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Campanology

Campanology is a word used only by non-campanologists to describe this art. In the UK and British Commonwealth, where bells are hung for full-circle ringing in the English fashion, the art is referred to as bellringing by its aficiaonados, who refer to themselves as bellringers or more simply, ringers (not to be confused with bird ringers[?]).

A bell tower in which bellringing takes place will contain anything from three to twelve bells; towers with six or eight bells are most common. The bell highest in pitch is called the treble, and the bell lowest in pitch is called the tenor. For convenience, the bells are referred to with numbers, with the treble being number 1. (The bells are tuned to a Major scale, with the tenor bell being the key, or base, note of the scale.)

When bellringing, you need as many people as you have bells, with each person controlling one bell via a rope (which has fluffy coloured fabric over part of it, called the Sally). The rope goes through a hole in the ceiling into the chamber or room actually containing the bells. The bells are mounted on wooden wheels which this rope wraps around - hence, by pulling the rope, the ringer causes the bell to swing back and forwards through a 360 degree circle. (Ringing doesn't just involve pulling the rope - it also involves knowing when to let go of the rope as well - this is a very skilled art in which people can get injured!)

The simplest form of bellringing involves ringing Rounds, which means ringing the bells in the order 1, 2, 3, ... (i.e. in increasing number order all the way down to the tenor bell).

The main facet of English-style bellringing is "change-ringing", also known as "method ringing" and "scientific" among the various members of the bellringing community.

Change-ringing involves the permutation of the order of the bells on each stroke according to a certain algorithm, which can be expressed as a place notation (wherein the bells in the order which strike in the same position in the following sequence are listed and no others).



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