Call Changes

Teaching & Learning Aids - CALL CHANGES
Ian Barton

Once you are able to ring rounds with some consistency, the next step to ringing proficiency is to be able to ring call changes. Here the conductor or caller calls changes that have the effect of varying the order in which the bells are rung.

A called change swaps over a single pair of adjacent bells in the sequence. Thus if you start from rounds, pairs of bells that may be swapped are 1 and 2, 2 and 3, 3 and 4, 4 and 5, and 5 and 6. You cannot swap over 2 and 4 from rounds, because they are not adjacent. If for example 2 and 3 are swapped, the sequence changes from:

123456 to 132456

There are two conventions used in calling changes, but the one we shall use in the tower is termed "calling up". In this convention, the bell that is first of the pair to be swapped is called over the bell that it is to swap with. Thus if you start from rounds, and wish to swap over bells 2 and 3, the call is:

2 to 3

This means that bell number 2 must follow bell number 3. Thus for bell 2, the call is very straightforward; it must now follow bell 3. Bell 2 is now in the third position, even though it is still bell number 2. In order to get into the third position it must ring a little more slowly for one stroke.

For bell 3, it is a little more complicated. Prior to the call, it was following bell 2. When the call 2 TO 3 is made, bell number 3 can no longer follow bell number 2 because bell 2 has been told to follow bell 3. Therefore bell 3 must follow the bell that bell 2 was following before the change was called; that is, bell number 1. Bell three has now moved in the second place, and to do this, it will have had to ring a little faster for one stroke.

There are also complications for bell 4, which prior to the call was following bell 3. When the change is called, bell 2 will be following bell 3, and so bell 4 knows it cannot also be following bell 3, but instead must follow bell 2. In other words, the two bells before bell 4 have swapped places. Bell 4 has not changed position in the sequence; it is still ringing in the fourth place in the sequence, and its speed of ringing should not have changed at all.

Thus in order to be able to cope with any change that is called, a ringer should be aware not only of which bell he or she is following, but also the bell that is two positions in front of him. Thus bell 3 knows that it is following bell 2 which is following bell 1. A call change of 2 TO 3 means that bell three must follow whichever bell number 2 was following, that is bell 1.

Changes are called when the treble bell is at hand stroke, and the change should be applied at the next hand stroke. Thus you will have a few seconds to think about it, but that is all.

See if you can follow this set of changes:

Starting position 123456
Change called 2 to 3 produces 132456
Change called 4 to 5 produces 132546
Change called 2 to 5 produces 135246

These are the basic rules for ringing call changes. Overleaf is further information that may be of interest once you have mastered the basics of call changes.

Keeping track of the two bells in front of you. Imagine that you are ringing bell 5, and the following set of changes are called:

Starting position 123456
Change called 3 to 4 produces 124356
Change called 2 to 4 produces 142356
Change called 3 to 5 produces 142536

When the first change is called, it ought to be clear to bell 5 that bells 3 and 4 have swapped over and that bell 5 should be following bell 3. When the second change is called, bell 5 is still following bell 3, but it should not be lulled into a sense of false security. That second call should alert bell 5 to the fact that although it is not directly affected by this call, it has affected the bell two positions in front of it; that is, bell 3 is now following bell 2 and is no longer following bell 4. If bell 5 has not been concentrating during this second call, it is likely to end up following the wrong bell when the third call happens.

You ought to be able to keep track of who you are following, but if you lose track of who is ringing two positions ahead of you, try looking at the ropes to see the order in which the bells are being rung. If you can do this, you have made the first step in what is called ropesight.

Being called into the lead. Imagine that you ringing bell 2, and the conductor wishes to swap you over with the treble bell. You will then be leading. The call could be 1 TO 2. However, an equally valid call would be 2 LEAD.

Starting position 123456
Change called 1 to 2 or 2 Lead produces 213456

The call 2 LEAD tells bell 2 that it has to lead, it tells bell 1 that was leading to follow bell 2; and it tells bell 3 that the two bells under it have swapped over and that bell 3 should follow bell 1 and not bell 2 any more.

Multiple call changes.

A conductor may try to stop early stage learners going wrong by making multiple calls, but it is important to recognise that it is still only a single pair of adjacent bells that are being swapped over, as in the following sequence:

Starting position 123456
Call 2 to 3
(3 to 1 and/or 4 to 2)
produces 132456
Call 4 to 5
(6 to 4 and/or 5 to 2)
produces 132546
Call 2 to 5
(5 to 3 and/or 4 to 2)
produces 135246

The calling down convention. In case you visit a tower where the other calling convention is used, you need to be aware of it. Consider the following changes under each of the two conventions.

Starting position Calling up Calling down
Change 132456 achieved
by
calling
2 to 3 3 to 1
Change 132546 4 to 5 5 to 2
Change 135246 2 to 5 5 to 3

In each convention, you need to keep track of the two bells in front of you. See if you can work out the rules for each of the bells affected using the calling down convention.


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ĉ
Janet Garnett,
Apr 10, 2013, 9:42 AM
Ċ
Janet Garnett,
Apr 10, 2013, 9:42 AM