

Postscript: Calling a ShortCourse Peal  
If you are new to the business of calling peals of Bristol, much of this website may seem arcane, and the compositions unachievable in the tower. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most of the compositions have a compelling internal logic that makes them simple to remember and to call. Perhaps the finest example is my 5056 no.1, which has a beautiful palindromic structure, few calls, and a simple pattern of musical links from one section to another. If you know how it works, it is a piece of cake to call; and it is easy to understand how it works, as I hope the short guide below will demonstrate.
First of all, let's look at the figures:
At first there doesn't seem much to get hold of, but in fact most of the peal consists of three big, easy blocks: the set of five Befores beginning in the third course, and the other two blocks marked as "OSEB" and "5RB" on the figures above. In fact, the latter is really just another set of five Befores; the calling W, M across a course end brings the bell in 5th's place to the back of the coursing order  53246 goes to 32465  so is the exact reverse of a Before. This is just what the 5RB ("5 Reverse Befores") block does (although note that we really only call W, M four times, this being enough to visit all five coursing orders). Already you can see some nice symmetry here. The peal opens with five Befores, which bring in all the rotations of coursing order 64235, and it ends with five "Reverse" Befores on the reverse of this coursing order  which is the plain course, 52346! Because the W,M calling misses out the Home lead, the 5RB block can include the whole of the plain course with the exception of the rounds lead, meaning we can ring this in the middle of the peal (I've marked this course with an asterisk). The ten coursing orders brought in by the 5B and 5RB blocks are classic musical courses, including both 56/65 rollups and the "waterfall" coursing orders 35642 and 24653, which give 5bell littlebell runs, as well as the COs 23564 and 46532, which not only produce 3456/6543 runs, but also some amazing sixbell runs based on 123456 and 654321. The two sets of coursing orders are shown below, in the order they are rung:
What about the "OSEB" block? This stands for "Optimal SuperEfficient Block", and is the main bit you need to learn, forming the heart of the peal. It is symmetrical in its own right, being an exact a palindrome (meaning it has the same calling forward and backward). It has three Befores, two at the ends and one in the middle; on either side of the central Before is a Home, and beyond that is a Middle or a Wrong (which are actually the reverses of each other). So, replacing the Middle/Wrong with "z", the block looks like this: BzHBHzB. Very neat, very symmetrical. If you write out the coursing orders, you will see that the OSEB block starts and ends with a 6xxx5 coursing order, and features littlebell music based on 53462/25346 in the middle; the other courses visited give 5678/8765 rollups, and are of the form xxx56 or 56xxx. So the coursing orders themselves make a sort of palindromic, selfreversing set, too:
In fact, the four 56 coursing orders included in this block  23456, 34256, 56342 and 56234  are exactly the four we need to complete the set of 72 8765/5678 rollups included in the peal. The two blocks of "5 Befores" described above include the other two xxx56/56xxx coursing orders  42356 and 56423  and, because the peal begins and ends with a Home, we naturally have the 56 rollups from the three 5xxx6 coursing orders. So that is it, apart from a couple of linking courses here and there joining up those three big blocks. To see those, it's helpful to write out the coursing orders for the whole peal:
As you'll see from the above, there are only three small linking sections, each of two courses or less, and they hop naturally from one musical coursing order to another:
In its final reduction, the whole peal becomes: H, link1, 5B, H, OSEB, link2, 5RB, link3, H. What could be simpler? I hope this short description of the 5056 has explained some of its structure, and revealed its underlying simplicity. Good luck if you call it  and I am always interested to hear any feedback you have. 
MBD July 2010
