Group name - Hull Handbell Change Ringers

Method Ringing

Introduction **

Getting Started









  Method Ringing - Introduction

Double Handed Change Ringing

- Where mathematics and music converge.

Method Ringing

Methods are at the heart of Change Ringing both in the tower and on handbells, and this section is the beating heart of this website

We take you, gently to begin with, through the basic concepts and dimensions of handbell change ringing to the bedrock method, Plain Bob.

Beyond Plain Bob we analyse the range of skills that are employed by an experienced ringer and look at how to apply those skills to a variety of methods.

Beyond a review of the differing depths to which any one method might be learned, we look at how methods in general can become progressively more challenging.

And lastly what tools and techniques can be used to develop and hone the use of the skills.

Site Sections:

A set of 12 handbells

A set of 12 handbells
Method Ringing

A set of 12 handbells

A set of 12 handbells

A set of 12 handbells

A set of 12 handbells
Hull Project

A set of 12 handbells

Making Music

Making Music

Question: Why ring changes rather than play conventional music?

The physical limits of towerbells which turn a full circle, and which can weigh many hundreds of kilograms (although bellringers still work in hundredweights, quarters and pounds) preclude swift repetition of notes, therefore conventional music is impossible. Once some control had been gained over the periodicity of a towerbell, ringing sequences and changing those sequences followed. Handbell change ringers choose to work within the rules applying to towerbells.

Turning the abstract pattern into mathematical music has 4 key components:

The essential components of bellringing

Diagram: 01.01.02 The knowledge and skill categories of bellringing.

As a bellringer's skill increases, so the related theory becomes more complex, and the related techniques and skills become more extensive. Documenting these aspects of handbell change-ringing is the primary purpose of this website.

Question: How do you learn?

The information on this site is presented as a logical progression. Small steps, thorough understanding, and concerted practise in a team environment ensure progress in line with the natural talents of the learner.

Key Qualities

Question: What are the key qualities of a good learner?

  • An acute sense of rhythm
  • Motivation to succeed in spite of difficulties
  • Ability to listen in detail
  • Ability to absorb instructions and take action

As with any specialist activity there is much jargon. Our "jargon buster" is a glossary of terms, do browse the Glossary of Terms.

First Steps

First steps in Handbell Ringing

The handbell has a clapper which is held away from the bell to avoid damping the sound, but to make the sound the clapper has to be thrown against the side of the bell. So each upward and then downward movement of the bell is terminated crisply rather than gently. Each learner needs to achieve this and then fit in to a team ringing rounds and then rounds and call changes.

Once the learner is comfortable ringing rounds and call changes, the spacings for Plain Hunting need to be learned and then practised. See Plain Hunting.

These two steps are (Call changes and Plain Hunting) the first example of the model in diagram 01.01.02.

  • The structure of Plain Hunting is the theory
  • The spacings of the pairs is the memory technique
  • Counting the bells is the execution technique
  • Practise takes place with a tutor in a team environment
  • The output is the fluid (but abstract) music of Plain Hunting