Handbell Compositions: 5040 Kent Maximus by Donald F Morrison

Yesterday we went to Penrith and rang a satisfying peal of Kent Maximus. I think I can now give my final word on handbell-friendly compositions, to supplement my article about two-part compositions.

The composition I called was this one by Don Morrison:

5040 Kent Treble Bob Maximus
Donald F Morrison (op 1617)

M  W  H  23456
      1  42356
   2  2  53246
2  2  2  45362
2  2  2  64523
2     1  63425
1  1     24536
1  2  1  64352
1     1  23456

I noted previously that handbell-friendly compositions of Kent Royal and Maximus have 3-4 coursing from the middle to the wrong in every course (sometimes even from the home to the wrong). This one also has 5-6 coursing from the middle to the wrong, except in the first and last courses (because there isn't time to move 5-6 into and out of coursing before the first middle or after the last wrong). 

Another feature is that this composition has seven courses, whereas the two-part compositions have eight courses. This is good because it reduces the number of times that the back bells have to ring the slow work, which is the part of the course that can cause problems with the rhythm. 

Regarding the number of courses: a course is 11 leads and each bob adds a lead. To get 5040, which is 105 leads, we can have 7 courses with 28 bobs (an average of 4 bobs per course) or 8 courses with 17 bobs (an average of just over 2 bobs per course). Can there be a composition with 6 courses? No, because it would require 39 bobs which would be more than the maximum of 36 (there can only be at most 6 bobs in a course: 2M, 2W, 2H). Can there be a composition with 9 courses? No, because it would only require 6 bobs, less than one per course.