Glimpsing another way of conducting

In my previous article I mentioned that we were hoping to go for a peal of spliced Cambridge, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Rutland and Bristol. Well, we did, and we rang it first time, which was satisfying. I was almost as pleased with it as I was with the 23-spliced, which might sound strange. The point is that whereas the 23-spliced was a project that took several attempts and felt like a superhuman effort of concentration, this peal of 5-spliced shows that we have reached a level where we can organise a peal of spliced in methods that we know well, with a straightforward composition, and turn up and ring a good peal just like we would in the tower. There were no panics, no emergencies, no shouting - just good ringing with a few small trips. Also, it's the first time that I've called a peal of spliced on a non-coursing pair and managed to follow the coursing orders.

Graham John was right: that composition by Philip Davies is a hidden handbell gem. In his comments on the previous article, Graham explained the structure of whole courses of each method, except for a few substitutions of odd leads. Because each method is linked to a particular position of 5-6 in the coursing order, I was able to make use of those connections as a supplement to religiously following the sequence of methods that I had memorised. At times, I found myself thinking along the lines of "after the next bob, it has to be a bobbed lead of Bristol in order to get 5-6 coursing again so that we can ring the rest of the course of Yorkshire".

This reminded me of the article that David Brown wrote in the Ringing World about the record length peal of Superlative Major. He said that normally he learns all the coursing orders in a composition, and that helps him to remember the calling, but the enormous number of calls in the Superlative made this impractical and he had to fall back on learning the calling explicitly. This was a surprise to me because I have always learnt the calling first, and then perhaps learnt a few coursing orders at strategic points; having said that, I can now see that my articles about handbell compositions of Plain Bob Major, Bristol Major and Cambridge Royal are rather oriented towards explaining the calling in terms of the coursing orders that are going to be included. After yesterday's peal I can see that similar ideas of conducting by structure can be extended to the more complicated domain of spliced.


Spliced for Handbells

Here are two more of Philip Davies's compositions that have been rotated to give a 5-6 part end. The 4-Spliced has 5-6 coursing for the long block of London and many of the isolated leads too. For convenience I have added coursing order columns.
5088 4-Spliced Surprise Major
Composed by Philip G K Davies (rotated)
 23456 	M	W	H	  M	  W	  H	Methods
 65432 	–	–	–	53462	34562	35642	R.C.R.
 46532 			–			36452	CCCCNCN.
 54632 			–			34562	NNNCNNC.
 63542 		–	–		45362	43652	LN.R.
 53246 	–			43526			L.RRRRRR
 62345 	–		–	43265		42635	L.CR.
 34625 		–	–		26435	24365	LN.NNC.
 56423 	–		–	24653		26543	L.CR.
 25463 		–			65243		LC.R
(62453)		–			52643		LLLLLL.
 42356 	–			52436			CNRN.CL
3 part.
Contains 1344 Cambridge; 1248 Lincolnshire (N), London, Rutland; 101 com; atw.
5088 6-Spliced Surprise Major
Composed by Philip G K Davies (rotated)
 23456 	M	W	H	  M	  W	  H	Methods
 54632 	–	–		53462	34562		NCC.C.R
 63542 		–	–		45362	43652	SNSN.CYN.SSS[Y]
 56342 			–			46532	SSY.
 34562 		–	–		65432	64352	BBBBBBB.R.
 53462 			–			63542	YYYCYY[Y].
 45362 			–			65432	RRS.
 64352 		–			54632		RRRRRR.NNN
 34256 	–			54326			CNN.CCCC
3 part. Replace bracketted methods with S in one part.
Contains 960 Cambridge, Rutland; 864 Lincolnshire (N); 832 Superlative; 800 Yorkshire; 672 Bristol; 76 com; atw.