[r-t] Single-lead methods

Mark Davies mark at snowtiger.net
Thu Apr 20 23:45:35 UTC 2017

To flesh out my thoughts about single-lead methods:

Firstly, I'm not convinced there really are either hunt bells or working 
bells in a single-lead method. Neither tag really makes much sense to me 
when there is no repeating lead structure. Historically, "hunt" has had 
a very specific meaning of "ringing a fixed pattern whilst other bells 

If we take Bristol Major and apply a 12 leadhead, all the bells have the 
same cycle order: 1. Nevertheless to most ringers, the treble still 
looks like a hunt bell and the other bells look like working bells. No 
doubt in most compositions this would actually become the case. You can 
certainly massage the classification system to treat B8-12 as a Surprise 
method, taking the treble to be the principal hunt, because it has a 
"recognised" path. This is a happy outcome.

However, what if we do the same to a principle? For instance, take MUG 
Minor - as we did with Bristol, we can apply a different leadhead (here 
"x") to get a single-lead method. But now the same classification rules 
that would have "worked" for B8-12, in that they preserve the obvious 
classification, do the opposite: a principle has become a hunter. (It 
would either be a Little Plain or a Little Treble Dodging method, 
depending on your views on the relative priorities of those paths).

If you were very familiar with MUG Minor and used to ringing it, the 
single-lead version would look like the same kind of method, i.e. a 
principle, and you'd probably have just as strong feelings about it as a 
Surprise ringer does looking at single-lead Bristol.


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