Handbell Compositions: Cambridge Royal by CUG Collective

Submitted by Simon on Fri, 07/08/2015 - 19:56

This is a popular composition of Cambridge Royal, suitable for handbells as 3-4 ring only the 3-4 and coursing positions and 5-6 ring only the 3-4 and 5-6 positions. I have called it from 3-4 and 9-10. It's a two-part composition, and the part consists of two distinct phases if considered from the viewpoint of 3-4.

5040 Cambridge Surprise Royal
CUG Collective

23456  M  W  H
53462  s  s
42365  s  ss -
34265  ss    -
23465     ss -

In the first phase, singles at middle and wrong are used to move 5-6 around while keeping 3-4 fixed in their home position. The first sequence of sM, sW, sM produces the coursing order 63245, and then the two sW insert a whole course in the coursing order 23645. After the two sW, the coursing order is what it will be at the part end.

The bob home at the end of the third course produces the coursing order 62435, with 3-4 coursing, and begins the second phase of the composition. The idea is to insert another whole course with 3-4 coursing by calling two sM, inserting the coursing order 62534. After that comes another bob home to give 64325, and then what's needed to insert another course with 3-4 coursing is two sW. Finally, the third bob home returns to the coursing order 63245 for the part end.

When calling from 3-4, the main challenge is changing position after settling into one position for three or four courses.

So who is the mysterious Mr or Ms Collective? The composition is a joint production by a few Cambridge University Guild members in the 1990s, probably including some or all of Adam Shepherd, Ander Holroyd, Robert Johnson and perhaps others.