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Series Three      


The three peals in this series were composed in the first two months of 2008, with the goal of gently extending the short-course genre into the world of split tenors. As the notes under the 5120 explain, I rejected more conventional split-tenors music, such as 2468- or 8765-based courses, for the lure of the cyclic course.

The big flaw in this plan is that the cyclic courses are false against each other in Bristol Major. The solution I adopted in this series was to ring just two or three cyclic courses in each peal. In the 5120 and 5184 I focused on the two arguably most dramatic cyclic parts, 8234567 and 3456782, whereas the 5088 has 4567823 and 6782345, with half the plain course and a bit of 8234567 thrown in for good measure.

In all three compositions, the bulk of the peal is still the same kind of tenor-together short-course revelry as I provided in series one and two. The computer was again used to link hand-composed blocks to produce the finished articles, but a slightly different technique was used for the split-tenors sections: instead of being included in the composition as blocks to be linked, it proved easier to exclude the tenors-together courses they were false against, and include only the (tenors-together) starting and ending leads of the split-tenors blocks. This allowed the linkage searches to remain entirely tenors-together.

Series Three:
5120 no.368, 18, 120Andrew Graham, February 2010
5184 no.164, 20, 128
5088 no.566, 12, 126

5120 Bristol Surprise Major (no.3)

Composed by Mark B Davies

  234567  M  B       W  H
  42356                 -
  43526              -  2
  45236              -  2
  34562      -          2
  46253      2          -
  52643              S  S
  53246   2             -
  64235   -          -  -
  43265   -  -
  65324   2  -          2
  354762  -    sV/V
  654327       sF/I  -  -
  674523        V
  324657        F       -
  26354      -
  64352   -             2
  23456   -             -

  Cyclic courses 8234567 (forward)
             and 3456782 (reverse)
  68 5678/8765 front and back
  18 6578 back
  120 LB4
  36 LB5

This was produced in response to a request from Jim Clatworthy in 2006, to add some split-tenors music to my existing 20-course-plan peals. The obvious and sensible thing to do was to use sV/s4 to bring the 7856 course ends into those earlier peals... so naturally I rejected that completely. It seemed to me that, since you can get 8765 off the back with tenors-together courses, you’re not really adding much by getting a few more such runs with the tenors split. It’s a bit too sledgehammer for me, a bit too ‘completionist’.

Instead, I decided to try and include some cyclic music. This was rather foolish, since the cyclic courses are false against each other. There is however the advantage that these courses are therefore seldom rung to Bristol, and I think will sound even more special because of that.

This arrangement is the first I produced, and includes the two most spectacular cyclic courses - 8234567 and 3456782 (the latter rung in reverse). These are rung in quick succession, but in the middle of the second half of the peal, with the idea that not only is the ringing probably at its best there, but also that it is around this time when the band will be looking for something to really pick up the interest. The cyclic courses certainly give that.

The rest of the peal concentrates on 5678/8765 runs front and back, and little-bell music, like my Series 1 and Series 2 Bristol peals, however unlike the tenors-together arrangements there are rather more calls around the course end to make it all fit together and work properly. The other downside is that the cyclic courses chosen are false against the plain course, so we have only one lead of that.

But come on - you ring the plain course all the time, I suspect you have never heard 3456782 and 8234567 to Bristol Major! If you do try it, please let me know what you think.

5184 Bristol Surprise Major (no.1)

Composed by Mark B Davies

  234567  M  B  4/I  W  H
  42356                 -
  62345          x   -  -
  53246   -             -
  56342      -       -  -
  35264          x
  46253   -          -  -
  42563              -  2
  35426          x      -
  354762       sV/V
  546327       sF/I  -
  24536      -       -
  43265      -
  65432   2          -
  674523        V
  324657        F       -
  26354      -
  64352   -             2
  23456   -             -

  Cyclic courses 8234567 (forward)
             and 3456782 (reverse)
  64 5678/8765 front and back
  20 6578 back
  128 LB4
  40 LB5

This is the second of my Series 3 Bristol Major peals. As in the 5120 no.3, the idea is to ring the courses 3456782 and 8234567, with the sacrifice of the plain course at the altar of the Great Cyclic God. This peal uses 4/I to improve linkage and balance the front and back work a bit better - despite still being only 17 courses long, the tenors spend just as long on the front as in the 20-course peals.

Other differences from the 5120 include even more emphasis on little-bell music, and a wider separation of the cyclic courses. Overall I think this is an attractive arrangement - again, please let me know if you ring it.

5088 Bristol Surprise Major (no.5)

Composed by Mark B Davies

  234567  M  B  V  W  H
  35642      2        -
  42563      2
  26354   2  -
  43652   -           -
  43526      -        -
  24536            -
  43265      -
  65432   2        -
  32654      -     2
  34256   2           -
  53246            -
  62345   -           -
  647523  -  3  -     S
  574263  S        S  S
  234567        S  S

  Cyclic courses 6782345 and 4567823
     plus 3 leads of 8234567
  66 5678/8765 front and back
  12 6578 back
  126 LB4
  37 LB5

The final composition, for now, in my tenors-split Bristol Major Series 3. Unlike the 5120 no.3 and 5184 no.1 this peal concentrates on the 6782345 and 4567823 cyclic courses, with a bit of 8234567 thrown in too, as well as much more of the plain course (including back rounds). The calling SPS results in a transformation from one cyclic course to the next in just two leads, and it is this which is used here to chain these courses together, at the end of the peal, running into the plain course.

Although the cyclic music isn’t perhaps so extreme as in the two earlier compositions, it should still provide an exciting finish, and the rest of the composition is much truer to the original tenors-together plan. Here we have 19 courses, the usual low numbers of course-end calls, and inclusion of the ‘palindromic superefficient block’, which pulls in so many 5678/8765 runs as well as 65 and LB music.

All in all I like this one a lot - it hits the spot most elegantly. If you ring this plus one of the other Series 3 peals, you will have rung the 3456782, 4567823, 6782345 and 8234567 courses; put those together with the two tenors-together cyclic courses from a Series 1 or 2 peal - 2345678 and 7823456 - and there is only one missing: 5678234... which of course has a 7856 course end. Completionists should await Series 4!


MBD July 2010