[r-t] Lead head codes

Mark Davies mark at snowtiger.net
Fri Apr 14 09:52:58 UTC 2017

Yes, I use Pip's numerical notation whenever working with spliced 
compositions. Outside of the computer, I find it helpful to mix in 
negative numbers, because it's easier to think about -1 instead of n-1, 
and you don't have to carry out the modulus operation so often. It can 
be much easier to see the common leadhead order across extensions with 
this system too (e.g. Bristol = -8).

Philip's comment about pivot bells does highlight a feature of method 
construction which can be useful in context. The pivot bell can of 
course be recovered from the leadhead place notation and row; if you're 
working with a composition where the pivot is the key feature, then 
using a (pivot bell, lh order) property pair would be sensible, but for 
ordinary ringing purposes it's probably more useful to know the leadhead 
pn first.

Outside of specific compositional requirements, I don't see a major 
problem with the current system. The numeric encoding would almost 
certainly be clearer if we were starting from scratch, but the current 
system does have the benefit of being very concise, and people are used 
to it. Also, I'm not sure it's the biggest problem we face.


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