Learning a new method

Now that Randy, Paul, and Jane understand bobs and singles on 6 bells while ringing plain bob minor, it is time to start learning other methods. So we are starting to learn Kent Treble Bob Minor. And it is almost like starting over completely.

Change ringing notation needs to tell you which bells are moving, and which bells are staying put. Everything we have rung to date has had a very simple way of giving that information. Either everyone switches (denoted by x), or everyone except some collection switches (denoted with the bells that stay, such as 16). So if the first change is simple rounds (123456), and the change is denoted x, then 12 switch to 21, 34 switch to 43, and 56 switch to 65: 214365. If you do that again, you are back to rounds, and you’re done. Which is not very interesting. But if you next do a change denoted 16, then the bells in positions 1 and 6 (the 2 and 5 bells, at this stage) stay where they are, and everyone else switches. So the third line will be 241635. Plain Hunt can then be denoted as x,16,x,16,x,16,x,16, etc. until you get back to rounds. With 6 bells, that comes back to rounds after 12 changes.

Plain Bob is an extension of Plain Hunt. Just before you get back to rounds, you throw in a change denoted by 12 (meaning that the bells in positions 1 and 2 stay, while the bells in positions 3 and 4 trade places, and the bells in positions 5 and 6 trade places). So the 11th and 12 lines would be 132546 -> 135264. You now continue with x,16,x,16, etc until the first bell is again in the first position, when you again do 12. If you continue this pattern until you get back to rounds, you ring 60 changes, or 5 leads of 12 changes each. (A lead is the changes starting with bell 1 in position 1 ringing down, and ending with bell 1 in position 1 ringing up.) If you are interested in seeing the entire method of Plain Bob Minor, you can find it here.

A touch of Plain Bob is rung by throwing in Bobs and Singles at various places. A Bob is denoted 14, and a Single is denoted 1234. If you click the link above to the the printed method of Plain Bob, you will see that it has Bobs and Singles given.

Kent Treble Bob is completely different, starting with a change denoted 34 (so that 123456 -> 213465). And the method does not just switch between two different change types (x, 16) followed by a third change (12) before getting back to rounds. Instead, it has 4 different change types, adding the 34 change, and switches between them seemingly randomly! We are struggling to learn how this all works, and hope to become comfortable with it in the coming weeks. If you are interested, you can see the full method given here.

Learning a new method