Learning a composition by coursing order

Submitted by Simon on Sat, 05/09/2020 - 16:34

I have written before about how following the coursing order can help with remembering a composition, and here is another example.

On Monday we are going for a quarter of Bristol with Alex Frye (it's going to be on Ringing Room because we currently have a local lockdown in Glasgow which will prevent us from meeting in person). Alex wants to practise the 3-4 and coursing positions, so I came up with a composition that keeps 3-4 out of the 5-6 position.

I now realise that although I am confident that I will be able to call the composition, I don't know it in the sense of being able to recite the positions of the bobs. I can't rattle it off in the same way that if you ask me "What is Pitstow's peal of Yorkshire?", I can quickly say "Wrong and three [homes], wrong and three, before and two".

To call Monday's quarter I will need to follow the coursing order and think about how 3-4 are affected.

Start in coursing order 53246, the plain course.

Call a before to give 65324, because it keeps 3-4 in the 3-4 position.

Call two middles to give 65243 and then 65432, because we can't do anything else without putting 3-4 into the 5-6 position.

Call a home to give 64352. The idea is to get 3-4 to the front of the coursing order.

Call a wrong to give 43652.

Call a before to give 24365. Now we have 2-3-4 back together, which gives some room for manoeuvre.

Call two wrongs to give 43265 and then 32465, so 3-4 are in the 3-4 position again.

Call a before to give 53246, back in the plain course.

Having written that out, I can see that from 64352, another possibility is to call before and home, instead of wrong and before.  This alternative possibility gives 4 extra 4-bell runs, so maybe I will call that instead.

Here is the more musical version, which is also nicely palindromic.

1312 Bristol Surprise Major
Simon J Gay

M B W H  23456
--------------
  -      35264
2     -  34562
  -   -  34625
    2    42635
  -      23456
--------------
For handbells: 3-4 and 5-6 only ring their home position and coursing.