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About Bell Ringing

Campanology is the art of bell ringing, but in the United Kingdom, a mathematical and more systematic form of campanology has developed over the centuries, this is known as Change Ringing. For more information on Change Ringing, please read on.

Material from the Central Council of Church Bellringers.

What is Change Ringing?

Change ringing is an English tradition which consists of ringing bells so that the order in which they sound is systematically changed.

How is it Done?

The bells are tuned to a normal (diatonic) scale and it is usual to start with ringing down the scale, a sequence which ringers call "rounds". The order in which the bells sound is then altered to give different sequences called "rows" or "changes".

Changes may be called out individually by the conductor, and this style is known as call-change ringing. Alternatively, the changes may be made to a pre-set pattern or "method", and each ringer must learn that method in order to know when his or her particular bell must sound in each row. This style is known as method ringing.

Call changes and a few standard methods are rung in most towers and this makes it very easy for ringers to visit and ring with other bands. There are many more advanced methods which provide a continuing challenge as ringers gain proficiency over time.

Change ringing is also performed on handbells either to provide additional opportunities for practice or as an activity in its own right. It is, of course, popular with groups of ringers who live far from towers with change-ringing bells.


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