Thinking allowed

Calling Bob Minor: a different composition

Thanks to Tim Rose’s web­site here is a com­pos­i­tion for a quarter of Bob Minor that looks to be rather easi­er to call than the one I con­sidered before. Tim does a pretty good job of describ­ing the com­pos­i­tion, but for the sake of com­plete­ness and to aid my own under­stand­ing I’ll put it all in my own words.

As in the pre­vi­ous com­pos­i­tion, this quarter con­sists of a 720 fol­lowed by a 540, mak­ing 1260 changes in total.

First we look at a plain course of Bob Minor. The lead ends (when the treble leads at back­stroke) look like this:

135264 (3 make 2nd’s, 5 3–4 up, 2 3–4 down, 6 5–6 up, 4 5–6 down)
156342 (5 make 2nd’s, 6 3–4 up, 3 3–4 down, 4 5–6 up, 2 5–6 down)
164523 (6 make 2nd’s, 4 3–4 up, 5 3–4 down, 2 5–6 up, 3 5–6 down)
142635 (4 make 2nd’s, 2 3–4 up, 6 3–4 down, 3 5–6 up, 5 5–6 down)
123456 (2 make 2nd’s, 3 3–4 up, 4 3–4 down, 5 5–6 up, 6 5–6 down)

This gives us 60 changes in a plain course, but if we call a bob just before it comes back to rounds the last row becomes
142356 bob (4 runs in, 2 runs out, 3 makes the bob, 5 dodges 5–6 up, 6 5–6 down)

If we do this three times, then the lead ends at each of the bobs are:

142356 bob
134256 bob
123456 bob

These bobs are each called when the ten­or is in the ‘home’ pos­i­tion, i.e. dodging 5–6 down. Now we have a touch of three courses or 180 changes.

We can extend each of these courses (each end­ing with the bob at ‘home’) by insert­ing some extra calls that don’t affect the course end. We can do this by adding in a dif­fer­ent fairly simple touch of four calls, that turns each 60 into a 240. Each call is made when the ten­or is dodging 5–6 up, i.e. at ‘wrong’. The four calls are bob, single, bob, single. The ten­or, dodging in 5–6 up at each call, is unaf­fected by any of them, and after these four calls the touch comes back to rounds.

We can write out the lead ends start­ing from rounds thus:

123564 bob ‘wrong’; 5 makes the bob
136245 plain: ten­or dodges 3–4 up
164352 plain: ten­or makes 2nd’s
145623 plain: ten­or dodges 3–4 down
152436 plain: ten­or dodges 5–6 down ‘home’

125364 single ‘wrong’; 5 makes the single

132564 bob ‘wrong’; 5 makes the bob

135264 single ‘wrong’; 5 makes the single

After 240 changes this comes back to rounds, but if a bob is called just before that, then it changes the last row to
142356 bob ‘home’; 5 and 6 unaffected

This is just what the simple touch (3 ‘home’s) did, and sim­il­arly, ringing this three times will then come back into rounds at 3 × 240 changes, i.e. after 720 changes so we have rung the first 720 of the quarter peal, an extent on 6 bells, or every pos­sible combination.

The lead ends after each 240 are:
142356 bob ‘home’
134256 bob ‘home’
123456 bob ‘home’ rounds
These are exactly the same course ends as we got with the simple “three homes” 180 touch.

We can con­tin­ue to ring this pat­tern a fur­ther two times and then we shall have rung anoth­er 480 changes, each end­ing like this:
142356 bob ‘home’
134256 bob ‘home’

That makes 720 + 480 changes, or 1200. We need anoth­er 60 changes to reach 1260 for the quarter peal, and we need to get back to rounds. And that’s exactly what our simple “three homes” touch does – its last course of 60 changes turns 134256 into 123456 with just one bob at the very end. See the lead ends for that simple touch at the start of this art­icle. So we ring the last 60 of that 180, omit­ting the bob-single-bob-single at ‘wrong’ that we used to extend the 60 into a 240.

The quarter peal becomes:
bob ‘wrong’, single ‘wrong’, bob ‘wrong’, single ‘wrong’, bob ‘home’ – repeat 5 times in total
bob ‘home’.

Or to spell it out in more detail:

bob, plain, plain, plain, plain;
single, plain, plain, plain, plain;
bob, plain, plain, plain, plain;
single, plain, plain, plain, bob;
repeat all the above 5 times in total, then fin­ish with
plain, plain, plain, plain, bob.

Sev­er­al oth­er fea­tures make this easy for the learn­ing band:

  • The ten­or rings plain courses through­out, unaf­fected by the calls which always occur when it is in 5–6 up or 5–6 down.
  • The 5 makes 3rd’s at every single; no oth­er bell needs to worry about mak­ing the single; this is very help­ful if not all the band are fully con­fid­ent about singles
  • The 5 also makes 4th’s at every bob at ‘wrong’, and dodges 5–6 up with the ten­or at every bob at ‘home’
  • Oth­er­wise the calls per­mute the 2, 3, and 4. In each 240 one of them will be unaf­fected, dodging 5–6 down with the ten­or at every call: in the first 240 this is the 4, in the second the 3 and in the third the 2. The fourth is the same as the first, so the 4 is unaf­fected, and the fifth is the same as the second, so the 3 is.
  • When there is a bob at ‘home’ at the end of each 240, it comes one lead earli­er than a bob or single would oth­er­wise have been called
  • And then the bob at ‘wrong’ is the very next lead.


Steve Cole­man dis­cusses this QP com­pos­i­tion (and the earli­er one) in his Bob Caller­’s Com­pan­ion (which along with his oth­er ringing books is avail­able here). He sug­gests the oth­er one is the sim­pler. He also makes a couple of inter­est­ing obser­va­tions. First is to call the 540 before rather than after the 720, and to call the 60 at the start of the 540 rather than at the end. The advant­age of this is that the 60 is a com­plete plain course, start­ing from rounds and just as it’s about to come back to rounds there’s a bob, and then the sequence of five 240s begins. So the vari­ation in the com­pos­i­tion is at the start – and if any­thing goes wrong you can start again, with a only a few minutes wasted. If this is done, then after that first bob it’s the 3 that is unaf­fected in the first 240, then the 2, then 4, 3, and 2 respect­ively. The com­pos­i­tion comes back to rounds with the bob at ‘home’ at the very end of the fifth 240.

Cole­man also notes that this block of W‑SW-W-SW‑H can be used for a QP of Bob Major. Instead of there being 240 changes in each part (12 changes in each lead, 4×5=20 leads in each part), in Major there are 448 (16 changes per lead, 4×7=28 leads per part), and so ringing it three times is 1344 changes, at which point it comes back to rounds without any­thing else needed and that will suf­fice for a QP. In Major, 6, 7 and 8 are all unaf­fected by all the bobs and singles, ringing plain courses through­out. The 5 front bells do all the same work as they do in Minor, with the addi­tion of hunt­ing to 8th place and back, and dodging 7–8 down and up.

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