[r-t] Extension

King, Peter R peter.king at imperial.ac.uk
Wed Mar 22 08:32:08 UTC 2017

>Tidying up on a few comments. PRK - the point about the 5-6 places in 
>Cambridge S8 is that it is not 'new' work, just some old work repeated 
>in a different place. 

I would agree that that wasn't a particularly good example, but it begs the question of what constitutes a piece of work? I would probably agree that similar shaped bits of work repeated in a different set of places isn't new. But if I turn a single dodge into a double dodge is that new work? Or is it a piece of old work repeated? Is the 4ths and back in London Major (but no minor) a new piece of work? The problem is that the concept of a "piece of work" doesn't have a precise definition. And I really wouldn't want to burden the exercise with another set of painstaking definitions. I think "piece of work" generally relates to how ringers learn methods, so they know what Cambridge places or Yorkshire places means. But this is highly subjective. For example, I have always thought of 4 blows behind 9in odd plain bob for example) as two lots of 2 blows behind, so I don't see it as "new work" but simply "old work" repeated. I could quote numerous other examples.

I don't know that I don't "believe" in method extension. There are clearly some methods at different stages that are sufficiently close together in terms of structure that there is some sense in giving them the same name but this is a bit of a stretch at times. Most extensions seem to pad out with treble bob hunting at the back and loose the character of the original. Belfast maximus is a good example of this. Other methods (like London) "extend" perfectly well but we are not allowed to call them extensions because they don't have an n-1 lead course. On ten bells 3-3.4-2.3.4-4.5.6-6.7.8-8.7 lh12 seems to me to be a perfectly acceptable London Surprise Royal but we can't call it that because of other rules.

So my problem is that method extension is reasonably clear for many methods, although as you have pointed out it is non-unique even then. To get uniqueness you then have to either introduce all sorts of additional rules. Or if it is defined through some application of place notation, it is also non-unique, and produces some rather dull methods at higher stages.

More information about the ringing-theory mailing list