Group name - Hull Handbell Change Ringers

Page Index




Once a ringer has mastered Plain Courses, there is a natural inclination to ring touches, longer touches, extents and even full peals. These activities need a conductor, and a conductor needs compositions. These pages provide compositions for the methods covered by this website.

We have also looked at compositions from the viewpoint of a struggling learner, and analysed them for challenges and learning content. Even if you have no ambition to become a conductor, understanding conducting and compositions is a valuable extension to a bellringer’s knowledge.

To get the maximum benefit from this page, a ringer needs to be comfortable with the concepts (follow the links to browse the glossary of terms).

Site Sections:

Method types

The scope of the methods covered on this site is essentially restricted to regular methods. The local meaning of "regular" is defined in the glossary.

For our purpose, methods that have the same leadhead codes have the same compositions. A good example of this is St Clements College Bob Minor and Double Oxford Bob Minor. Because they both have Lead Head Code f, 142635, any composition for St Clements College Bob will work for Double Oxford Bob and vice versa.

Note that in some circumstances compositions will work for a set of methods containing more than one Lead Head Code. We have not documented generic compositions as such, favouring clarity of exposition over purity of analysis. So, for example, composition for Plain Bob (Lead head a) that will also work for Double Bob (Lead head b) are documented separately for each method.

Methods with 2nds place lead ends need to be approached differently from those with 6ths or 8ths place. So whilst the Lead End Change Row might be identical, the observation bells work differently, and hence the compositions are laid out differently, and hence the challenges for the conductor are different.

Plain Minor:

Method LE Group LH
Plain Bob 12 a 135264
Double Bob 12 b 156342
Single Oxford Bob 12 b 156342
Little Bob 12 e 164523
St Clement's 12 f 142635
Double Oxford Bob 12 f 142635
Reverse Bob 16 g 135264
Single Court Bob 16 g 135264
Double Court Bob 16 h 156342
Plain Group L 16 l 164523
Bastow Little Bob 16 m 142635
Kent Little Bob 16 m 142635

Treble Bob, Delight, & Surprise Minor::

Compositions to follow

Plain Major:

Method LE Group LH
Plain Bob (to follow) 12 a 13527486

Treble Bob, Delight, & Surprise Major:

Methods to follow

Composition Layout

There is no agreed standard way of writing down a composition, so we have opted for maximum clarity as opposed to maximum economy of space.

For example:

11: 1264 Plain Bob Major

1264 Plain Bob Major - Complib layout

23456 W    M    B H

43256     -S
34265 - --S    - S-
23456 - --S    - -

11: 1264 Plain Bob Major

1264 Plain Bob Major - Local layout

W V F B I M H 23456 53246 Rows

BS 43256 53426 224
B BBS 24536 34256 336
1 SB 34265 64325 240
B BBS 23654 43265 336
1 B 23456 53246 128

Total 1264

Abel Composition Code

H SH W 6 6 S6 3 SH H W 6 6 S6 3 H

After the first Bob Home, 3-4 are coursing until the end of the quarter peal.

See Complib 10500 for an analysis.


Different people learning the art and science of handbell changeringing progress at different speeds; natural ability and availability of opportunities both play a part. Sometimes people hit a brick wall and can't seem to get the feel for touches in a method, and need extensive practise. Being able to make progress in this circumstance can be helped along by ringing a wide variety of touches, and of a progressively harder nature. The following progressions were created with that purpose in mind.

Plain Minor:

Method LE Group LH
Plain Bob 12 a 135264
Double Bob 12 b 156342
Single Oxford Bob 12 b 156342