Handbell Compositions: 5040 Kent Treble Bob Maximus by Simon J Gay

Submitted by Simon on Mon, 16/11/2015 - 20:37

This is the composition we rang for our peal of Kent Maximus last year. It's based on a suggestion by Stuart Bamforth, which we used for a quarter of spliced Kent and Kent Little Bob. The idea is to use bobs in 4th and 6th place to get the back bells into the coursing order TE0987, then ring the bulk of the composition in that position, and finally finish with bobs in 10th and 8th place (and, in this particular composition, 6th and 4th place) to bring it round. The assumption is that keeping the back bells coursing helps with the rhythm; also, it generates "big tittums" music with the back bells sounding in an ascending or descending scale through the change. However, this advantage is offset by the absence of the usual 7890ET roll-ups.

The opening course looks like this, with a 4th place bob as the tenor leaves the slow and a 6th place bob at the next lead. Here are the lead ends all the way up to the course end, although in the actual composition there is a bob at the last lead.

    1234567890ET
    142638507T9E
    1648203T5E79
    18604T2E3957
    108T6E492735
    1T0E89674523
-14 1ET089674523
-16 10E9T8674523
    1908E7T56342
    189705E3T264
    17859302E4T6
    1573829406ET
    135274869T0E
    1234567T8E90

The course end is when 9 and 10 are at the back, as they are the central pair among the back 6 bells. The composition is set out with calling positions Middle, Wrong and Home relative to the position of the 10th. This means that the calls affect the front bells in the standard way. The first bob Wrong takes place at the last lead of the opening course shown above, i.e. the 10th dodges 11-12 up at the Wrong.

M W H  23456
------------
  2 2  54326
1   1  63425
1 2 1  53246
2 2 2  45362
  1 1  36452
2 1 1  35264
1      25463
------------

Notice the course end 45362, which is arrived at by a bob Home. This has the front bells in the coursing order 65432, so combined with the position of the back bells, it gives the "mega-tittums" coursing order TE098765432, which is rung for the whole course up to the next bob Wrong. Another feature of the composition is that 3-4 are always coursing for the main part of the course, from the Middle to the Wrong.

At the last bob in the block, the lead end is 14235T6E7089 and after another 8 leads the tenors get to the back at a lead end. The course end 25463 at the end of the block above is not reached. To finish the composition there is a series of bobs at consecutive leads, made in different places: 10ths, 8ths, 6ths, 4ths, 4ths.

    1675829403ET
-10 1562748390ET
-18 1254637890ET
-16 1423567890ET
-14 1342567890ET
-14 1234567890ET

In this final series of bobs, more and more of the back bells return to their home positions and keep ringing their home lead until the peal comes round.

It's a little awkward to write out the whole composition in a conventional tabular style, but here it is.

5040 Kent TB Maximus
Simon J Gay

O  V  M W H  234567890ET
------------------------
14 16   2 2  543267T8E90
      1   1  63425
      1 2 1  53246
      2 2 2  45362
        1 1  36452
      2 1 1  35264
      1   10 562748390ET
          18 254637890ET
          16 423567890ET
          14 342567890ET
          14 234567890ET
------------------------
14, 16, 18, 10 refer to the place notation of
the bob in the indicated position.

It's a good idea to practise the beginning and the ending before ringing the peal. The following quarter peal composition is based on the same plan, with the addition of an 8th place bob in the opening course to put 5-6 coursing. Only one 4th place bob is needed at the end. The quarter contains 7 leads of the mega-tittums course.

1344 Kent TB Maximus
Simon J Gay

    1234567890ET
    142638507T9E
    1648203T5E79
    18604T2E3957
    108T6E492735
    1T0E89674523
-14 1ET089674523
-16 10E9T8674523
-18 1908E7T64523
    189706E5T342
    17869503E2T4
    1675839204ET
    156372849T0E
    1352647T8E90
    12345T6E7089
-14 14235T6E7089
-14 13425T6E7089
    123T4E506978
    1T2E30495867
    1ET029384756
    10E9T8273645
    1908E7T62534
    189706E5T423
    17869504E3T2
    1675849302ET
-10 1564738290ET
-18 1453627890ET
-16 1342567890ET
-14 1234567890ET

So what's the verdict? I think it was helpful to keep the back bells coursing, and we got used to the non-standard course-ends. I called it from 9-10 so that I would be in the standard positions at the bobs. However, next time we ring a peal of Kent Maximus, we're going to try it in the standard back-bell position. The peal highlighted the need for the slow work to be rung well; it really takes an effort to keep the slow bell hammering away while the other bell treble bob hunts. Obviously there is always someone in the slow (and for 6 leads of the course it's one of the back bells), so unless everyone can do it, there is quite a negative effect on the overall rhythm.