Compositions of CYNR

We did well with our quarter of CYNR this week, so I would like to go for a peal of it during the handbell weekend that I'm planning in April. Here's a survey of compositions to choose from. First, some essential criteria. I'm looking at tenors-together all-the-work compositions. It's possible to get all the work in a five part composition (either an exact five part, or sometimes with a variation in one part in order to adjust the length), so I will consider five-parts to reduce the learning required. CompLib has 12 compositions satisfying these conditions (searching in CompLib actually gives 15 results, but I have combined some of them which are variations). I will classify them first according to the part ends, then by other factors. I have removed the musical analysis as I am mainly interested in how easy the compositions would be to call and ring, but it can be found on CompLib.

1. Part ends 12345678, 13526478, 15634278, 16452378, 14263578

This part end group consists of the lead ends of Plain Bob Minor with 78 added at the end. I find them easy to check because of familiarity with Bob Minor, and their coursing orders are familiar because we ring a lot of compositions with blocks of 5 befores, which produce the same coursing orders. There are 8 compositions with this part end group. I will subdivide them according to the calling.

1.1. The calling of Middleton's (2M 2W 3H)

There are 5 compositions with this calling. It potentially gives 5600 if every course is 7 leads. Some of the compositions are indeed for 5600, shortened to 5056 in the same way that Middleton's composition of Cambridge is usually shortened: by replacing 2M 2W with B in one part. One is shortened to 5024 by shortening some courses. Others use short courses and then lengthen some of them to get a length of 5024.

1.1.1. Compositions reduced from 5600 to 5056 by replacing 2M 2W with B

5056 by Robert D S Brown

M  W  H             23456
-        NNN.NYNY   43652
-  -     CCC.N.YCY  56234
   -  -  YYYY.NYN.  23564
      -  CNCCCYC.   52364
      -  RRRRRRR.   35264
5 part.
In one part, replace 2M 2W by B and omit the associated leads.
1344 Y, 1312 C, 1280 N, 1120 R
80 changes of method; all the work.

The next one has rather more Lincolnshire. We rang the full length of 5600 for my 600th peal.

5056 by Robert D S Brown

M  W  H             23456
-        CNC.YNNN   43652
-  -     NCN.C.YCC  56234
   -  -  YYYY.CYY.  23564
      -  CNNNNYC.   52364
      -  RRRRRRR.   35264
5 part.
In one part, replace 2M 2W with B and omit the associated leads.
1440 N, 1248 C, 1248 Y, 1120 R
79 changes of method; all the work.

1.1.2. Compositions reduced from 5600 to 5024 by shortening courses

This is the first composition, shortened in a different way which results in much more Rutland.

5056 by Robert D S Brown

M  W  H               23456
-        NNN.N[YNY]   43652
-  -     CCC.N.[YCY]  56234
   -  -  YYYY.[NYN].  23564
      -  CNCCCYC.     52364
      -  RRRRRRR.     35264
5 part.
In parts 3, 4 and 5, replace the bracketed methods with R.
1408 R, 1344 C, 1152 N, 1120 Y
74 changes of method; all the work.

1.1.3. Compositions extended from 4860 to 5024

The first of these two compositions is rung quite frequently on handbells. Peter Randall seems to like it. It has the fewest changes of method of any of these compositions, which can help with stability. Also it looks easy to learn. It can be made into a palindrome by either changing the fourth course to NNNCCCC or changing the fifth course to CCCNNNN.

5024 by Robert W Lee

M  W  H               23456
-        YYY.YR       43652
-  -     R.RRRRR.[R]  56234
   -  -  RY.YYY.      23564
      -  NNNNCCC.     52364
      -  CCCCNNN.     35264
5 part.
In part 2, replace [R] with NNN.
1408 R, 1280 Y, 1216 N, 1120 C
31 changes of method; all the work.

The next one has more changes of method, but a similar method balance.

5024 by Emma J Southerington

M  W  H             23456
-        [R].CCNY   43652
-  -     CCC.YR.    56234
   -  -  RRRRRR.R.  23564
      -  NNNNNYC.   52364
      -  YYYYYCN.   35264
5 part.
In part 1, replace [R] with NYN.
1408 R, 1312 Y, 1184 N, 1120 C
66 changes of method; all the work.

1.2. The calling B, extended with blocks of 3M and 3H

This is an attractive idea because of the simplicity of a B as a 5-part transposition, and then the composition is extended with two simple blocks of three bobs. If you think 5120 is too long, it's easy to shorten it by two leads. We rang the full length for the first peal of spliced by the Albany Quadrant band, in 2011, and again with Julia in 2012.

5120 (5056) by John S Warboys

M  B  H               23456
-        R.Y[NNN]     43652
-        YYY.CCCC     63254
-  -  -  NNC.RR.RRR.  23564
      -  CYNNYYY.     52364
      -  CCRNN.       35264
5 part.
1440 N, 1280 C, 1280 Y, 1120 R
74 changes of method; all the work.
For 5056 replace [NNN] with R in part 3.
1344 N, 1280 C, 1280 Y, 1152 R

1.3. The calling W B 2H, extended with blocks of 3H and/or 3M

These compositions again use B to give the 5-part structure. The W and 2H are a block of three bobs on the same three bells, but the calling positions are different because the B shifts all the bells. The first composition uses one more block of three to increase the length. CompLib also has a trivial variation in which the third lead of one part is replaced by Y. Similarly to the previous composition, this one can be shortened by substituting a lead of R in one part.

5120 (5056) by Philip G K Davies

B  W  H              23456
   -  -  CCCY.CCC.   45236
      -  YCYCNNN.    24536
      -  YYNN[YYY].  52436
-     -  NN.NY.      52364
      -  RRRRRRR.    35264
5 part.
1344 Y, 1280 C, 1280 N, 1152 R
69 changes of method; all the work.
For 5056 replace [YYY] with R in part 1. 
1344 N, 1280 C, 1280 Y, 1152 R

The next composition uses more short courses and therefore needs an extra 3M to get the length. It has the most changes of method of any of these compositions.

5120 by Donald F Morrison

M  B  W  H                     23456
      -  -  CYYN.CYC.          45236
         -  YRR.               24536
         -  NCRNN.             52436
   -     -  CN.YN.             52364
3        -  R.CYCRC.YNRYN.RY.  35264
5 part.
1440 Y, 1280 C, 1280 N, 1120 R
144 changes of method; all the work.

2. Part ends 12345678, 13456278, 14562378, 15623478, 16234578

This part end group consists of cycles on 23456 with 8 added at the end. The part ends should be easy to check, but I am not familiar with the coursing orders.

5024 by Robert D S Brown

M  W  H                 23456
   2     RY.YNRCY.[R]   35426
   -  -  RC.R.          42356
   -     CR.NCY         54326
2     -  NYN.NNRNY.RN.  56423
      -  YCRNC.         45623
5 part.
Replace [R] with CYC in part 3.
1440 N, 1408 R, 1152 Y, 1024 C
137 changes of method; all the work.

3. Part ends 12345678, 14653278, 15236478, 13462578, 16524378

I don't see anything special about this part end group, either as changes or as coursing orders, and I don't find it appealing. Maybe I am missing something.

5056 by Robert D S Brown

M  W  H             23456
-     -  NCN.NNNC.  64352
   -  -  RY.YYY.    35642
      -  [RRRRRRR].   63542
   -  -  CYCN.CCN.  54632
      -  YNYYR.     65432
      -  RCR.       46532
5 part.
Replace bracketed leads with RCR in parts 3, 4 and 5.
1280 N, 1280 R, 1280 Y, 1216 C
100 changes of method; all the work.

The final two compositions have a simpler calling and are similar to each other, with significantly different numbers of changes of method.

5056 by Robert D S Brown

M  W  H             23456
   -  -  CCCN.YNY.  45236
      -  NYNCNYN.   24536
      -  YNYCR.     52436
-  -  -  R.Y.R.     63425
      -  RYCCC.     46325
      -  [RNR].     34625
5 part.
Replace bracketed leads with RRRRRRR in parts 4 and 5.
1280 C, 1280 R, 1280 Y, 1216 N
115 changes of method; all the work.
5056 by Robert D S Brown

M  W  H             23456
   -  -  CCCC.NNN.  45236
      -  YYYNYYY.   24536
      -  NNNNR.     52436
-  -  -  R.Y.R.     63425
      -  RCCCC.     46325
      -  [RYR].     34625
5 part.
Replace bracketed leads with RRRRRRR in parts 4 and 5.
1280 C, 1280 N, 1280 R, 1216 Y
60 changes of method; all the work.


I like the Robert Lee composition for its simplicity, and I think I will call it next time we ring these methods. I'm not sure why I didn't choose it for our first peal of spliced. Maybe I didn't like the idea of the method substitutions in one part. When searching for quarter peal compositions, two callings come up that aren't used as the basis for any of these peals: M H W and W M. It could be interesting to explore them.

A good quarter at a new address

Yesterday we christened Peter's flat with a nice quarter of Cambridge, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Rutland. It was Peter's first of spliced surprise on handbells, and Jonathan's first of spliced as conductor on handbells. They both did well. Jonathan called this composition:

1280 Spliced Surprise Major (4m)

M W H          23456
-   -  R.CR.   64352
  -    NYNC.R  56342
5 part.

There are many compositions on this kind of plan - my computer search came up with more than 1000, assuming that the part ends are the lead ends of Plain Bob Minor with 78 added at the back. Some of them have the calling Wrong Middle instead of Middle Home Wrong. The tenors ring the same work in each part, so it's a gentle introduction to spliced. In this particular composition there is a bit less variation for the tenors, as both leads of Cambridge are when the tenor is 6th place bell, and there are two leads of Rutland with the tenor as 7th place bell.

Writing out the coursing orders, we can see that there is quite a lot of coursing (20 leads out of 40) for 5-6, which is a good pair (other than the tenors) to conduct from.

M      W      H
53462         54632
46325         43265
32654         36524
65243         62453
24536         25346

There are also some coursing orders with good musical potential. The transition 62453 -> 24653 -> 24536 -> 25346 can give little-bell runs in each course, although the composition doesn't necessarily ring the right leads to produce them.

Next week we're going to try Lincolnshire Royal, if everyone is available.

Handbell ringing at the SACR training day

Yesterday was the annual SACR training day, at Tulloch. It's primarily a tower bell event, but we also offered some handbell ringing. In most cases this was plain hunting on six, including some with absolute beginners, as well as some Bob Minor. Good progress was made.

We also rang some Bristol Major with me, Jonathan, Angela and Nick, and half a course of Cambridge Royal with the addition of Jenny. The Cambridge wasn't perfect, but we rang with a good rhythm and recovered quickly from mistakes. We've really come a long way with our 10-bell ringing.

Inevitably there was a lot of tower bell ringing in which the rhythm was far from perfect, and the contrast with the handbell ringing reminded me of how much easier it is to get an excellent rhythm on handbells. We still find 12-bell ringing difficult, but we've improved enormously on 10, and on 8 we can ring very well indeed, even if there are a few trips.

Tomorrow we're ringing on 8, as Angela isn't free. This is another good thing about having 5 people now - there should be fewer weeks when we can't ring at all. The plan for tomorrow is a quarter of Cambridge, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Rutland, which will be an advance for Peter. The first suggestion was Cambridge, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, but this is an interesting situation in which adding a method makes it easier to find a simple composition. Jonathan's going to call it, and I don't know which composition he will choose, but with CYNR it's possible to get a simple 5-part composition with the calling M H W or W M, using a 3-lead course (2 leads of Rutland and 1 lead of another method) and a 5-lead course (1 lead of Rutland and 4 leads of other methods).

Cambridge and Yorkshire

After ringing our quarter of Cambridge Royal with 3-4 unaffected, our next step was to ring a quarter of Cambridge Major, definitely not choosing a handbell-friendly composition. The idea was to give Peter a workout including as many positions as possible. If I remember correctly, Jonathan called this one:

1280 Cambridge Surprise Major

M B W H  23456
  3      64523
-     -  35426
    - 3  23456

Peter rang 3-4 and had most of the leads of all three positions. I rang 5-6 and found it reasonably friendly - a fair bit of coursing and then the final two courses in the home position.

The next week we lost a quarter of Cambridge Royal, this time with the calling sW sW 3H so that 3-4 would ring two courses in the 3-4 position followed by two courses in the coursing position. An unfortunate 3-way swap quite close to the end meant that it didn't come round, but we tried again yesterday and succeeded. After that we had a go at Yorkshire Royal, and managed half a course.

Meanwhile the Edinburgh band rang its first peal of surprise major without outside help: 

Scottish Association
, Midlothian
27 House o' Hill Crescent
Saturday, 22 February 2020 in 2h 29 (11)
5088 Yorkshire Surprise Major
Composed by J S Warboys
1-2 Barbara J Bell
3-4 James W Holdsworth (C)
5-6 Susannah M Ewens
7-8 Ian P Bell
The first peal of Surprise on handbells by a resident Edinburgh band.

First quarter with our new local 10-bell band

Yesterday we managed to get all five of us together for the first time, and we rang a nice quarter of Cambridge Royal. Tina called it, which was a first for her, and it was Peter's first of surprise royal. The composition was one we have often used: sM, sW, sM, repeated, which keeps 3-4 unaffected throughout. It's four full courses, i.e. 1440, but it's very tempting to bring it round by plain hunting at the Wrong lead end after the last sM. Somehow it feels undesirable though, even though with the current Central Council decisions, it could be classified as pure Cambridge with a 10ths place bob (it is no longer necessary for a bob to change the coursing order).

Anyway, it was satisfying to ring a nice quarter at the first attempt, especially as we haven't done much 10-bell ringing for a while. We'll probably ring a couple more of Cambridge, switching the pairs around, and then move on to Lincolnshire.


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