On St. George’s Day April 23rd 2017

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Technical Terms

THE BELLS

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The Clapper A metal rod that strikes the bell
Down The safest resting position of the bell
Muffle Often made of rubber or leather and is wrapped around the clapper to make the sound quieter
Half Muffle Wrapped in such a way that allows some sound
Pull Off To start ringing the bell from a standing position
Sally The tufted handgrip of the bell rope
Tail End The end of the rope which is usually doubled back on itself
Void The room above the ringing room but below the bell chamber
Wheel A bell hung for a full-circle ringing is mounted on a Head stock which is turned by a wheel with a rope attached to it
Handstroke A pull on the rope that rotates the bell almost 360 degrees, and
Backstroke Returning it to its original position Treble Is the smallest bell
Tenor Is the lowest pitched bell which is invariably the heaviest

(Photo by kind permission of the Dean and Chapter of Hereford Cathedral)

THE RINGERS

The Band A group who ring a set of bells at any particular tower
Conductor The ringer calling the Bobs and Singles in a touch, quarter or peal
‘Go’ Is cried to start the ringing
‘That’s All’ Is cried to finish the ringing

THE MUSIC

Composition Is called a Method
Minimus A Method on 4 bells
Doubles A Method on 5 bells
Minor A Method on 6 bells
Triples A Method on 7 bells
Major A Method on 8 bells
Caters A Method on 9 bells
Royal A Method on 10 bells
Cinques A Method on 11 bells
Maximus A Method on 12 bells
A Peal A ring of approximately 5000 changes and takes 3 hours
A Quarter Peal About 1250 changes and takes about three quarters of an hour
A Change A ring of all the bells once – thus part of a Method
Bob A certain point in the Method
Extend To develop a Method for more bells so that, for example, A Plain Bob. Minor becomes a Plain Bob Major
Plain Course Is a sequence of change by ringing a Method without calling any Bobs or Singles
Rounds Ringing the bells in descending order of pitch
Handstroke & Backstroke Are the two parts of the cycle of movements a full circle bell makes

Names of some of these compositions or methods:

Grandsire Triples

St. George’s Day Surprise Major

Cambridge Surprise Major

Oxford Treble Bob Minor

Yorkshire S Maximus

St. George Delight Minor

St.George’s Doubles

Plain Bob Double

St.George Cathedral Surprise Minor

Stedman Caters

Dragon Doubles

Acknowledgement to John C G Sturdy