Compositions of the Decade 2000-2009 - 7 - Royal

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A Review by Philip Earis - continued

Royal ringing has greatly improved over the decade, becoming much sharper and more focused. Progress has occurred across the board, with a shift to better established methods, the appearance of some cracking and daring new methods, and a trend towards smarter and neater “runny” compositions, without fear of conventional dogmas.

These trends have been further extrapolated with the widespread development of both cyclic compositions, along with some great new cyclic methods also. Furthermore, as we shall see other very new types of compositions have also established a foothold.

Established Methods

Turning first to single-method peals in established methods, the decade has enjoyed a marked transition towards better methods with more musical potential.

Ten-bell peal numbers overall seem to show a sustained rise compared with the 1990s. Peals of Yorkshire royal are up 25%.

However, the biggest trend by far has been the stratospheric rise in Bristol. There have been 718 peals of Bristol Royal published so far since the beginning of the year 2000, a massive 120% rise on the 326 from the 1990s. Peal bands around the country, perhaps especially in the North West, have been attracted to the beautiful elegance and music potential of the method, and their thirst for the nectar of musical compositions has been a force for progress.

Happily, there has also been a reduction in some of the nastier elements of 10-bell ringing. Peals of Rutland are down 37%, Pudsey down 43%, and spliced in 8 methods (which on ten almost invariably means one thing) down 24%.

New methods – “regular”

It has been a great decade for new royal methods. Triton Delight - quite simply London Royal with music off the front - was first pealed in May 1999, and there have subsequently been over 60 repeat performances. Whilst this is an indicator of progress, it is sadly a sign of some conductors’ intransigence that there have still been an order of magnitude more peals of London. This gap will surely be further eroded in the years ahead.

The two other great royal methods of the 1990s – Normanby Surprise, and Brave New World – set the scene for the developments of the 2000s. Neither stuck to tired and pointless limiting conventions – Normanby is a super double mx method with 3 consecutive blows, whilst Brave New World eschewed both conventional symmetry and plain bob leadheads to launch a cyclic odyssey.

The new methods of the present decade have continued and developed these trends, to impressive effect. Mark Davies has led the charge with “regular” (ie plain bob leadhead), coursing-dominated methods, including:

Black Pearl:        &-5-4.5-2.3.2-9.8.9-6.7-6-1,1
Snow Tiger:         &3-5.4-5-3.2-9.8-6-7.6-8.9,2
Raspberry Crumble:  &3-5.4-5-3-2-8-,2
Jennie’s Endeavour: &3-5.4-5-3-3478-58-6-7.6-8.9,2

Whilst there is little point in breaking conventions just for the sake of it, there is even less point in conventions existing just for the sake of it. It is good to see innovative examples of methods with 9ths in the notation above the treble, for just about the first time. These allow, inter alia, elegant double methods like Snow Tiger.

Incidentally, whilst I think I first published the figures for double method Snow Tiger (Royal), Mark claims an independent earlier discovery, and links it with his eponymous delight maximus method. The method is certainly good enough to fight over.

New methods – cyclic glory

In parallel to the above, the early years of the decade saw the arrival of a string of cyclic methods – ie methods with leadheads that are rotations of rounds. Cyclic methods cannot have conventional palindromic symmetry (at least not if started at the symmetry point). However, other symmetries can be used. The super new major method Anglia Cyclic (+-1-2367-1-7-5-36-4-2) employed rotational symmetry, but here on ten bells two new method stand out:

Double Resurrection (+-678-67-1-7-9-345-45-1-4-2)
Spinning Jennie (&56.3-4.5.2-1-34-5.36.4-,1)

The very simple right-place plain method Double Resurrection uses glide symmetry to great effect, whilst MBD’s Spinning Jennie cleverly is conventionally double (building on a Philip Saddleton idea), nominally with irregular leadheads, but is started at the treble snap to magically produce a clever cyclic method.

These both offer an incredibly concentrated musical experience and are really pleasurable to ring. If there’s one thing you take home from this whole series of articles, it should be to try ringing some cyclic royal.

Composition trends

The vast majority of royal peals rung continue to be in regular (ie plain bob leadhead) methods. And the compositions for these – both in what has been produced and in what is frequently rung - have both leapt forward over the decade.

Continuing a previous trend, little-bell runs have been very much at the fore – the progress is such that any new royal composition citing a “CRU” count would be laughed out of court. Compositional footnotes like “All courses contain little-bell music” have not only appeared, but become much more common - yardsticks, even.

Indeed, the trend towards runs has been extrapolated to cyclic compositions also - both pure cyclic 9- and 10-parts, and compositions including cyclic transitions, have featured prominently.

Cyclic compositions are especially attractive – and have become almost the default – in spliced, offering an easy yet potentially really musical way to achieve all-the-work for all the method. Indeed, the decade has seen the emergence of the first adventurous “bespoke” peals of spliced royal, with the methods customised to maximise the composition’s music, as we shall see.

Bespoke compositions have also taken off in single method peals, especially Bristol Royal. David Hull has led the way here – the method’s flexibility allows different tastes to be catered for. The trend has continued to other, less compliant methods – Graham Bradshaw has done some good work trying to squeeze music from Cambridge, for example (I haven’t selected these below, but see for examples).

Clever tricks have also improved straight 14-course tenors-together compositions in single methods. Two-parts with just calls at M, W and H are very common, and many people might have thought all possibilities had been exhausted by the end of the 1990s. However, such 2-part compositions have expanded beyond just straight 1243657890 partend changes, with some interesting developments with 1654327890 partends.

Just like with major, a mixture of pencil-and-paper logic and the raw power of the SMC32 software have meant that many better royal compositions have been produced.

As an aside, I have no qualms about using the word “better” – with orchestral music, it’s very subjective and not meaningful to compare Mahler and Handel with a view to ranking them. However, change ringing’s constraints and formalisms mean that any effect (and hence any set of compositions) can be quantised in a systematic way. The only input is choosing a suitable metric to compare. Over the decade different composers’ metrics have started to converge, I feel, and whilst complete convergence is unrealistic (and arguably undesirable), there is still some way to go to avoid people talking across each other.

Moreover, royal compositions have seen much acceptance and uptake of less conventional calls, when used to good effect. Calls at 7ths, and indeed different bobs such as 16, 18, 123456 have all appeared, and also led to improvements in simple 2-part compositions.

Using multiple types of calls can be an elegant way to get all consecutive bells coursing, and other new types of compositions based on this “mega tittums” plan have made their first appearance. 10 bells are just about enough for the effect to be pronounced and effective.


Like standing on high ground and admiring the vista behind after a long walk, it’s an exhilarating time to survey the progress in 10-bell ringing. The march towards even higher ground needs to continue. Let’s just hope that the broader body of ringers catch up with the advances, and these are better reflected in what is actually frequently rung.

1) Further improvements in two-part tenors-together compositions

  • Triton Delight – David Hull et al – 2003
  • Yorkshire Surprise – Mark Davies - 2004

I’ve selected David’s Triton as the lead typical example of how simple tenors-together compositions have got better in recent decades. The grounds for inclusion could be questioned here – the composition is an improved tweak from Don Morrison based on the 1990s Hull little-bell classic “the fluke”, whilst the method has similarities to London (the overwork and leadhead group), but with substantially more music under the treble. Overall, though, I feel this shows what can be simply achieved which in the past simply was not achieved:

5040 Triton Delight
23456  M  W  H 
42356        -  
65324  -  -  -  
43526  -     -  
25634  -  -     
34562  -  s  s  
56342     -  -  
24365  -  -  -  

Touch contains:
             Odd     Even      Total
xxxx567890 =    0  +    14    =    14
xxxx657890 =    0  +    14    =    14
xxxxxx2345 =   12  +    12    =    24
xxxxxx5432 =   12  +    12    =    24
xxxxxx3456 =   24  +    24    =    48
xxxxxx6543 =   24  +    24    =    48
0987xxxxxx =   70  +     0    =    70
7890xxxxxx =   42  +     0    =    42
2345xxxxxx =    8  +     8    =    16
5432xxxxxx =    6  +     6    =    12
3456xxxxxx =   14  +    14    =    28
6543xxxxxx =   14  +    14    =    28

MBD also claims a re-arrangement, changing two pairs of bobs for singles, but without extra musical gain. He’s on less shaky ground when he turns to Yorkshire. The composition below contains a great spread of little-bell music, both in variety of runs and in its distribution in the composition. The finish is especially nice, going from 24653 to 53246 in the last course of the peal.

In Mark’s words,

“This is my absolute favourite conventional two-part… 3.5 courses of the last part are in LB5 coursing orders. I think it's absolutely fascinating that such a result is possible from a two-part structure: a very simple structure, too, that really just boils down to 2W 2H repeated, padded. To ring, it's possibly even better than the best one-part -very-nearly-almost as much music, plus all the fun of watching the second part unfold knowing what the first has foretold. Magic”.


5040 Yorkshire (No.1)
23456   M  W  H
24356         s
53462   s  2  2
46325   s  s  -
53624   -     -
24365   -  s  s
2 part

 13 567890
 13 657890
 53 LB5
 104 3456/6543
 60 2345/5432
 10 4567/7654

2) Cyclic method compositions

  • Double Resurrection Cyclic Bob – Andrew Tibbetts – 2003
  • Spinning Jennie Delight – David Pipe - 2003

As described above, Double Resurrection is a fantastic yet simple right-place plain cyclic method. It has an efficient structure and glide symmetry, leading to reverse runs round every half-lead, and forward runs round every leadhead.

The composition below is the first to combine the excellent “magnificent 6” rounds -> queens transition on 10 bells with the benefit of a cyclic method to fully exploit the effect. And the effect is truly mesmerising. I find it hard to fully describe its joys to those who haven’t experienced it.

1234567890 (rounds)
1357924680 (queens)
1594837260 (reverse tittums)
1987654320 (reverse rounds)
1864297530 (reverse queens)
1627384950 (tittums)
1234567890 (rounds)

The plain nature of the method means that varied music appears very frequently, in a continuous “music box” demonstration. This, coupled with the rapid forward / reverse nature of the music, further magnify the effect. Both the tittums and queens block cycles (and their reverses) sound much more appealing than you might naively expect.

(Of course, when the composition is in the “reverse rounds” section, the forward runs appear around the half-lead)

The remainder of the composition consists of singled-in courses to provide a joyful variation on the theme. It’s awesome.

 5040 Double Resurrection (#6)
    5  6  7  8  9   234567890
    ss ss    s  ss  324
             s  s   243
(a)                 357924680
             ss s   375
(a)                 594837260
                s   549
(a)                 987654320
    6     ss    s   978
(a)                 864297530
    ss          s   846
(a)                 627384950
                s   672
(b)                 432567890
                s   423
             s  s   234567890
(a)=2,s3,s5,7,8,9,s12 (12 leads)

Of course, the “magnificent six” transition can also be captured in a composition using methods with plain bob leadheads. The four-lead block 1,2,4 has been used in a number of David Hull Bristol Royal compositions to achieve this effect (more on this later), and can be extrapolated to a whole peal composition. Rob Lee put together the following:

5220 Double Coslany/10440 Bristol:

1, 2, 4     864297530
1, 2, 4     594837260
      4     602374859
2, 3, 4     972640853
2, 3, 4     342907856
s1, s8, 9   345678902
9 part. Contains the 54 cycles of rounds, queens & tittums and reverses thereof.

This exploits the regular nature of the method, using half the plain course to join up the reverse tittums/tittums and reverse rounds/rounds positions. As Rob explains,

“…Doing this means that some of the part ends occur at handstroke instead of backstroke, and so the 1,2,4 block is used in reverse when this is the case. Unfortunately, the cyclic part end obtained is 567890234 which means rounds occurs after 3 parts. A bit of fiddling around solves this, but at the expense of a bit of symmetry/music”

Going back to cyclic methods, a further example of what can be achieved is with the treble-dodging method Spinning Jennie. The method is conventionally double with the following notation:

&56.3-4.5.2-1-34-5.36.4-, 1 = 1485309627

However, ringing this starting away from the symmetry point brings up the cyclic method:

+x4.5.2x1x34x5.36.4x1. = 1345678902

The music isn’t as concentrated or dare I say pronounced as Resurrection, but still allows some very interesting effects. David Pipe put together the following composition, designed to bring out the runs given by the method.

5000 Spinning Jennie Delight Royal
1543267890    s4.s4½   
1452367890    3.4
1325476980    s4.s4½.s7.s9
1325476809    9
1234568709    3.4.7
1345627890    s1.3.5.s8
1243658709    7.8           (8 leads)
1243658079    s9                     
1243650987    s½.8.9                 
1234560987    8.9                    
1325460897    3.4.s9                 
1234567890    s½.3.4                 
Backstroke-snap start and finish.

Bob = 38, Single = 389 both made at the backstroke-snap.
Half-lead single = 89

There remains an opportunity for a magnificent 6 style composition here, I feel.

3) Bespoke cyclic royal compositions – David Pipe – April 2003 / October 2003

David Pipe’s 9-part and 10-part spliced royal compositions are a sort of contraction of his classic maximus compositions on a similar plan.

The methods in the royal peals – named after James Bond villains – are all custom-designed to yield a feast of music in the leads they appear in the composition. The new methods used, such as Goldfinger, are also intrinsically very attractive.

A link method is used to move the bells between the cyclic parts. The main block of the composition has the 2nd and the tenor of that cyclic part (so in the 9-part composition, bells 5 and 6 in the first part) alternately ringing “pivot leads”, ie the leads where they are the pivot bell.

Pivot leads are almost invariably the most musical in a method, and this structure yields a great way to ring as many plain leads in the part as possible, benefitting from an elegant palindromic structure which leads to a great balance of forward and reverse runs in each part.

Unlike maximus, a cyclic royal composition of primarily treble-dodging (single-dodging) methods needs to contain more than just the plain leads from each cyclic part to take the length over 5000 changes. In the Pipe compositions, the “padding” is based on two blocks of three bobs.

“Padding” is an unfair word as these sections are also very well-chosen, though. Custom-designed methods are again used for the best effect – for example, Kananga, which yields limited music off the front in the plain course, but much more in the 243 course in which it actually appears in the composition.

All in all, two finely crafted examples. (David Hull also has a similar, later composition containing methods with “opposite” pivot bells)

Clarification: David Hull points out that, "The 9-part Hull composition was actually composed and rung first, based on David Pipe's ideas from his Maximus compositions. David (Pipe) then produced his own take on this plan, increasing the roll-up count in the process, as well as a 10-part, both of which were rung soon after. The Hull 10-part has yet to receive an outing (and would probably be recomposed from scratch if I ever got around to it)"

 5022 Spliced Royal (8m) - DJP
 234567890  Oddjob Little Alliance
-453028967  Ourumov Surprise
 342590786  Zorin Surprise
-345028967  Kananga Surprise
-534028967  Scaramanga Alliance
 452390786  Goldfinger Surprise
 305846279  Dr No Differential Surprise
 249573608  Blofeld Alliance
 083657492  Blofeld Alliance
 927465830  Dr No Differential Surprise
 860739524  Goldfinger Surprise
 796284053  Scaramanga Alliance
-867902345  Kananga Surprise
-786902345  Zorin Surprise
 897264053  Ourumov Surprise
9 part

720 each Dr No Differential S., Goldfinger S., Kananaga S., Ouromov S., Zorin S.; 648 each Blofeld A., Scaramanga A.; 126 Oddjob Little A.; 125 changes of method, all the work
 5000 Spliced Royal (8m)
 8901234567  Nick Nack
-1908674523  Largo Alliance
 1897056342  Zorin Surprise
-1890674523  Kananga Surprise
-1089674523  Scaramanga Alliance
 1907856342  Drax Little Alliance
 1860492735  Dr No Differential
 1795038264  Jaws Little Alliance
 1648203957  Jaws Little Alliance
 1573920486  Dr No Differential
 1426385079  Drax Little Alliance
 1352749608  Scaramanga Alliance
-1423567890  Kananga Surprise
-1342567890  Zorin Surprise
 1453729608  Largo Alliance
10 part

800 Dr No Differential S, Kananga S, Zorin S; 640 Largo A; 600 Jaws Little A; 560 Drax Little A, Elektra A; 240 Nick Nack Differential Little Hybrid; 139 changes of method, All the work for all 10 bells

24 each 123456, 234567, 345678, 456789, 567890 at the back

Addition: David Hull also adds, "One other point that Philip doesn't mention and which I think is worthy of note is another DJP idea, that of using non-plain bob lead-head methods in the "padding" to allow you to ring musical leads without the bells in the plain course position but also without the need to have some messy rows in the middle of the lead to get the bells into the right order for a "proper" half-lead. David has used this in some of his more recent compositions rung on handbells, and Fulford and Acomb in the composition below also use this feature:

5004 8 methods Spliced Royal
David G Hull
  234567890  Skeldergate Bridge Little Alliance
- 453028967  Fulford Delight
  524390786  Acomb Delight
- 345028967  Mulberry Hall Little Alliance
- 534028967  London No.3 Surprise
  452390786  Horsleydown Surprise
  305846279  Sgurr Differential Surprise
  249573608  Copmanthorpe Delight
  083657492  Copmanthorpe Delight
  927465830  Sgurr Differential Surprise
  860739524  Horsleydown Surprise
  796284053  London No.3 Surprise
- 867902345  Mulberry Hall Little Alliance
- 786902345  Acomb Delight
  679284053  Fulford Delight
- 678902345
9 part

720 each Acomb Delight, Copmanthorpe Delight, Fulford Delight, Horsleydown Surprise, London No.3 Surprise, Sgurr Differential Surprise; 504 Mulberry Hall Little Alliance; 180 Skeldergate Bridge Little Alliance; 125 changes of method, all the work.

In a related field, the late John Leary put together a series of 30 spliced royal methods in a cyclic 9-part construction. Whilst this doesn’t have the same bespoke qualities of the Pipe compositions (for example lacking a pivot-lead structure in the plain course), it contains many interesting methods and neat leads.

The composition is simply four bobs at Before to bring up the cyclic part-end 1902345678. The methods are well-structured, with some very nice new methods created for the peal (see for example Bramall Lane, b& 3-56.4-56-6-4-, 2).

The composition was first rung (in shortened form) in 2007, and forms the basis for longer lengths of royal to be attempted shortly – sadly John isn’t around to complete his good work. The effort to expand the composition has involved some additions from David Hull and some very recent distributed further progress. Watch this space…

  573920486    Beginning                
  648203957    Kenilworth Road          
  089674523    Loftus Road              
  860492735    Bristol                  
  907856342    Stinking Bishop          
  795038264    Nideggen                 
  426385079    Otterbourne              
  352749608    Bramall Lane             
- 908674523    Savernake                
  897056342    Kegworth                 
  069482735    Fereneze                 
  640293857    Gresty Road              
  234567089    Burnden Park             
  352748690    Allington                
  573829406    St Neots                 
- 906482735    Burnley                  
  698074523    Jugsholme                
  867950342    Kananga                  
  785639204    Lufkin                   
  420395678    Thimbleby                
  352748069    Essex                    
  234507986    Clifton                  
- 904263857    Quixwood                 
  573826049    Craven Cottage           
  785634290    Kings Norton             
  867459302    Southampton University   
  496082735    Goldfinger               
  352708964    City Ground              
  230597486    Stratford upon Avon      
- 902345678    Elgin             

4) Further improvements in two-part tenors-together compositions – 1654327890 partends

  • Yorkshire Surprise – Mark Davies - 2002
  • Yorkshire Surprise – David Pipe – 2009
  • Bristol Surprise – John Warboys – c2006

Whilst many previous examples of two-part compositions involved the partend 1243657890, the decade saw the emergence of some interesting examples with a partend 1654327890.

This framework is elegant, with the clear attraction that wherever a run involving bells 2,3,4,5,6 appears in the first half of the composition, a corresponding reverse run will delight in the second half.

[This effect isn’t guaranteed in 2-parts with a 124365 partend – see for example the 2nd part of Chris Poole’s 5080 #2 (MIVMHHMW)

Mark Davies created some 2-parts of Yorkshire on this new plan in 2002, though waited 7 years before publishing (after a very tidy new DJP composition on this theme was published);

5040 Yorkshire Surprise Royal (DJP)
M     W     H     23456
      -     2     24536
      2     3     43526
-           X     65432
5040 Yorkshire Surprise Royal, arr MBD (SMC32)
No.1 (local scope)
 23456   M  W  B  H
 24536      -     2
 53624      -     x
 46325   -        -
 24365      -
 53462   -        -
 65432      -
 2 part, x = 16
5040 Yorkshire Surprise Royal, arr MBD (SMC32)
No.2 (local scope)
 M  W  H  23456
 -     -  64352
    2  2  53462
 s     s  24365
       s  23465
 s  -     65432
 2 part

John Warboys, Don Morrison and other have also explored this effect. A simple example by John is his Bristol Royal:

5040 Bristol S. Royal
23456  V  O  I
35426        -
32546     2  -
46325  -     2
43652     x
65432     -  -
2-part.  x = 167890.
All courses contain little-bell music.

5) Bespoke single-method compositions of Bristol Royal – David Hull – various


  • Bristol / Triton / Yorkshire – Chris Poole
  • Eg Jennie’s Endeavour – Mark Davies

There are different schools of thought about Bristol Royal peal compositions. Neat tenors-together peals, especially two-parts, are well-suited to 8ths place calls. (John Warboys’ example above being just one example).

Indeed, Mark Davies goes so far to stated on his website that,

“From a musical perspective, Bristol Royal is better with 8th's place bobs; with an average of only just over one call per course possible with 4th's place bobs, the linking possibilities are very slim, making it very hard to stay in good courses and avoid the bad. 4th's place calls are also bad news for those who like their course-end rollups”

I feel this is too much of a generalisation. As mentioned in the introduction, Bristol Royal ringing and compositions have undergone a renaissance in the past decade. Much of this has been down to bespoke compositions, many by David Hull.

David’s use of the four-lead block 1,2,4 to achieve the magnificent six transition has already been mentioned. Similar motifs, such as the six-lead block S2.S4.S6 to act as a cyclic shunt (whilst going from forward to reverse runs) are also very well employed in his compositions.

An example well-rounded composition illustrative of the progress is:

 5002 Bristol Surprise Royal (no.10)
 234567890               Leads
 243          SH              
 56342        SM.W            
 7654382      7ths.Out        
 902345678    1.3           3 
 987654320    7.13         21 
 357924680    1.2.4         4 
 627384950    1.2.4         4 
 987654230    S1.2.4        4 
 432567890    3.9.11       11 
 423          SH              
(53624)       M.W             
 24365        M.SW.SH         
(42536)       W.M.SW          

First rung at Northallerton, 21 July 2007

It should be mentioned that various other composers have played with neat transition blocks as well. For example, Chris Poole has various nice compositions here – in Bristol he uses 7 & 8 lead courses called (3, 4½) and (2½, 4) for a cyclic shift (alternating the stroke of runs also), whilst analogous 8 & 9 lead blocks in Triton called (1, 3) also lead to notable compositions:

5160 Triton Delight Royal
354769820     1 3        (8)
456789023     1 3        (9)
576982043     1 3        (8)
678902345     1 3        (9)
798204365     1 3        (8)
890234567     1 3        (9)
920436587     1 3        (8)
023456789     1 3        (9)
243657089     1 4        (8)
243659078     5          (9)
243657890     4 5        (9)
34625         1 3 5 8    (8)
64523         1          (9)
35426         1 9        (9)
23456         8          (9)

As a related example, Chris has also exploited the simple effect of calling pairs of bobs on a series of bells to achieve a nice simple Yorkshire composition from 2001:

5162 Yorkshire Surprise Royal (No. 2)
902345678   2,10,11,19 (23)
789023456   2,10,11,19 (23)
543209876   2,10 (16)
765432098   2,10,11,19 (23)
987654320   2,10,11,19 (23)
524367890   2,10,12 (16)
(324)       s5
Call paired bobs on 10-6, 6-10 followed by W sW.

Finally in this section I feel it’s appropriate to highlight an example of a bespoke composition in a great new method. I’ve selected this composition of the previously-mentioned Jennie's Endeavour Surprise Royal – both the method and composition are by Mark Davies.

The method is f-group royal with a feature that appeared a number of times in new methods over the decade: regular handstroke half-leads (so backrounds appears in the plain course at handstroke).

The consequence of this is that calls at the half-lead have the opposite effect to leadend calls. In MBD’s words,

“This means rapid and unexpected jumps from one position to another can be carried out, and without having to trawl through undesirable leads. Part of the goal of this peal was to provide something really exciting and unpredictable, so the band never knows what is going to come up next”

The composition makes good use of this property, utilising four types of calls to pack in a varied heap of music. The method is coursing-dominated, and to exploit this the composition also contains sections of what MBD slightly ambitiously calls “tittums” (here four consecutive bells coursing). Again, to quote the loquacious MBD,

“Coursing orders are often revisited unexpectedly, and the same backbell positions are brought up in different ways. Both the front bells and the back bells are turned around on average more than once a course, but despite the dynamic movement the little bells remain throughout the peal in coursing orders which provide runs of varying kinds”

5000 Jennie's Endeavour Surprise Royal
65432      1 8 9 (MWH)
62345      3½ 4½ 5½ 8
43526      1 8 (MW)
435267089  4
243657890  3½ X 7½
325460987  s3½ s4 s5 s5½ 8 9
674523890  3½ s4 4½ s5 5½ 7
634527089  4 s7
234569078  s1 5
354269870  3 3½ 4½ s7½ 9
645237890  ½ s4 4½ 5½ 8½
645239078  4 5
632547890  ½ 3½ 4½ 5½ 8 8½
23456      1 (M)

4th's place calls at lead end, with:
½  = half-lead bob, pn 70
s½ = half-lead single, pn 7890
X  = big bob before (pn 16, lead 4)

Entire plain course
7 567890
5 657890
9 098765 off the front
193 LB4
113 LB5
46 xxxxxx0987/7890xxxxxx
7 xxxxx09876/67890xxxxx
38 leads in the Tittums
...and various other goodies.

6) Mega-tittums on 10 – David Pipe and Philip Earis – 2006 onwards

Following on from the previous composition, a much more complete tittums effect can be achieved if every consecutive bell is coursing. And whilst there had already been a trend in recent years of compositions using more tittums-style coursing orders, such as (7)65432, the “mega tittums” effect of all consecutive bells coursing was really exploited for the first time in the decade.

To easily get the bells in the mega-tittums order from the plain course, a sequence of bobs of different sizes can be used in the same carefully selected calling position (for example in royal, 8ths, 6ths and 4ths place bobs when the tenor runs out).

In a more conventional tenors-together framework, a lone 4ths place call will go into mega-tittums from coursing order 65432. The tenors-together composition below, predominantly with 8ths place bobs, illustrates things nicely.

5000 Bristol S Royal (DJP)
V  O  I  H  23456
   -        34256
-     -     45362
   -*       453627089
   3  -  -  563427890
   -  -     34562
-     -     46325
-  -        64523
2  3  -     42356
   -        23456
* 4ths place call

The more bells there are, and the more coursing-dominated the chosen method is, the more incredible the mega-tittums effect. We’ll have to wait for 12 bells and higher stages before manifestations of the full glory of mega-tittums though…

7) Spliced Surprise (9-14m), tenors together, atw – Richard Pearce – Summer 2001

The decade has also seen clever arrangements of more “old school” one-part spliced royal, keeping the tenors together whilst preserving the all-the-work property.

Building on work of Roddy Horton and Graham John, Richard Pearce has created a series of tenors-together spliced in 9-14 methods on this plan.

As explained in the comprehensive ringing-theory message of December 2006 (, the composition is based on sets of courses with the bells in 2nds, 5ths and 6ths rotated. This allows some familiar methods to be included, along with a change of method every lead and a fairly even method distribution.

 5160 (14 methods)
 23456   M  W  H                       
 53462   s  s     R/LEGL/YSRYSRY
 63452      s     SR/EGLE
 53426   s  s     G/Y/L
 42365   s  s  -  EGLE/S/G/
 52364   s        AKIAKIAK/DC
 62354      s     ND/IAKIAKIA
(52364)     s     K/
 34265   s     -    CNDCN/I/
 23465         -  BPBPBP/
 63425      s     LEGLEGLE/R
 42356   s  s  -  YSRYSRY/GLEG/SRYSRYS/
(52346)     s     DC/
 62345   s          AKIAKIA/ND
 52346   s        CNDCNDC/K
 34256      s  -  I/NDCNDCN/
 64253   s        R/B
(54236)  s  s     PBPBP/C/
 23456      s  -    BPBPBP/L/          
400 each Cambridge, London No 3, Rutland; 360 each Anglia, Bristol, Eardleigh, Irvine, Kegworth (G), Kinross, Lincolnshire (N), Nideggen (D), Pudsey, Superlative No 2, Yorkshire; 128 com, atw.

See Also