recommend that the wording of this change ensures that peals on simulated
rings involve the key elements noted above (and the equivalent alternating
up-strokes and down-strokes for simulated handbell ringing).  I don't
believe pressing a key on a keyboard to create a bell sound is sufficient
for a recognized method ringing performance (or this should at least be
separately categorized).

*3.0 D   Allow a wider range of peal constructions.*

Agree.  There’s no good reason why today 42 * 120 + 60 of Doubles is
recognized as a peal, but 41 * 120 + 180 is not.

*3.0 E   Relax the conditions on how a peal is performed.*

Agree.  The existing Decisions in this area are unrealistic and are
routinely ignored.  While there’s a case for removing these items entirely
and leaving ringers to self-police, on balance I think it helps more than
it harms to show in the Decisions that errors matter and striking matters.
 I suggest (D) A.9 and (D) A.10 are collapsed into a single item that
reads, "Bands should strive to maintain a high standard of ringing, and
errors in ringing or calling should be corrected quickly."

*2018 Proposed Changes*

While I broadly support the proposed changes for 2018, I hope the MC will
go further than currently outlined in the consultation document.

For all of my 35+ years as a ringer, the CC Decisions have been a source of
controversy, and I know the controversy in fact dates back much further
than that.  The controversy is due to one group of ringers imposing a
limited view of what constitutes method ringing on other groups of ringers
who have a different view.

We know that reasonable people differ, so this approach inevitably has been
divisive, pitted ringer against ringer, and harmed the reputation of the
CC, detracting from other good work that it does.

A better approach would be for the CC to define method ringing broadly:
E.g. method ringing performances, such as peals, comprise true permutations
of rows, where ‘true’ and ‘row’ are easily defined.  Methods that underlie
such performances are sequences of changes that have been given names for
easy reference.  All true permutations of rows should be recognized, and
all sequences of changes should be nameable.  With this as a starting
point, a coherent framework for method ringing can be derived.

This approach would “encourage development of the art of change ringing
through innovation”, which is one of the CC’s stated objectives.  And
importantly, those who wish to take a narrower view of method ringing
remain entirely free to do so.  No one needs to ring anything that isn’t to
their personal taste.

I do not believe it would be practicable to move to this approach
incrementally by making a series of modifications to the current
Decisions.  The current Decisions are complex and unwieldy, the result of
decades of incremental fixes and patches being applied.  It’s time to start
from a clean slate, taking everything we’ve learnt so far and developing a
framework that can be the foundation for method ringing for many years to

I hope the Methods Committee will embrace this approach and take decisive
action over the next 12 months to develop such a framework.  And I hope
this new framework will be ready to be voted on at the May 2018 Central
Council meeting.


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