[r-t] Opinions sought

Ian McCulloch ianmcc at physics.uq.edu.au
Sat Jan 26 12:20:48 GMT 2019

On Sat, 26 Jan 2019, Ted Steele wrote:


> Another thought, (I doubt that it hasn't been covered in discussions 
> elsewhere). Why should we be hung up on whether the change of method 
> occurs at rounds or not? We certainly do not require changes to occur at 
> any other fixed point.

Because it is hugely important to quite a few ringers, who would be happy 
to ring a touch/quarter/peal etc of "mixed" where the changes in method 
occur at rounds, but would balk at the idea of "spliced".  This makes the 
distinction between "mixed" and "spliced" a useful concept.

> Consider a multi method block of minor that is longer than 720 changes 
> and so must contain rounds. Suppose that at some point the method 
> changes from Cambridge Surprise to Hull or Ipswich or any other of that 
> group. Could anyone examining only the half dozen rows either side of 
> the lead end (and with no other information) say whether or not there 
> had been a  change of method and if so, where it had taken effect? If 
> rounds had occurred at the lead end would it be sufficient for the 
> composer/conductor to insist that in fact the method change had taken 
> place at the trebles snap? I think the entire exercise is a classic 
> example of over analysis to the point of becoming self-defeating. Images 
> of heads disappearing up dark passages come to mind.

If you want to find a tricky way of describing some piece of ringing in a 
more complicated way, then this is always possible.  Eg, if you want to 
take a touch that would meet the common definition of 'mixed doubles' and 
twist it around to make it spliced, say by calling the changes of method 
at some point other than at the lead-end, then of course you are free to 
do so.  You'll also need to explain to the band what you are doing.

I have heard of a somewhat whimsical plan for a peal of spliced surprise 
major in 1264 methods, with a change of method coming every 4 blows, 
splicing into the same point in the new method so that the treble's path 
is unaffected.  The methods are all chosen appropriately so that the 4 
changes that are actually rung of each method happen to coincide with the 
changes that occur in cambridge surprise major for those 4 blows.  (i.e. 
the line that all of the ringes actually ring coincides with a standard 
peal of cambridge surprise major).  I don't think the existence of such 
games is particularly relevant to how ordinary ringers want to classify a 
piece ringing.

> We are sometimes told that it is not the rows actually rung that defines 
> the "method" but how it was described and rung by the ringers involved 
> that is significant. Thus an asymmetrical single method might be rung as 
> half-lead spliced. If I am told that I am going to ring spliced doubles 
> then it will matter not at all to me whether the method changes come at 
> rounds or anywhere else, the mental process will be the same.

That might be true for you - there are many ringers (probably most 
ringers) for whom knowing whether the changes of method are coming at 
rounds or not, or whether the changes of method come at the lead-end or 
not, makes a huge difference.  I think it is reasonable to have some 
terminology that can aid in describing these differences.


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