• Simon Ridley
    As a musician I spend a great deal of time listening, enjoying (or otherwise!) and analysing the performances of other, either by recording or attending a live performance. Listening to music, particularly that which intend to play yourself, is usually considered an essential component of preperation and personal devolpment. Indeed, a musician who never listened to music would be considered at best, quite odd and at worst, incompetent.

    Besides, don't we enjoy listening to top quality ringing or benefit from analysing our own?

    I have a pet theory that those who talk on the bench during practice are the least accurate strikers, but more seriously - why as ringers do we rarely take time to listen to others?

    So a question - why are peals, quarter peals and perhaps other general ringing not advertised in advance so we have the opportunity to go and listen, either locally or futher afield? Perhaps a Bellboard of the future might be able to list upcoming attempts of all sorts so we might be able to go and listen to others performing? So often I have seen a peal and thought "I wouldn't have minded listening to that"!

    Live performance is what we are all about - so why do we not advertise our upcoming performances either to the local public and other ringers? Ok, so we don't all want to sit in a freezing rural churchyard at 10am on a rainy Saturday. The 12 bell has overcome this with a live feed - perhaps bellboard could make a diary and live feed a thing?

    Listening to others l, particualrly those better than us, should be part of our devolpment as ringers. Why do we shy away from doing it?
  • Phillip George
    I agree, we always advertise our extra ringing to the village. This is usually quarter peals, but could be ringing meetings or training events. Good PR and we usually get some positive feedback.
  • Simon Linford
    At each College Youths monthly meeting, "Notice of peal attempts" is an agenda item, which I understand was so that members could go and listen to other performances. It doesn't have that function now, but shows that in days gone by there was appetite to sit in a freezing rural churchyard on a rainy Saturday and listen to someone else's ringing.
  • PeterScott
    I hadn't expected the addiction to ringing to extend to listening attentively to a six-hour peal: I was part of the umpiring team for this peal of 10640 Double Bob Major; Mike Platt as lead-umpire had committed to listen to the whole peal, while the rest of the team were to do a couple of hours each. Mine was the early stint, and it was fascinating. Obviously we had sight of the composition to follow, a ringing-chamber camera relay to watch as well as listen, and cups of tea arrived at regular intervals. So there were no biting-winds and we didn't have to hide in the port, even so the whole six hours were enthralling.

    Maybe more advertisements of performances would give us more followers. I have rung in a few quarter-peals (eg here) for specific events and have emerged from the ringing-chamber to applause and tea, and relief that it came-round. Also to the last hour of visiting bands' peals. Sadly without tea.

    Here's to those who listen :-)
  • John Harrison
    someone once told me that the difference between Devon call change ringers and the r st of us if that they often go and listen to other bands ringing. I don't know how true it is, but it was an interesting comment.
  • Gareth Davies
    I wonder how many young ringers would do this? Swaffham Prior in 1952. RW 22.11.1952
    "A young band of some 12 or more is being taught and most of them sat in the ringing room the whole time of a recent peal. We hope they learned some-thing and that Swaffham Prior may become a bright spot in a somewhat barren district."
  • Rosalind Martin
    Hear Hear. Good ringing is an inspiration to listen to.
  • John de Overa
    There's clearly benefit to be had from listening to good ringing, principally being able to hear what good striking sounds like, to be able to track where bells are etc, but I think the comparison with "traditional" music, which has intonation, phrasing, volume etc, is an overreach.

    As for Tales From The 50s, my takeaway is it shows how badly learners were treated then - they'd all have got a lot more out of the 3+ hours by being on a rope rather than sat on a bench.
  • Simon Meyer
    All ASCY peals for which notice is given at a meeting are posted on our website here > https://www.ascy.org.uk/peals/
  • Dave Towell
    It has always struck me as rather odd that we largely keep our plans for peals and quarter peals to ourselves and sneak quietly into the ringing room.
    And then go and make a lot of noise for 3 hours or so!
    A bit of advanced notice locally would seem logical, a) to alert the locals to the duration (more information usually leads to less complaints), b) that some might listen to the quality of the ringing and c) to advertise the strength of the local band in the community - and thus act as subliminal recruitment.
    As Simon Ridley's original post states, a well struck piece of ringing, of whatever length is a significant musical performance, worthy of a listening to, whether for 5 minutes or 3 hours.
  • PeterScott
    ...rather odd that we largely keep our plans for peals and quarter peals to ourselves...Dave Towell
    • You plan and dedicate your evening to listening to an orchestral performance
    • They play for twenty minutes, and that's the percussionist's big moment ...
    • ... when they miss their cue
    • The conductor waves the baton, the playing stops, the conductor turns and bows ...
    • ... and they all go to the pub, promising to do better next week
  • Simon Chadwick
    John de Overa, just because change ringing music is different from classical music doesn't mean it isn't music, or interesting to listen to. There's plenty of other music in the world that is almost as minimalist and opaque as change ringing, and which has enthusiastic followers who listen to extended performances where to a non-connoisseur nothing seems to happen.

    It is also normal in non-classical musics for people to drift in and out of the performance listening to the bits they want to and then going off to chat or do something else. Sitting in an auditorium for the duration of the performance is not the only way to enjoy listening.

    So yes I think we are missing a trick by not promoting our formal performances as actual performances for people to listen to.
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