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Encyclopedia > Change ringing
Bell ringing practice in Stoke Gabriel parish church, south Devon, England

Change ringing is the art of ringing a set of tuned bells in a series of mathematical patterns called "changes". It differs from many other forms of campanology (such as carillon ringing) in that no attempt is made to produce a conventional melody. Bell ringing in Stoke Gabriel parish church, south Devon, England. ... Bell ringing in Stoke Gabriel parish church, south Devon, England. ... This page is about the musical process of tuning, for musical systems of tuning see musical tuning. ... A bell is a simple sound-making device. ... Euclid, Greek mathematician, 3rd century BC, as imagined by by Raphael in this detail from The School of Athens. ... Campanology is the study of bells and the methods of casting, tuning and sounding them, of the creation and perfection of musical instruments consisting of one or more racks of bells and the composing for and playing on these. ... For the University of Regina student newspaper, see The Carillon. ... Look up melody in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Today, change ringing can be found all over the world, performed in a variety of media; but it remains most popular in the context where, in the 17th century, it developed: English church towers. These typically contain a few large bells rigged to swing freely: a ring of bells. The considerable inertias involved mean that each bell usually requires its own ringer. Thus, contrasted with a carillon, in which a large number of bells are struck by hammers, all tied in to a central framework so that one carilloneur can control them all, a set of such bells is comparatively unwieldy— hence the emergence of permutations rather than melody as an organizing principle. For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... This article is about the architectural term. ... A ring of bells (or peal of bells) is a complete set of bells, hung in a circle – usually in a tower – for change ringing. ...


The popularity of "The Exercise" (as it is sometimes known) reflects its opportunities for physical recreation, intellectual stimulation, aesthetic enjoyment, and social camaraderie.

Contents

The mechanics of change ringing on tower bells

Today some towers have as many as sixteen bells; six or eight bells are more common for the average church. The bell highest in pitch is known as the treble and the bell lowest in pitch the tenor. For convenience, the bells are referred to by number, with the treble being number 1 and the other bells numbered by their pitch — 2,3,4, etc. — sequentially down the scale. (This system often seems counterintuitive to musicians, who are used to a numbering which ascends along with pitch.) The bells are usually tuned to a diatonic major scale, with the tenor bell being the tonic (or key) note of the scale. In Music theory, the diatonic major scale (also known as the Guido scale), from the Greek diatonikos or to stretch out, is a fundamental building block of the European-influenced musical tradition. ... In music, a scale is a set of musical notes that provides material for part or all of a musical work. ...


The bells in a tower reside in the bell chamber usually with louvred windows to enable the sound to escape. The bells are mounted within a bellframe of steel or wood. Each bell is suspended from a headstock, which in turn is connected to the bellframe by bearings, allowing the bell to rotate through just over 360 degrees; the headstock is fitted with a wooden wheel to which a rope is attached and around which the rope wraps and unwraps as the bell rotates backwards and forwards. Prior to a session of ringing the bell sits poised upside-down while it awaits its turn to ring.


Below the bell chamber there may be one or more sound chambers, through which the rope will pass before it drops into the ringing chamber or room. The rope's length will be such that it at least reaches the floor of the ringing chamber. About 4 feet from the floor, and extending upwards for typically 4-5 feet, the rope will have a woollen grip called the sally whilst the lower end of the rope will be doubled over to form an easily held tail-end.


The bellringers typically stand in a circle around the ringing chamber, each managing the rope hanging from his or her bell. They ring a bell by pulling and letting go of the sally, the handstroke alternated with pulling the tail-end, the backstroke. Whilst ringing a bell the ringer never lets go of the tail-end.


When the ringer pulls and lets go of the sally on the rope this will upset the bell's balance and it will swing on its bearings, describing slightly more than a 360-degree circle. During the swing, the clapper inside the bell will strike the soundbow, making the bell resonate once as well as winding a section of rope upwards onto the wheel. As a large portion of the bell-rope rope has been wound up onto the wheel the ringer is now left with his arms above his head holding only the tail end, the sally now being well above the ringer's reach. After a controlled pause with the bell on or just over the point of balance, the ringer pulls the tail-end of the rope and the now bell revolves in the reverse direction, returning to its original position, again sounding once. The rope will unwind and the sally will now drop down in front of the ringer who will now catch it as the bell returns to and is paused at the near balance position.


By altering the period for which they hold the bell at the balance positions the ringer can change the period between their bell sounding. It is this ability to control their ringing speed that is the essential requirement for change ringing where you need to alter the sequence that the bells sound. To alter the sequence, you need to reduce or increase the time the bell is at the balance; the bell is too big for you to influence how quickly it actually swings.


It is generally the custom (aside from in parts of Devon and Yorkshire) to leave a slight gap left after every alternate row, i.e. after the ringing of each ‘backstroke’ row. This is called 'open handstroke' ringing (or open handstroke leading).


Although ringing certainly involves some physical exertion, ringers rely more on practised skill than mere brute force; after all, even small bells are typically much heavier than the people ringing them, and can only be rung at all because they are well-balanced in their frames. The heaviest bell hung for full-circle ringing is in Liverpool Cathedral and weighs over four imperial tons (over four metric tonnes)[1] . Despite this colossal weight, it can be safely rung by one (experienced) ringer. (While heavier bells exist — for example Big Ben — they are generally only chimed, either by swinging the bell slightly or using a mechanical hammer.) North elevation of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. ... Long Ton (L/T sometimes known as a Gross Ton, Weight Ton, or Imperial Ton) is the name for the unit called the Ton in the Avoirdupois or Imperial system of measurements, as formerly used in the United Kingdom and several other Commonwealth countries. ... A tonne or metric ton (symbol t), sometimes referred to as a metric tonne, is a measurement of mass equal to 1,000 kilograms. ... “Big Ben” redirects here. ...


Handbells

Change ringing can also be carried out on handbells (small bells, generally weighing only a few hundred grams). This was particularly common during the Second World War when church bells often could not be rung; although the ringers returned to the towers as soon as the war was over, for a number of years thereafter handbell ringing retained great popularity[citation needed]. A handbell is a bell designed to be rung by hand. ... Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ...


When used for practice by tower ringers, each ringer typically handles one bell, just as in the tower. But change ringing on handbells is today quite popular in its own right; and in that context the relevant physical realities of handbells (compared with tower bells) have their effect— on handbells each ringer usually handles two bells (adding considerably to the mental challenge). Likewise, a set of handbells often contains considerably more bells than towers ever do— sometimes several octaves' worth. Today many record-length peals, including the longest peal ever rung, come from handbell ringers.


Typically, change ringers using handbells sit or stand in a circle (like tower ringers). The towerbell terms of handstroke and backstroke are retained, referring to an upwards and downwards ring of the bell respectively; and as in towers, the ringing proceeds in alternate rows of handstroke and backstroke.


There is, however, a second school of change ringing on handbells, which uses a technique called 'lapping', or 'cross and stretch': the ringers stand or sit in a straight line at a single convenient table, from which they pick up a bell each time they ring it; and to which they thereupon return it. But as the sequence of the bells is permuted the ringers physically swap the bells accordingly; the bells actually move up and down the table and each row is rung in strict sequence from right to left. A ringer in cross and stretch thus does not have responsibility for his or her own personal bell but handles each as it comes.


Permuting the bells

The simplest way to use a set of bells is ringing rounds, which is sounding the bells repeatedly in sequence from treble to tenor: 1, 2, 3, etc.. (Musicians will recognise this as a portion of a descending scale.) Ringers typically start with rounds and then begin to vary the bells' order, moving on to a series of distinct rows. Each row (or change) is a specific permutation of the bells (for example 123456 or 531246) — that is to say, it includes each bell rung once and only once, the difference from row to row being the order in which the bells follow one another. Permutation is the rearrangement of objects or symbols into distinguishable sequences. ...


In call change ringing each row is specifically called for: one ringer (the conductor) tells the others how to swap their bells' places from row. In method ringing, by contrast, the ringers have learned a "method" — an algorithm to govern the swaps which they can thus perform on their own like clockwork; a conductor's intervention is needed only periodically, when a slight variation in the pattern is necessary, or to correct errors by the ringers. In mathematics, computing, linguistics, and related disciplines, an algorithm is a finite list of well-defined instructions for accomplishing some task that, given an initial state, will terminate in a defined end-state. ...


Call change ringing

Most ringers begin their ringing career with call change ringing; they can thus concentrate on learning the physical skills needed to handle their bells without needing to worry about methods. There are also many towers where experienced ringers practise call change ringing as an art in its own right (and even exclusively), particularly in the English county of Devon. Part of the seafront of Torquay, south Devon, at high tide Devon is a large county in South West England, bordered by Cornwall to the west, and Dorset and Somerset to the east. ...


Calls are made with spoken commands such as "X to Y" or "X and Y" or "X after Y", in which X and Y refer to two of the bells by their numbers (not by their positions in the row); such a call signifies that after the call X is to follow Y. However, there are two distinct ways of representing any given call, known as "calling up" and "calling down." Both methods have their adherents; generally any tower or band will be accustomed largely to one or the other.


As an example, consider the following sequence of rows, and the calls a conductor would use to evoke them:

Row Conductor's intent Call, if calling Up Call, if calling Down
1,2,3,4,5,6 to swap bells 2 and 3 "2 to 3" "3 to Treble"
1,3,2,4,5,6 to swap bells 4 and 5 "4 to 5" "5 to 2"
1,3,2,5,4,6 to swap bells 2 and 5 "2 to 5" "5 to 3"
1,3,5,2,4,6 to swap bells 1 and 3 "1 to 3" "3 to lead"
3,1,5,2,4,6

Thus it can be seen how the two ways of calling differ:

  • In calling up, the two bells named are already neighbors in the row, with the second-named previously following the first-named. As a result of the call, this pair of bells swaps position; thereafter the first-named bell follows its erstwhile successor (having moved one spot 'upwards' (backward) to a position nearer the end of the change); the second-named has likewise moved 'downwards' (forward) to a position nearer the start of the change. In short, the call literally consists of an instruction that the first-named bell move up (i.e. back away from the lead).
  • In calling down, by contrast, the first-named bell is instructed to move down (i.e. forwards, towards the lead). The second bell named, the one which the first-named bell is to follow, does not alter its place in the row: it still immediately precedes the swapping pair. The bell which swaps with the one moving down towards lead, on the other hand, is not itself named; its ringer must simply realize how his or her bell must move to accommodate the first-named bell.

Method ringing

The "Blue Line" of Plain Bob Minor, shown in red. Note that, for clarity, the row at the bottom of each column is repeated at the top of the next.
Main article: Method ringing

Method ringing is what many people mean by change ringing. Thanks to it, ringers can spend hours ringing thousands upon thousands of unique changes with no outside direction or coordination. They do not have to memorize impossible quantities of data; nor do they attempt to read it all off some dizzying sheet of numbers. Rather, they are all following a method, a relatively simple pattern they have learnt to direct them from row to row. Image File history File links Plain-bob-minor_2. ... Image File history File links Plain-bob-minor_2. ... The Blue Line of Plain Bob Minor. ...


Since a ringer is responsible for one bell, learning a method consists mainly of memorizing how that bell changes position from row to row; when it advances towards the beginning ("goes down to the front") or when it retreats towards the end ("goes up to the back"). Often ringers study a blueline, a graphical representation of a bell's course from row to row according to a particular method. The methods are simple enough to memorize and so are relatively limited in length; but taken in conjunction with slight standard variations the ringers know to make at regular breaking points, a more robust algorithm is formed. From time to time and usually when the treble is leading (that is when bell number 1 is ringing first), a conductor calls out the need for another variation by calling "bob" or "single". In mathematics, computing, linguistics, and related disciplines, an algorithm is a finite list of well-defined instructions for accomplishing some task that, given an initial state, will terminate in a defined end-state. ...


For some people, the ultimate goal of this system is to ring all the permutations, to ring a tower's bells in every possible order without repeating — what is called an "extent" (or sometimes, formerly, a "full peal"). The feasibility of this depends on how many bells are involved: if a tower has n bells, they will have n! (read factorial) possible permutations, a number that becomes quite large as n grows. For example, while six bells have 720 permutations, 8 bells have 40,320; furthermore, 10! = 3,628,800, and 12! = 479,001,600. Estimating two seconds for each change (a reasonable pace), we find that while an extent on 6 bells can be accomplished in half an hour, a full peal on 8 bells should take nearly twenty-two and a half hours. (When in 1963 ringers in Loughborough became the first and only in history to achieve this feat on tower bells, it actually took them just under 18 hours.[2]) An extent on 12 bells would take over thirty years! For factorial rings in mathematics, see unique factorisation domain. ... Year 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Loughboroughs carillon Loughborough parish church The Brush engineering works Loughborough University Loughborough (pronounced locally as either , LUFF-burra or , LUFF-bruh, and more widely as [ˈlÊŒfËŒb(É™)ɹə]) is a town in Leicestershire, central England with a population of 57,600 as of 2004. ...


Since extents are obviously not always practicable, ringers more often undertake shorter performances. Such ringing starts and ends with rounds, having meanwhile visited only a subset of the available permutations; but trueness is still considered essential — no row can ever be repeated; to do so would make the ringing false. A peal is an extended performance; it must last at least 5000 changes on eight or more bells and at least 5040 on seven or fewer bells (5040 being 7!, the length of a full extent on seven). A performance of 1250 (on 8 or more) or 1260 (on 7 or fewer) changes likewise makes a quarter peal (quarter for short); a peal or a quarter tends to last about three hours or 45 minutes, respectively.

Plain Bob Minor
Plain Bob Minor played using synthesised bell sounds. The bells start ringing rounds followed by a plain course of Plain Bob Minor (60 of the 720 changes that are possible on six bells) and finish in rounds again.
Problems listening to the file? See media help.

Image File history File links Bob_Minor,_Synthesised_Bell_Sounds. ...

History and modern culture of change ringing

Change ringing as we know it today emerged in England in the 17th century. To that era we can trace the origins of the earliest ringing societies, such as the Lincoln Cathedral Guild, which claims to date to 1612[3] or the Antient Society of Ringers of St Stephen in Bristol which was founded in 1620 and lasted as a ringing society until the late 19th century.[4]The recreation began to flourish in earnest in the Restoration era; an important milestone in the development of method ringing as a careful science was the 1668 publication by Richard Duckworth and Fabian Stedman of their book Tintinnalogia, which promised in its subtitle to lay down "plain and easie Rules for Ringing all sorts of Plain Changes." Stedman followed this in 1677 with another famous early guide, Campanalogia. (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... King Charles II, the first monarch to rule after the English Restoration. ... 1668 (MDCLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Wednesday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... 1677 (MDCLXXVII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ...


Throughout the years since, the group theoretical underpinnings of change ringing have been pursued by mathematicians. Bells have been installed in towers around the world and many rings in the British Isles have been augmented to ten, twelve, fourteen, or even sixteen bells. Today change ringing is, particularly in England, a popular and commonplace sound, often issuing from a church tower before or after a service or wedding. While on these everyday occasions the ringers must usually content themselves with shorter "touches," each lasting a few minutes, for special occasions they often attempt a quarter-peal or peal, lasting approximately 45 minutes or three hours respectively. If a peal attempt succeeds, towers sometimes mark the occasion with a peal board mounted on the wall of the ringing chamber; at St Peter Mancroft in Norwich there is one documenting what is generally considered to be the first true peal: 5040 changes of Plain Bob Triples (a method still popular today), rung 2 May 1715.[5] Today over 4000 peals are rung each year. Group theory is that branch of mathematics concerned with the study of groups. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... St Peter Mancroft is a church situated next to the market place in the centre of Norwich, Norfolk, U.K. It contains the oldest pealed bells in England. ... Norwich (IPA: //) is a city in East Anglia, in Eastern England. ... May 2 is the 122nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (123rd in leap years). ... Year 1715 (MDCCXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ...


Dorothy L. Sayers's mystery novel The Nine Tailors is famous for the central part played by change ringing. Much of the action centers on a bell tower and the peals rung in it, and to draw the reader in Sayers takes care to explain change ringing and analyze its improbable popularity; quotations from the book are popular with ringers. Moreover, the entire book is infused with an air of change ringing to the extent that her chapter titles all employ campanalogical terminology; and indeed, one of the book's conceits is that it is a sort of multi-part peal. Dorothy Leigh Sayers (Oxford, 13 June 1893 – Witham, 17 December 1957) was a renowned British author, translator, student of classical and modern languages, and Christian humanist. ... The Nine Tailors is a 1934 mystery novel by British writer Dorothy L. Sayers, her ninth featuring sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey. ...


Organization and extent

The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, founded in 1891, is dedicated to representing change ringers around the world. Most regional and local ringing guilds are affilitated with the council. Its journal, the Ringing World, has been published weekly since 1911; in addition to news and features relating to bellringing and the bellringing community, it publishes records of achievements such as peals and quarter-peals. Ringers generally adhere to the Council's rules and definitions governing change ringing.


The Central Council, by means of its peal records, also keeps track of record length peals, both on tower bells and handbells. (The record for tower bells remains the 1963 Loughborough extent of Plain Bob Major (40,320 changes); for handbells it was set in 2007 in Willingham, Cambridgeshire, with 72,000 changes of 100 different Treble Dodging Minor methods, taking just over 24 hours to ring [6]) More importantly, perhaps, along with keeping track of the first peal ever rung in a method, the Central Council controls the naming of new methods: it generally allows the first band to ring a method to name it.


Much ringing is carried out by bands of ringers meeting at their local tower to ring its bells. For the sake of variety, though, many ringers like to take occasional trips to make a tower grab ringing the bells of a less familiar tower. The setting, the church architecture, the chance to ring more bells than usual, the bells' unique tone, their ease or difficulty of ringing, and sometimes even the unusual means of accessing the ringing chamber can all be part of the attraction. The traditional means of finding bell towers, and still the most popular way today, is the book (and now internet database) Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Doves Guide for Church Bell Ringers (known to ringers as Doves Guide or simply Dove) is the standard reference to the rings of bells hung for English-style full-circle bell ringing. ...


As of April 2007, that guide lists 5750 ringable rings of bells in England, 181 in Wales, and 65 elsewhere in the British Isles, as well as a further 123 towers worldwide with bells hung for full circle ringing, mainly in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.[7] // April 2007 is a common month and is the fourth month of that year. ... A ring of bells (or peal of bells) is a complete set of bells, hung in a circle – usually in a tower – for change ringing. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... This article is about the country. ... This article describes the archipelago in north-Western Europe. ...


Named changes

Mathematical abstraction though each row may be, some rows do have a musical or melodic meaning to the listener. Over the years, a number of these have acquired names — they are named changes. Both the conductors directing call-change ringing and the composers coming up with plans for a bout of method ringing sometimes like to work their favorite named changes in. The table below lists some popular named changes on eight bells; many of these names are also applicable by extension on more or fewer bells.

Change Name
12345678 (listen ) Rounds
87654321 (listen ) Back rounds or Reverse Rounds[8]
13572468 (listen ) Queens (an apochryphal story says it appealed to Elizabeth I)
15263748 (listen ) Tittums (so named because of the ti-tum ti-tum sound it makes)

Such names are often humorous; for example, the sequence 14235 on five bells is called weasels because it is the tune of the refrain to the children's song Pop Goes the Weasel. Image File history File links Rounds. ... Image File history File links Back_Rounds. ... Image File history File links Queens. ... Elizabeth I (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) was Queen of England and Queen of Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. ... Image File history File links Tittums. ... This article is about the nursery rhyme. ...


Striking

Although neither call change nor method ringing produces conventional tunes, it is still the aim of the ringers to produce a pleasant sound. One of the most important aspects of this is good striking — not only should the bells never clash by sounding at the same moment, the bells' blows should come as steadily as possible, with constant gaps between each blow.


Striking competitions are held where various bands of ringers attempt to ring with their best striking. They are judged on their number of faults (striking errors); the band with the least number of faults wins. These competitions are organized on regional and national levels, being particularly popular among the call-change ringers of Devon. At the annual National 12 Bell Striking Contest the bands are ringing methods and producing a different change approximately every 2.5 seconds, with a gap between bells of 0.21 seconds. To an expert ringer's ear at this level of competition a variation of a tenth of this would be discernable as a striking fault. Part of the seafront of Torquay, south Devon, at high tide Devon is a large county in South West England, bordered by Cornwall to the west, and Dorset and Somerset to the east. ... The National 12 Bell Striking Contest is the principal change ringing striking competition. ...


Notes

  1. ^ Whitechapel Bell Foundry: history
  2. ^ Online peal board, from the Central Council records committee
  3. ^ Company of Ringers. Lincoln Cathedral website (2006). Retrieved on 2007-04-18.
  4. ^ THE ANTIENT SOCIETY OF RINGERS. Website of St Stephen's, the parish church for the City of Bristol, England. Retrieved on 2007-04-18.
  5. ^ Bells and Bellringing, from the CCCBR. There is some evidence there may have been an earlier peal (also Plain Bob Triples), rung January 7, 1690 at St Sepulchre-without-Newgate in the City of London by the Ancient Society of College Youths; see Landmarks in the History of the Society, from the ASCY.
  6. ^ report on peals.co.uk.
  7. ^ Dove, Ron; Baldwin, Sid (2007-04-29). Dove's Guide for Church bell Ringers. Central Council of Church Bell Ringers website. Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved on 2007-04-30.
  8. ^ Some sources (e.g. [1]) define back rounds slightly differently, as 76543218.

Lincoln Cathedral (in full The Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lincoln, or sometimes St. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st Century. ... is the 108th day of the year (109th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st Century. ... is the 108th day of the year (109th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 7th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events Giovanni Domenico Cassini observes differential rotation within Jupiters atmosphere. ... St Sepulchre Church Newgate Execution Bell St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, also known as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Holborn), is an Anglican church in the City of London. ... Motto: Domine dirige nos Latin: Lord, guide us Shown within Greater London Sovereign state United Kingdom Constituent country England Region Greater London Status sui generis, City and Ceremonial County Admin HQ Guildhall Government  - Leadership see text  - Mayor John Stuttard  - MP Mark Field  - London Assembly John Biggs Area  - City  1. ... The Ancient Society of College Youths (ASCY) is an elite society of church bellringers, and the earliest recorded group of change ringers still active. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st Century. ... is the 120th day of the year (121st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

References

  • Bells and Bellringing, a presentation prepared by the Publications Committee of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

See also

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry is a bell foundry based in the Whitechapel district of east London. ... John Taylor Bellfounders is, as of 2004, the worlds largest bell foundry, based in Loughborough, England. ... The Friends of Dorothy Society, (commonly abbreviated to fods), is a Bellringing society for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people and their friends. ... Grandsire is one of the standard change ringing methods, usually rung on an odd numbers of church bells. ...

External links

Project Gutenberg, abbreviated as PG, is a volunteer effort to digitize, archive and distribute cultural works. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Change ringing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2473 words)
Change ringing (originally called tintinnalogia) is the art of ringing a set of tuned bells in a series of mathematical patterns called "changes", without attempting to ring a conventional tune.
Change ringing can also be carried out on handbells (small bells, generally weighing only a few hundred grams), with each ringer usually handling two or more bells.
Moreover, the entire book is infused with an air of change ringing to the extent that her chapter titles all employ campanalogical terminology; and indeed, one of the book's conceits is that it is a sort of multi-part peal.
change ringing - definition of change ringing in Encyclopedia (2683 words)
Change ringing is the art of ringing a set of tuned bells in a series of mathematical patterns called "changes", without attempting to ring a conventional tune.
Although ringing certainly involves some physical exertion, the successful ringer is one with practised skill rather than mere brute force; after all, even small bells are typically much heavier than the people ringing them, and can only be rung at all because they are well-blanced in their frames.
In order to change the bells' order from change to change, an individual ringer (as described above) has to accelerate or retard his or her bell's cycle to move it forward or back from row to row; but there is a limit to the extent to which this is possible.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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