Compositions of the Decade 5 - Major

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A Review by Philip Earis - continued

Quite simply, things have got better and better for eight bell compositions over the decade.

It may be a slight caricature, but for the last quarter of the 20th century much (most?) 8-bell ringing was objectionable. There was a preponderance of mediocre compositions and bad methods.

Single Method Madness

The problems were acute for many single method peals. Misguided preconceptions led to a fixation on "surprise" methods, on bad methods with familiar overworks and non-descript underworks (indeed many awful new rung methods were simply selected because they had an unrung notation), on keeping the tenors together, on avoiding 87s at backstroke, and on CRU-based compositions (often 3-parts).

The advent of software like BYROC both typified the problem and made things worse - instead of being a tool to allow better possibilities, it was built with pre-conceptions about desired outputs, and actually exacerbated the problem.

Spliced No Surprise

Sadly, when bands also ventured into spliced major ringing it was like a race to the bottom. The so-called "standard 8" seemed to be the default option, with occasional forays into Pitman's series. Prior to the current decade, I'm struggling to think of a single spliced major composition that has significant musical, as opposed to historic or challenging, merit.

A Decade of Improvement

So how have things changed in the past decade? Well, happily there has been an improvement across the board. Whilst 8-bell ringing is still predominately based on treble-dodging major, people are not so obsessed with surprise. Delight methods (and good delight methods) seem much more common.

Looking at the methods that people ring, the overall number of peals has been stable. However, towerbell peals of Rutland, Lincolnshire and Pudsey Major (a barometer for mediocrity) are down 25%, 11% and 31% respectively over the current decade compared with the 1990s.

A very tangible advance has been in composition for single method peals. The meritless three-part seems a lot less common these days, whilst the bespoke one part containing lots of runs has been on the up. BYROC feels very anachronistic - the vastly superior SMC32 seems to be used much more frequently, giving genuinely worthwhile results. Congratulations must go to Mark Davies and Graham John, its architects.

The Extent of Hull

One of the main drivers for progress over the decade has been David Hull. He has produced consistently great new methods and compositions, which have been very influential. The problem with trying to pick out "compositions of the decade" is that it's hard to reflect a consistent high-quality body of work - there perhaps isn't any one particular Hull single-method composition that stands out (though I do like the look of his 5152 no.2 of Superlative).

So whilst I haven't included anything of his on the list below, I think homage to the un-specified Hull 1-part composition should be paid. Consider it item (0) on the list.

New composers like Alan Reading have also come onto the scene, again consistently delivering neat and "tuned" compositions. More generally, many of the compositions I have selected below come from relatively young composers. This must be healthy for ringing.

A Tangled Web

Another notable feature of the ringing decade has been the continued rise of computers for generating and the internet for storing and sharing ringing information. Don Morrison - surely the decade's most prolific composer - deserves much credit for his ongoing work with http://www.ringing.org, including seeding it with a lively mix of his own compositions. Meanwhile Michael Wilby's http://www.compositions.org.uk, populated by a high-powered more select stable of composers, has been a consistently excellent resource.

This notwithstanding, compositions remain scattered across the web in an ad-hoc way. I repeat my desire for a more stable, consistent repository, and it is hoped the Graham John's recent efforts at spearheading a comprehensive new database will bear fruit in the months and years to come.

A New Generation of Spliced Compositions

In parallel to the developments with single-method peal developments over the decade, another huge theme has been with advances with spliced major. It has been a superb decade for spliced major - a real golden age. Clever thinking and eager peal bands have pushed back limits of length and complexity. Indeed, it has been arguably the first time in history of ringing where long-length attempts have really involved cutting edge multi-method compositions.

Enhanced computer power has helped here, and not always new software. Philip Saddleton's SCAMP has played a part in several of my selected compositions, whilst many other composers have used their own customised tool-kits to produce innovative new compositions in familiar sets of methods, as we shall see.

Thinking away from the most cutting edge, there has been an across-the-board shift in spliced major ringing. Moving away from the over-emphasis on ringing "8-spliced", the decade has seen a clear branching out into more exciting terrain. As a crude indicator of this, by comparing the current decade to the 1990s we see that the number of peals of 8-spliced has dropped by 19%, whilst the number of peals of 23-spliced has risen by more than 29%.

Scope for Further Progress

Despite the rosy optimism, we are not in the promised land yet. Trends are evident, but there remains a lot of intransigence and ignorance. There have still been 700 peals of Rutland Major rung in the past decade. Plain, alliance and treble place methods are still neglected. Different types of symmetries and lead heads (including cyclic methods) continue to have much potential. Near the beginning of the decade Philip Saddleton produced a method with double offset symmetry which remains unrung - +(x4.5.36.4.5x6.5.6.5.6x5.4.36.5.4x3.4.3.4.3), which shows both the progress of the past decade, and the change in attitudes that is still needed.

Onwards and upwards...

1)12-spliced major (cyclic 7-part palindrome with all 96 runs) - Rob Lee - February 2009

The decade has seen huge progress in the development of spliced major compositions. A key factor has been using cyclic 7-part constructions, both to get all-the-work and to ensure that music in any one part is multiplied across all the parts.

Right at the end of 1999 David Hull produced his cyclic 23-spliced composition - this set a new benchmark, containing 40 of the 96 possible run-rows of each type (ie 5678xxxx, 8765xxxx, xxxx5678, xxxx8765).

A fair few composers have turned to the cyclic construction to produce new compositions in familiar groups of methods like Smiths and Chandlers 23-spliced, as we shall later in this article.

However, since David Hull's composition, particular attention has been given to increasing the run-count up to the ideal maximum of 96. Various compositions were put together by for example Don Morrison containing 55 / 96 run rows (http://ringing.org/main/pages/printable?id=853&collection=peals), by me containing between 65-89 / 96 runs rows (eg http://www.cantabgold.net/users/pje24/earis23.html), and by Alan Reading, who ultimately got all 96 runs in both 6-method and 23-method compositions.

However, the shining light of all of these is Rob Lee's palindromic 12-method composition which he produced earlier in 2009, and about which I expounded at length in September (http://www.bellringers.org/pipermail/ringing-theory_bellringers.net/2009-September/003031.html)

It combines a clever design structure with nice methods to produce a supreme composition.

  5152 Spliced S Major (14 [12] methods)
2345678 Straker's Passage S 3527486 Speedball S 4263857 Revolver S 6482735 Speedball S 7856342 Straker's Passage S -7864523 Zonda S 3526478 Taunton S 4283756 Panamera S 8472635 Helium S 6758342 Xanadu S -5678342 Tattersalls S 6854723 Bolonium S 2347856 Uracco S -4237856 Evora S 8364527 Evora S -7568234 Uracco S 6725483 Jovium S 3482567 Tattersalls S -3426875 Xanadu S 2384567 Bridgwater S 8253746 Panamera S 5872634 Taunton S 6745382 Zonda S -8234567


2) 22400 Spliced Surprise Major (100m atw) - Paul Needham - Rung October 2005

Simon Linford promised the College Youths that before his year as Master was over, there would be several ground-breaking Society ringing performances. Like JFK's pledge to put a man on the moon, this promise left a bit of work for other people to fill in some of the details...

Paul Needham fully succeeded in meeting Simon's challenge to produce an appropriate 100 method all-the-work peal of major. Unlike Philip Saddleton, who had previously turned his hand to the problem, Paul cleverly started with Norman Smith's familiar 23-spliced as a template, and then expanded by inserting additional methods into the framework.

His composition contains all 12 leadhead groups, all of Smith's methods, and all but two of Chandler's 23-spliced methods also. There is no "trick" to the new methods used, nor use of multiple trivial variations.

Instead, we just see new rows inserted using a wide range of regular methods that will accommodate them. Many of the methods used are amongst the "falsest" ever rung, though this is of no consequence in a multi-spliced peal.

The composition has pushed back boundaries in several regards, and its influence will be felt in years to come.

  12345678 Yorkshire
- 13578264 Uxbridge
- 12735486 Go
  13247658 Old Kent Road
- 13275486 Whitechapel Road
  12538764 Kings Cross
- 15864273 Angel
- 16584273 Euston Road
- 18654273 Pentonville Road
- 12586347 Just Visiting
  13872456 Pall Mall
- 18256347 Electric
  13578426 White Hall
  16427835 Northumberland Avenue
- 15826347 Marylebone Station
  14763825 Bow Street
- 17325486 Cornwall
  14267835 Double Dublin
  16482573 Bristol
  18654327 Whalley
- 13586742 Watford
  18375264 London
  17823456 Tavistock
  15634827 Glasgow
  16452378 Cambridge
- 14278635 Mulcaster
- 17428635 Willesden
- 15627348 Marlborough Street
  12536874 Vine Street
- 12567348 Free Parking
  17458236 Strand£220
  13682457 Fleet Street
- 16257348 Esplanade
  13586427 Sussex
- 12748635 Cassiobury
- 18356742 Lindum
  15873264 Superlative
- 18364527 Mont du Jubile
- 16834527 Newcastle
  18462375 Glamorgan
  12745836 Essex
  15376284 Columbium
- 13684527 Wembley
- 15836742 Rutland
- 17358264 Jersey
  18634725 Preston
  14265873 Ipswich
- 17386542 Trafalgar Square
  13674825 Fenchurch Street Station
- 14258673 Leicester Square
  18723465 Coventry Street
- 15428673 Waterworks
- 12548673 Piccalilli
  15827436 Go To Jail
- 18736542 Regent Street
  14265738 Oxford Street
- 13876542 Cray
  15723486 Ashtead
- 18642357 Kingwood
  17354286 Northampton
- 12573648 Hertfordshire
- 17253648 Ebeneezer
- 18657423 Spilsby
  12374658 Beaumont Hill
- 13458267 Belfast
- 15348267 Hertford
- 14538267 Sonning
- 15867423 Tellurium
  18752634 Buckfastleigh
  14635287 Eggybread
  12374865 Moulton
- 16587423 Aldenham
- 15723648 Corbiere
- 13486725 Yeading
- 18346725 Antioch
- 12574683 Lonestar
- 12548736 Chertsey
- 14258736 Maufont
- 15428736 Claybrooke
- 17254683 Sir Isaac Newton
- 12483765 Bond 007
- 18243765 Liverpool Street Station
- 14823765 Chesterfield
- 15724683 Lulworth
- 14836725 Lincoln
- 18625473 Lamoye
- 12865473 Petersfield
- 14628357 Ardotalia
- 12468357 Isle Of Wight
  18547236 Park Lane
- 16248357 Malpas
  13476528 Amersham
- 16285473 Richmond
- 14862357 Herefordshire
  12587436 Newlyn
  13674582 Oxney
- 16482357 Lincolnshire
- 14257638 Ditchling
- 15427638 Hereford
- 12547638 Pudsey
  --------
- 15738264


3) 5056 Bristol Surprise Major - Mark B Davies - Rung December 2007

Bristol major is hardly an unexplored field, but the huge majority of previously-rung Bristol compositions have contained multiple calls around the course-end, often in the misguided attempt to load up on CRUs.

Mark instead took the simple but brilliant approach of letting the glorious method generate the music more naturally. He has put together a series of very innovative Bristol Major compositions, which have many fewer calls (and consequently more courses) than previous examples.

The pick of the bunch is Mark's 5056, which in his words, "...is special because it also achieves the goal of 'no duffers' - that is, not one of its 19 courses contain undesirable coursing orders, apart from isolated transitional leads around the course end. This is a remarkable achievement which I have not discovered in any other 'short-course' arrangement. The seamless link from one musical course to the next is achieved, on average, by fewer than 1.8 calls"

This is a most beautiful single-method composition - everything about it just "works".

 5056 no.1 / 5120 no.2
23456 M B W H -------------- 42356 - 54326 - 54263 - - 32465 - 5 - 26354 - 43652 - - 43526 - - 24536 - 43265 - 45362 2 - 63254 - - 52436 - - 34625 - - * 26543 - - 64352 - 2 23456 - - -------------- For 5120, call 2M B 2W for course marked *


4) 40320 Spliced TD major (4-360m) - Ander Holroyd - composed September 2004

(Also a "shout" to a composition on a different plan by Tony Cox, 2002)

Extents of plain major have been around for many years. Treble-dodging methods are much harder to find extents for. Internal falseness rules out extents for the huge majority of methods.

Nevertheless, extents for some treble dodging methods have been known for some time. A few methods with the "cleanest" falseness, such as Derwent, lend themselves easily to extents. In 1974 Colin Wyld published an extent of Yorkshire Major - Richard Smith deconstructed this in a June 2005 message to this list: http://www.bellringers.org/pipermail/ringing-theory_bellringers.net/2005-June/000951.html

However, before the present decade I don't think any extents of spliced treble-dodging major (at least apart from trivial lead-splice Derwent variants) were known.

Ander Holroyd changed all that in 2004, producing clever extents first in 4 methods (including on a 7-part plan), rising up to 360 methods.

The extents draw on developments in magic-block minor ringing. In Ander's composition, though, the overwork always changes at the leadhead, whilst the underwork always changes at the halflead. By using asymmetric over and underworks, the effect of a "pseudo-single" at each halflead and leadend can be achieved, making the problem of getting an extent analogous to minor.

                                                    2345678
 ----------------------------------------------------------
 UqoP GaqG ZqlQ Fsh& NguI ZxmY A=hF Wa<F @br# Kb>I  4582673
 Pg=N YirE XcyP GtmF TpjQ HfvA Yhy$ NkuF Tfr@ OvdF  2735864
 Q<jC PcuB WdvE $brV ObvM RfrB TtdD @zcE &=nB Q+a&  7425386
 E>fI PkuE $zhB Vm>R IsgR Jsk# Ee+# KkyW DczP MtdY  8573264
 AtiT HucM PwoN &tbX Kg=L X+jI RrdA $eqT HbtU GxfK  6237584
 $+lZ JxfQ B>fO WqlU Ce+H @vf# EmtZ JkzV BxfM SqlR  5467382
 MqaB Wh=S GpaF Qg=J R+lO @mxF Ta<B VepO @c=P GmvS  3257864
 GnyX ApoW DpoJ ZnuQ BdrQ HwlT DoqO VbvD V>iQ HriF  4287653
 WnsZ GynF @ugI Z<lI UsnN YshV Oj+N Y<aL XksN &o<N  4763258
 #sg$ KrfC Sm>@ DqaJ RksL XguY K+aU JyhD W=nU JixY  8523746
 L+lK Y>iI ZpjM Pb>K XwoG Std@ DynT HkuR I+jU CtiZ  8726435
 MbrF @eqC PvdE $woA &ycV DtbE Xew@ Hl<T BmvC Rzc$  6357248
 AqoL #gzE #i>H VdxL #jwO WtiU IkyS MpeS CcyN #lwK  7348562
 $kzC Uf>Q OtmW BirI U<lC RwlM Zap& Ln=G UpjK XzkQ  7283456
 OzhA XopS J<o$ NapW Oc=$ NixU J+eA &m># LkyL Ya+P  5428637
 I<jT BshS JgzM SdxT DewV D=hE XvfZ GdrY KzgH VvbR  5437286
 CpeP Cb>F Wxd& LgsQ OewE &qeM ZjwC So<L &xiL YnsT  7238546
 DmxN #ucA X=cS JnuV HjwM Rj<# Kun& Amv$ Ayh@ HzhG  8234567
 ----------------------------------------------------------
 7 part

 Each group of 4 symbols represents one lead.
 All lead ends and half leads rung 18.

 Methods
 Above
 A: -5-4-5-36
 B: -5-4-5-3
 C: -5-4-56-36
 D: -5-4-56-3
 E: -56-4-5-36
 F: -56-4-5-3
 G: -56-4-56-3
 H: 56-5.4.5-5.36
 I: 56-5.4.56-5.36
 J: 56-5.4.5-56.3
 K: 56-5.4.56-56.3
 L: 56-56.4.5-5.36
 M: 56-56.4.56-5.36
 N: 56-56.4.5-56.3
 O: 56-56.4.56-56.3
 P: -5-4.5-5.36
 Q: -5-4.56-5.36
 R: -5-4.5-56.3
 S: -5-4.56-56.3
 T: -56-4.5-5.36
 U: -56-4.56-5.36
 V: -56-4.5-56.3
 W: -56-4.56-56.3
 X: 56-5.4-5-36
 Y: 56-5.4-5-3
 Z: 56-5.4-56-36
 &: 56-5.4-56-3
 @: 56-56.4-5-36
 #: 56-56.4-5-3
 $: 56-56.4-56-3
 Below
 a: -4-5-4-
 b: -4-5-34-
 c: -4-5-2-
 d: -34-5-4-
 e: -2-5-4-
 f: 4-4.5.4-34
 g: 4-4.5.2-34
 h: 4-34.5.4-34
 i: 4-34.5.2-34
 j: 4-2.5.4-34
 k: 4-2.5.2-34
 l: 2-4.5.4-34
 m: 2-4.5.2-34
 n: 2-34.5.4-34
 o: 2-2.5.4-34
 p: -4-5.4-34
 q: -34-5.4-34
 r: -2-5.4-34
 s: 4-4.5-4-
 t: 4-4.5-34-
 u: 4-4.5-2-
 v: 4-34.5-4-
 w: 4-34.5-34-
 x: 4-34.5-2-
 y: 4-2.5-4-
 z: 4-2.5-34-
 <: 4-2.5-2-
 >: 2-4.5-4-
 +: 2-4.5-34-
 =: 2-4.5-2-

Working independently a couple of years before Ander, Tony Cox put together an extent based on systematically joining together quarter-leads from three treble-dodging methods "...so that 78 never make any internal places within a section and just ring a stretched version of Double Norwich"

A k -56-14-56-36-34-58-34-18 (Norfolk)
B k -78-14-78-36-12-58-12-18
C k -34-14-12-18-78-58-56-18

Tony's basic block of 3 courses with sixths place bobs at 4ths is

AABB
AACB
CAAC (bob)
AACA
BABC
CBAB
ACAA
CABA
BCCB
ABAC (bob)
AAAB
BAAA
CBAA
BBAA
ABBA
AABB
AABC (bob)
BCAA
BBAA
CBCA
ACBC

In Tony's words, "Note the quarter lead change is 16 when the first quarter lead is C and 38 when the second quarter is C. In the second half of the lead it is 38 at the 3/4 lead if C is used in the 3 quarter and 16 if C is used in the 4th quarter.

The extent is then obtained by adding calls to the tenor-together courses to join the 60 in-course courses together". For example for a 3 part:

IOOO    35426
IVOOO   62534
IVOOO   43265
V       53462
IIIVO   35264
VVOsHsH 54263
OO      25463
VOO     23564
Repeat twice


5) Assorted fun with Smith's and Chandler's

  • John Goldthorpe (8-part Chandlers) - January 2007
  • John Goldthorpe (45-spliced major) - 2005
  • Don Morrison (Cyclic Smiths, Cyclic Chandlers) - 2002
  • Richard Pearce (23 spliced)


There has been lots of development with "established" groups of 23-spliced methods in the past decade. Don Morrison has published a lively range of new compositions for the sets of both Smith's and Chandler's methods. He has produced alternative compositions with both cyclic and regular partends. Don's cyclic Chandler's is perhaps the pick of the bunch:

 5,152 Spliced Surprise Major (23 methods)
 Donald F Morrison (no. 5)
2345678 Newlyn 7856342 Moulton -4235678 Sonning 5728463 Pudsey 8673542 Essex 3462857 Claybrooke -8634725 London 3876542 Richmond 7358264 Sussex -6425873 Whalley 2684357 Malpas -3826745 Caterham -2386745 Newcastle 3624857 Colnbrook 6435278 Buckfastleigh 8273564 Northampton 7852436 Willesden -6457382 Yeading 5634278 Belfast 3526847 Chertsey 2385764 Chesterfield 7842635 Glasgow 8273456 Bristol -7823456

John Goldthorpe meanwhile has put together 8-part all the work compositions of Chandlers, including the neat feature of using a "x" as the change to vary the treble.

  5632 Spliced Surprise Major (22 methods)
  John M Goldthorpe (No 2)
12345678 Willesden S 61482735 Whalley 68174523 Richmond S 76851342 Malpas 73526481 Claybrooke S 27345168 Colnbrook 23576481 Moulton 21487635 Sonning S 72345168 Sussex S 87164523 Chertsey S 78164523 Huddersfield S 47213856 Caterham 41782635 Bristol 48167523 Northampton 46851372 Chesterfield 43526781 Newcastle S 54638217 Belfast 53426781 Buckfastleigh 51782634 London 58167423 Newlyn S 25374168 Yeading 27513846 Essex 23456781 8 part. S=x.

John also has produced an enticing 8-part Chandler's composition with treble changing singles at most leads:

5888 Spliced Surprise Major (23 methods)
by John M Goldthorpe
12345678 Willesden S 61847235 Caterham S 16482735 Newcastle S 41628357 Essex S 54876321 Chertsey S 45783621 Sonning S 34725168 Northampton S 23148756 Bristol S 32417856 Buckfastleigh S 83615247 London 81326754 Newlyn S 58643721 Claybrooke S 45781632 Colnbrook S 74518326 Moulton S 67238145 Chesterfield S 16534728 Sussex S 81274365 Richmond S 78315246 Whalley 71823654 Malpas 76241583 Belfast S 67425183 Pudsey S 56487312 Yeading 58634271 Huddersfield -------- S 45678123 8 part. S=3456. 256 of each method. 183 com, all the work.

A further Goldthorpe composition of note is his 45m atw 10080 change composition incorporating all of Smiths and Chandler's methods, with a few requested others to push the peal over 10000 changes.

Finally in this section, Richard Pearce has a tidy and elegant "bonus" 23-spliced composition which doesn't need much learning, as it incorporates methods from several established "series" of one part peals of Spliced Surprise Major (specifically Pitman's 9, the "Nottingham 8", Crosland's series, and the so-called "Standard" 8, Belfast and Glasgow.

 5152 Spliced Surprise Major
12345678 Rutland ------------------- 14263857 Superlative -12357486 Belfast 15243678 Lincoln -12378564 Dorchester 18634257 Lessness -12386745 Lindum 18273564 Yorkshire 13624857 Cambridge 14567382 Glasgow 15748623 Cassiobury -18236745 London 13872564 Pudsey 12684357 Adelaide 15743682 Ealing -16457238 Brighton 17348625 Eccleston -13825764 Cornwall 17243685 Watford 14762538 Chesterfield 15684372 Wembley 18536247 Lincolnshire -15647823 Bristol ------------------- -14567823 7 part

Whilst in all these compositions the musical content is not especially notable, it is often reasonable and they are all fine examples of well-crafted compositions following a tightly-constrained method selection.

6) Long lengths (London major, Bristol Major) - Brian Price and Richard Smith - 2005

The decade has seen other boundaries pushed back, with record lengths in single methods also. In April 2005 a new record length of 17280 London major was rung at Spitalfields: this represented a relatively significant increase over the previous record of 14784 (dating from 1996).

The composition was a 5-part by Brian Price, and raised some eyebrows as it was not in fact all the work - the 7th is never 2nds place bell for a first half- lead and the 8th is never 4ths place bell for a second half-lead. That notwithstanding, I feel the composition deserves inclusion.

Richard Smith explains in detail how it was constructed here: http://www.bellringers.net/pipermail/ringing-theory_bellringers.net/2005-May/000941.html

17280 London Surprise Major
by Brian D Price
23456 M H ----------------- 42356 a 63254 - a 26354 a 32654 a 46253 - a 62453 a - 34256 - a 46325 - a x 53624 - a 65324 a 36524 a 45623 - a ----------------- 5 part. a = s2½,In,W,s6½. s=1678. x is a 6th's place bob. Contains 144 crus.

The record length of Bristol Major has remained at 23296 since June 1974. In the past decade both Brian and Richard Smith have produced significantly longer compositions that this. Brian has a 9-part 28512 change composition using a mixture of 4ths and 6ths place bobs, whilst Richard has published a 3-part composition entirely in whole courses.

28512 Bristol Surprise Major 
by Brian D Price
2345678 6 4263578 6452837 4 5642837 4 4562837 6485723 6 8674523 7856342 6 5738642 4 3578642 4 7358642 6 5763842 6587234 6 8625734 4 2865734 6278453 7642385 4 4762385 4 6472385 7634528 4 3764528 6 6357428 4 5637428 4 3567428 6 6345728 4 4635728 3476852 4 7346852 4 4736852 3487265 4 8347265 4 4837265 6 3428765 6 2374865 4 7234865 4 3724865 2387546 4 8237546 4 3827546 6 2358746 4 5238746 4 3528746 6 2375846 6 7283546 8752634 5867423 6 6548723 4 4658723 6 5476823 6 7584623 8765342 6837254 4 3687254 8326475 4 2836475 3248567 4352786 6 5473286 6 7524386 4 2754386 6 5237486 3542678 4365827 6 6483527 6 8654327 4 5864327 4 6584327 6 8635427 4 3865427 4 6385427 8643752 4 4863752 4 6483752 6 8674352 6 7836452 4 3786452 4 8376452 7843265 4 4783265 4 8473265 7824536 4 2784536 6 8257436 4 5827436 4 2587436 6 8245736 4 4825736 2478653 4 7248653 4 4728653 2467385 6234578 4 3624578 6 2356478 5243867 6 4582367 4 8452367 4 5842367 6 4538267 ------- 6*3425867 9 part, calling 6* in parts 3, 6 and 9 only. Contains 120 combination rollups.
 26,880 Bristol S. Major
 Comp. Richard A Smith
234567 M F I O V W H ---------------------------- 362457 - - - 563427 ss - (635427) - 346725 - 3 - 567324 2 635427 - - 265437 2 - 237654 ss - - 743625 - 2 - ss 463725 - 532467 2 2 - 257364 - (453627) - - 564723 - - 453627 - 365724 - - - 673425 - 3 - (342567) - 2 453762 - - 345762 2 325764 s ss 342567 s - - ---------------------------- Twice repeated b = 16, s = 1678

7) 8-spliced major - Don Morrison (2003), Alan Reading (2006)

Much as I dislike the concept, let alone the content of the so-called "standard 8", people do keep ringing this. It's better for people to have at least a hint of music in their compositions, so that they can hopefully work out what is deficient in their standard musical diet. The two compositions below are notable efforts in very testing conditions. I still have no desire to ring them, though!

5184 (5056) Spliced Surprise Major (8 methods)
by Donald F Morrison (no. 3)
23456 B M W H Methods 52436 - RS.L 42635 - NYS.CL 23564 2 - YN.LP.BBBRRP. 36245 - CP.PC 24365 - [-] N(SSY).R. Repeat five times, omitting [-] from alternate parts. Contains all 24 each 56s, 65s, and 5678s off the front, and 12 8765s off the front
5120 8 Spliced Surprise Major
by Alan Reading
23456 M B W H 36452 - 2 R,PL,B, 43562 V/sV (B/4/I) - C,B.S(,RCL,B,)SRN, 43625 - - YY,YY, 36425 (4/I/B) s3/s4 2 NRS(,B,LCR,)S.B.C,B, 42365 - - LP,R, 6 part, omitting bracketed calls and methods from any 4 parts. Contains all 24 each 56s, 65s, and 5678s off the front, and 12 8765s off the front

8) 23-spliced Treble Bob Major - Peter King - 2005

This composition, as yet unpublished, contains 23 different treble bob major methods. It has limited musical scope, the methods lack intrinsic merit, there is no clever composing trick - it's just the composition is really, fiendishly, difficult to ring. The fluid nature of treble-bob methods makes them much harder to learn and differentiate than surprise, as they lack long static pieces of work in any one place.

On his website, John Goldthorpe has a footnote to a composition of 8-part Chandlers saying "Arguably the hardest peal yet rung". This seems pretty anachronistic (and grandiose). I can assure him that Chandler's is a walk in the park, especially when compared to the King major composition.

9) Whole-course 23-spliced - Richard Smith - January 2005

Responding to a challenge in 2005, Richard produced the first real spliced major composition in "complete" unbroken whole courses. This is a very neat proof of concept, though is awaiting further development. Perhaps something along the lines of Richard Pearce's minor compositions (ie including 8ths place methods, so the composition wasn't based purely around homes) could be interesting here?

  m0 = &-3-6-5-36-34-5-6-5;
  m1 = &-5-4-56-6-4-5-2-5;  // [Heydour]
  m2 = &5-5.6.5-2.3-2-5-4-1;
  m3 = &-3-4-56-6-2-5-4-5;  // [Lessness]
  m4 = &36-5.4-5-6-2-5-36-5;
  m5 = &-5-4-2-3-34-5-4-3;
  m6 = &-3-6-56-3-34-5.36-56.3;
  m7 = &-5-6-5-6-2-5-56-5;
  m8 = &3-5.6.5-2.3.2-2.3-2-3;
  m9 = &-56-6-5-3.4-2.3.2-34.5;
  m10 = &-34-4-5-3-4-5-34-1;
  m11 = &-34-4-2-6-2-5-2-7;
  m12 = &34-36.4.5-2.3.2-4.5.6-6.7;
  m13 = &-34-4-2-3-4-5-36-1;
  m14 = &-34-4-5-6-2-3-6-3;  // [Xyster]
  m15 = &-34-4-5-3-2-5-6-3;
  m16 = &-5-6-5-3-2-5-56-3;  // [Helston]
  m17 = &-5-4-2-3-2-5-36-5;
  m18 = &-5-4-56-36-2-5-2-5;
  m19 = &-5-4-5-6-2-5-2-1;  // [Aspenden]
  m20 = &-5-4-5-6-4-5-6-7;
  m21 = &-5-4-56-3-2-3-56-3;
  m22 = &-5-4-5-6-2-3-6-1;

  5152 TD Major
  H        23456
  --------------
  x ) A    42635
  - )      64235
  A        52643
  -        65243
  3A       53462
  3x       62345
  4A       34256
  -        23456
  --------------
  -=14; x=16

See Also