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Lookup Information About a Method

To lookup a method by name, type it, including its stage and, if known, class, into the following box; for example, "Cambridge Surprise Major". Then click "Search".   

To print information about a possibly unrung method based on its place notation select the stage below and type the place notation for one lead of the method into the box, then click "Display". For the most common case of methods with conventional symmetry and one change across the lead end you need only type the first half-lead, a comma, and the lead-end change. For example, the place notation for Cambridge Surprise Minor may be written x3x4x2x3x4x5,2.

More generally the comma operator is an unfolding operation for notating palindromes: the changes before the comma, save the last, are repeated in reverse order; and similarly those after the comma, the results of the two unfolding operations being concatenated. The place notation may contain at most one comma.

For stages above maximus the places in the place notation are denoted by 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D', 'F', 'G', 'H', 'J', 'K', 'L' for 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22, respectively. A cross may be denoted by 'x' or '-'. Leading or lying places may be omitted when they can be unambiguously deduced from context.

Two extensions to ordinary place notation may used to denote jump changes. Within changes may appear parenthesized pairs of places, indicating that the bell in the first place jumps to the second place. Thus the change (13)6 corresponds to the jump change 231546. As usual implied leading or lying places may be omitted, so that could also be written simply (13). However, just as with ordinary place notation, all internal places must be noted explicitly; for example, the change "(13)(31)" is illegal, and must be written (13)2(31). Using this notation the first half-lead of London Treble Jump Minor can be written 3x3.(24)x2x(35).4x4.3.

Jump changes may also be written by writing the full row between square brackets. So that same half-lead of London Treble Jump Minor could instead be notated 3x3[134265]x2x[214536]4x4.3. Or they can be mixed: 3x3[134265]x2x(35).4x4.3.

Care must be taken combining jump changes with the comma operator. Jump changes appearing in place notation being unfolded are inverted; this makes no difference with ordinary changes, which are always involutions, but it is important for jump changes that typically are not their own inverses. If the central change about which the unfolding operation takes place, that is the last change in a sequence of changes being unfolded, is not in involution an error is signalled. For example, a plain lead of London Treble Jump Minor can be notated as 3x3.(24)x2x(35).4x4.3,2 which is equivalent to 3x3.(24)x2x(35).4x4.3.4x4.(53)x2x(42).3x3.2.

This page can only describe methods structured as one or more leads, each a fixed sequence of (possibly jump) changes. More exotic methods, such as Dixon's, sadly cannot be looked up or described here.

In addition to all the methods recognized by the CCCBR at the time this site's database was last updated (typically weekly), it also contains a variety of methods not CCCBR recognized, or with names or classifications differing from those with the CCCBR's imprimatur. For example, it contains methods with jump changes and methods that the Council does not consider distinct from others, such as New Grandsire. This site sometimes attaches commonly-used names to methods in addition to those blessed by the Council. For example, what the Council calls Bastow Little Bob Doubles is in the database under that name, and also under St Helen's Doubles and Cloister Doubles. It also includes some methods that were disavowed by the Council because they were rung and named in a peal that did not meet the Council’s requirements at the time is was rung. For example, Brindle Bob Royal, which itself met the Council's requirements at the time it was rung in spliced, but the peal contained another method, then illegal but now perfectly acceptable even to the Council. While this database does extend what the Central Council's collection of methods provides, it is still not as complete and comprehensive as it could be, though I hope it is at least helpful.

For the benefit of those who care about such matters an attempt is made, when appropriate, to include for a named method a statement that that method or its name may not meet with CCCBR approval. That said, if you really do care about such matters for any questionable cases please consult with the CCCBR Methods Committee, in case this software gets something regarding their opinions mistaken. 

The data underlying this web page are derived from a variety of sources:

  • The largest portion comes from the CCCBR Methods Committee's collection maintained by that committee's behalf by Tony Smith. That collection is copyright by the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. The method definitions extracted from that collection have been modified: their place notation and other details have been reformatted, and they have been merged with method definitions from other sources.
  • The Central Council’s 1988 Collection of Plain Methods.
  • Steven Coleman’s The Method Ringer’s Companion, 1995.
  • Peter Hinton’s Palindromic Plain Doubles Methods.
  • The "provisionally named" methods from the supplementary method collections maintained by Tony Smith. That collection is copyright by Anthony P Smith.  The method definitions extracted from that collection have been modified: their place notation and other details have been reformatted, and they have been merged with method definitions from other sources.
  • Tradition and word of mouth.
Data from the CCCBR Methods Committee's collection are typically updated weekly; that from other sources infrequently.