Group name - Hull Handbell Change Ringers


Introduction **



Coursing Order



  Leadership - Conducting

Choosing a composition

Making a good choice has many factors including how much experience you have as a conductor, where the strengths and weaknesses lie in the band, maybe how important it is for the touch / quarter peal / date touch / peal is successful.

None of the factors have any significance until you can understand the composition you are looking at:

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


Understanding a Composition

Start with the simplest compositions of Plain Bob Minor: e.g., Single Home, Single Home, or 3 x Bob Home.

Compositions are published in a tabular layout form: Observation bell calling positions plus a row by row statement of the calls made, together with (by tradition) the resultant course end rows.

Get yourself a big sheet of paper and write out the calls and the changes of coursing order.

Analyse the composition from the viewpoint of the conductor's pair of bells.
Then from the impact on another pair, try to find how the composition gets back to the natural coursing order.

Do the same exercise with another touch of Plain Bob Minor: 3 bobs wrong. When would you choose to call 3 bobs wrong rather than three bobs home?


Choosing a Composition

If there is one critical factor for choosing a composition then that factor needs to influence the choice accordingly. If you have a blend of factors, the choice may well come down to the conductor's personal preferences.

Here are some Plain Bob MInor examples to think about, together with a possible choice.

Factor: You have never called anything in your life before.
Response: Choose an easy compsition such as 3 Bobs Home, ring a pair that are not affected by the calls, make sure you spot treble in 2nds at bacckstroke in the lead where the call is made.< br />

Factor: You have a band member that can ring plain courses on 3-4 and 5-6.
Response: Talk to them to ensure they have a strategy for moving from one pattern to another pattern when you make a call. Choose a calling that takes 3-4 into a different part of 3-4 and then into coursing, and finally back into 3-4. e.g. Bobs: W, H, W, H

Factor: Short touches are going well, need to increase length:
Response: Build on a standard calling (Whilst continuing to ring a "fixed" pair like 5-6. e,g, Bobs W, H, W, repeat twice for a 3-part.

Factor: 3 strong ringers plus you never having called a quarter of Major
Response: Grab 7-8 and call a simple 1,344

Factor: 2 strong ringers plus you never having called a quarter of Major
Response: Put the weakest ringer on 7-8, and grab 5-6, and call a composition that keeps 5-6 either coursing or in the home position.

Factor: You want to call a 720 of Bob Minor:
Response: If you are a novice handbell conductor, here is a good place to start:
720 Plain Bob Minor.
Choose to ring 5-6.
Call Bob, Single, Bob, Single at Wrong, then Bob at Home.
Repeat twice.

The above calling has the following advantages:

  • It has a two course simple repeating pattern for 5-6, after the first call 5-6 ring 3-4 pattern until the single when they return to coursing.
  • The composition only has 15 calls (nearly the absolute minimum).
  • The coursing order changes are easy to follow.
  • The composition can be shortened to 540 by the omission of one block of 4 calls at Wrong.
  • Bell No 5 is the only bell to make 3rds at a single.
  • The half way change is 124356

The work for bell number 5 is integrated with the composition as:
4ths at the bob, thirds at the single, repeated 5 times.