• Simon Linford
    Discussion in the pub last week worthy of wider debate I think.
    If Stedman had not invented his eponymous principle, would its creation by someone else have been inevitable because it is such an obvious thing to do?
  • J Martin Rushton
    Probably. But without the publication of Tintinnalogia and Campanalogia would the art have developed so fast and so far?
  • John Harrison
    That's an interesting question. With many inventions you can answer the question by finding the same thing invented elsewhere, by other people. That won't work with Stedman because the ringing community is small and closed, so it seems unlikely that a ringer and band capable of compiling and inventing such a method would already know about Stedman, so could not re-invent it..
    More generally we could think about the likelihood of a method like Stedman being invented. If 'like' means a principle then there aren't many - a tiny handfull out of tens of thousands - and they are little more than curiousities. In the last 20 years BB has ~17.5k performances of Stedman, very distantly followed by ~800 Erin, ~50 Shipway and ~25 Duffield. Shipway is the closest in concept to Stedman, and given the dominance of 8-bell ringing one might expect it to be far more popular. But it isn't.
    So Stedman must have a USP, the most obvious being that it got there first, and that probably makes the original question unaswerable.
  • Graham John
    The answer is clearly yes, and the reason is the early focus on Doubles. In Tinntinnalogia, generating extents with plain changes is initially explored, but 'cross change peals' were considered more desirable. Even the stage name of Doubles tells us that maximising two pairs swapping was the aim. On 5 bells, cross changes (with a single place made) can only generate half the possible rows (60), and there are very few ways of doing this possible. The half hunt touch of Grandsire Doubles (bobbing alternate leads) is one, but if you want a principle so that all 5 bells do the same work, I think you only have Stedman, Carter and their reverses.
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