Author Topic: So, it looks like I'm in a band  (Read 6962 times)

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Offline Majik

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2018, 08:21:42 am »
Intriguing ................ can't wait for the soundtrack  ;)
By the way: I forgot to mention that I'm not playing the guitar in this band.

Cheers,

Keith

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Online tobyjenner

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2018, 04:10:00 pm »
By the way: I forgot to mention that I'm not playing the guitar in this band.

Cheers,

Keith

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Ahhh that make's it more intriguing Keith. Assume we're gonna have to wait for all to be revealed  8)
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Offline Majik

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2018, 09:37:28 pm »
The special event is tomorrow, and I've been with the band practicing this morning.

So I think it's time to reveal what I've been up to...





As you can see, it's not what most of you thought and I have to admit my original post was misleading (deliberately so). So, here's the brief explanation:

There's a special event coming up next month

The special event is the Armistice Centenary. For anyone who doesn't know, 100 years ago tomorrow (11th Nov 2018) is 100 years since the end of the First World War. There are many special events being held across the UK and Europe. One of these is a plan to ring in the bell towers across Europe:

From http://www.centenarynews.com/article/armistice-centenary-events---uk

"As part of the day’s commemorations, Britain and Germany are joining in a call for bells of all kinds to be rung globally (at 12.30hrs GMT/13.30hrs CET/12.30 local time) to replicate the outpouring of relief when the guns fell silent."

Quote
and they were looking for local bands to perform at various venues in the area. I was asked if I fancied being involved and said yes.

There is a general shortage of skilled bellringers. There has been a national campaign to recruit new ringers for the occasion: https://www.big-ideas.org/project/ringing-remembers/ which I joined up to, and for the last couple of months I have been training twice a week on safe bell handling and ringing technique.

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So, now I'm in a band.

Groups of people who ring bells together are called "a band" so this is entirely true, even if it's not what you thought when I said "a band".

Our band performs at the local church bell tower.

Quote
We've already been practicing for about 6 weeks and things seem to be going in the right direction. It's a big challenge, but I'm enjoying it a lot and we have already agreed to do another performance at Christmas.

It's now 10 weeks in and we have become competent to ring unsupervised, and are now ringing "rounds" and are ready for tomorrow where we will be ringing "half-muffled" rounds to remember the fallen in the morning, and open bells after lunch to celebrate the outbreak of peace 100 years ago.

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But in this band we are going to be rocking some heavy metal.

Cheeky, I know. Of course the "heavy metal" we are rocking is the bell itself, a big chunk of bronze weighing (in our tower) up to 3/4 tonne. In other bell towers the largest bells can easily exceed 1 tonne.

And as this is English "full circle" bellringing (the hardcore kind) we will not only be rocking them, but swinging them 360 degrees vertically.

Quote
And I'm enjoying the post-practice pint at the pub over the road too!

Bellringing is thirsty work. It's noteworthy that the pub is owned and administered by the church!

As for the weird and creepy video, that was a slight dramatisation of my twice-weekly evening journey to ringing practice.

The church I ring at is in a rural location with no street lights or pavements. To get to the bell tower we have to walk down unlit country lanes, through the graveyard and then wait around in the dark amongst the gravestones until the "Tower Captain" arrives and lets us in. I thought it would make a nice spooky video to confuse you all.

So not really rock'n'roll, but I'll hope you forgive me for my playful deception.

I will explain more about the campaign and the style of bellringing in general for those who are interested in forthcoming posts on this thread.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline Majik

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2018, 09:50:38 pm »
Ringing Remembers

This is a Government backed campaign to recruit bell ringers for the Armistice Centenary.

During WWI, a great many of the young men across the country went off to war. This included a lot of bell-ringers. 1400 of those ringers died on the battlefield or shortly after by wounds inflicted in battle.

The campaign aimed to recruit at least 1400 ringers to ring bells on the 11th Nov 2018 to commemorate the lives of those ringers who were killed, as well as the millions of others who died in that war.

During the war, bellringing was not allowed and the bell towers fell silent across the country. When peace broke out, one of the biggest symbols and memories of that day were that all of the bell towers across the country started ringing out in an outpouring of relief and hope.

Bell ringing has become a dying art and, these days, there are simply not enough regular ringers to ring at many of the bell towers in the country. At our own church, for instance, there hasn't been a regular band for a few years. There is a small and dedicated group of ringers who will travel to the local churches to ring for special occasions, such as at my daughter's wedding earlier this year.

But there aren't enough of them to ring at all of the bell towers in the area at the same time, and most other parts of the country have similar shortages. Part of the campaign was to try to get enough new ringers to fill as many bell towers as possible, to try to give a true flavour of that momentous event 100 years ago.

More information on this campaign can be found at https://www.big-ideas.org/project/ringing-remembers/

The campaign, by the way, has been a success with over 2,600 new ringers who will be joining existing bands to ring out tomorrow.

We will be ring specifically to remember the sacrifice of two young men from our small village who died in the war, who used to ring in our bell tower, as well as dozens of others from the area who also perished.

It is a solemn occasion, but one which also celebrates peace and hope.

Keith
« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 02:19:13 pm by Majik »

Offline close2u

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2018, 09:53:37 pm »
You great big campanologist!

Offline Majik

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #30 on: November 10, 2018, 09:55:28 pm »
You great big campanologist!

Actually, I'm not. that's a common mistake. A campanologist is someone who studies/researches bells and the traditions of ringing.

Someone who rings them, is simply a bell ringer.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline batwoman

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #31 on: November 10, 2018, 10:34:03 pm »
Keith this is wonderful and your atmospheric build up has been too. You still need to wear clean undies though.
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Offline Majik

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #32 on: November 10, 2018, 10:40:35 pm »
A little bit of information on the art of bell ringing

(Bear in mind, I am far from an expert on this as I've only been doing it for a couple of months).

This is based on the "English" style of bell ringing which is fairly unique in the world.

Firstly, you might think bell ringing is a religious thing, but it really isn't.

At least 3 of our band are atheists. In fact it has been suggested that one of the attractions of bell ringing was for less religiously minded people in the past when attending church was "the done thing" aws it gave a way for these people to avoid having to attend church services.

Bell ringing has strong relationship with the church, but that relationship tends to be functional/utilitarian rather than spiritual.

If there were bell towers attached to, say, libraries, or coffee shops, bell ringers would ring there.

It is believed the English style of bell ringing evolved in the 16th and 17th centuries, with some suggesting the art was developed largely at Universities, such as Cambridge, where bored students (they didn't have the Internet in those days) would challenge each other to do more and more daring and reckless things.

From that English bell ringing evolved which a lot of people consider to almost be a sport.

The English style ringing is different from most other bellringing in which the bell is either rocked or struck with a hammer. In English bell ringing, the bell is strapped to a wheel and rotated so that it is completed inverted in each direction. This is done by coordinated pulling on a rope hung below the bell, as can be seen in my video.

This style of ringing facilities far greater control of the bell than simply swinging it back and forth , and facilitates a practice known as "change ringing", which is a competitive art based on memory, team coordination, and mathematical patterns.

it is also very dangerous, so it is vitally important that new ringers are carefully instructed in safe bell handling and supervised until they are competent.

Consider that, at the end of your rope, you have a chunk of swinging metal weighing 1/4 tonne (for the smallest bells) upwards. The weight of the bell can pull the rope upward at up to 90km/hr. If you get yourself caught in it or don't let go at the right time, you will be dragged up with the rope and nothing is going to stop that.

Serious injuries can, and do, occur:
As an example: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/bellringer-injured-abingdon-oxfordshire-church-st-helens-steven-tomsett-a8621381.html

So, what about the bells themselves. Can we play tunes on them? Well, bells are most commonly tuned in the major scale, so would think so.

Unfortunately, the weight and swinging action of the bells means that only limited control is available, but that's part of the challenge that bell ringers love. Rather than ringing tunes, bell ringers ring patterns.

The simplest pattern is a "round" where all the bells are rung in order, starting at the highest pitched, "the treble". This is what I've been learning for the last few practice sessions. Just controlling your bell enough so that you can ring it at the right time is very challenging. one of the main techniques is to ring the bell up to the balance point (with the mouth of the bell pointing straight up) and that allows you to hold the bell for a few moments until the right time. If you watch the video, I am doing this following the lady to my right.

Once you have perfected this, you can go onto "change ringing", where you start with a simple round, and then pairs of bells swap places with each other in the pattern. The aim with change ringing is to ring continuous patterns with different bells changing position with each other, so that you never repeat any pattern.

Most people have heard of a "peal" of bells, but probably don't know what it is. It's actually a continuous sequence of over 5,040 unique patterns. It takes around 3 hours to ring a full peal, and it is usually done from memory!

More common are quarter-peals which are, as you would expect, 1/4 of the length of time, and "only" take around 45 minutes to ring.

So that's a brief overview of the art of English bell ringing.

Oh and, one final question a lot of people ask: why is it called "English" bellringing?

It's because something like 90% of the bell towers in the world with bells hung in this way are in England. Even with many ancient bell towers falling into disuse or disrepair, or simply being deemed too dangerous to use, there are well over 5,000 working bell towers in England. There are 227 in Wales and only 23 in Scotland.

There are more working bell towers in my local county (80) than there are in the whole of the USA (48). This is largely because of its roots in English universities and their local Anglican churches.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline Majik

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #33 on: November 10, 2018, 10:42:36 pm »
Keith this is wonderful and your atmospheric build up has been too. You still need to wear clean undies though.

Thanks Batwoman.

By the way, we do not have bats in our belfry, although we had a nest of ladybirds (ladybugs) up there in early autumn which made muffling one of the bells a bit unpleasant.

Oh, and whilst learning, I had a few moments where a needed clean undies, so that's good advice!

Cheers,

Keith

Offline Majik

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #34 on: November 10, 2018, 10:47:31 pm »
Oh, and a quick bit about our local bell tower.

We have 8 bells, which is a nice number, ranging from about 4.5 cwt (about 229 kg) up to 14.25 cwt (about 731 kg).

The largest bell was cast in 1639, with the "5" bell cast in 1613.

The wooden ladder we climb into the belfry has 1626 carved into it.

Cheers,

Keith

Offline brianlarsen

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #35 on: November 10, 2018, 11:25:14 pm »
Ringing RemembersBell ringing has become a dying art and, these days, there are simply not enough regular ringers to ring at many of the bell towers in the country. At our own church, for instance, there hasn't been a regular band for a few years. There is a small and dedicated group of ringers who will travel to the local churches to ring for special occasions, such as at my daughter's wedding earlier this year



Never thought of myself as being in a heavy metal band!






« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 09:08:28 am by brianlarsen »

Offline CT

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #36 on: November 11, 2018, 12:06:36 am »


Offline batwoman

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #37 on: November 11, 2018, 03:29:28 am »
Thanks Batwoman.

By the way, we do not have bats in our belfry, although we had a nest of ladybirds (ladybugs) up there in early autumn which made muffling one of the bells a bit unpleasant.

Oh, and whilst learning, I had a few moments where a needed clean undies, so that's good advice!

Cheers,

Keith

Ha ha. This is a fascinating thread Keith. I wonder if we'll hear any of your rockin' and rollin' on your next recording?
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Offline DavidP

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #38 on: November 11, 2018, 05:19:26 am »
Keith,

Thanks for all the fun and intrigue upfront followed by the fascinating information about bell ringing ... sounded just like a budding campanologist as you were explaining all that  ;) ... capped with the video, which sounded fabulous.

Wish you the best for the ceremony. 

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #39 on: November 11, 2018, 08:14:33 am »
Keith

You little tinker. Thank you for stringing us a long but its not only a wonderful ruse but a great thing to be doing. I'll be thinking of you this morning.

Cheers

Toby
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Offline close2u

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #40 on: November 11, 2018, 08:34:23 am »
Actually, I'm not. that's a common mistake. A campanologist is someone who studies/researches bells and the traditions of ringing.

Someone who rings them, is simply a bell ringer.

Cheers,

Keith

Ah … thanks for clarifying.

Have fun today.
:)

Offline Joerfe

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #41 on: November 11, 2018, 12:50:44 pm »
Sorry! Couldn't resist
https://youtu.be/URAqnM1PP5E
/Jesper

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Offline Fox Cunning

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #42 on: November 11, 2018, 01:09:13 pm »
Ok, that sure is heavy, and metal ;D
Well played, Sir 8)

Offline DavidP

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #43 on: November 11, 2018, 01:51:25 pm »
Sorry! Couldn't resist
https://youtu.be/URAqnM1PP5E

Apology accepted  ;D  Now fight the urges ....

Offline Majik

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #44 on: November 11, 2018, 10:59:00 pm »
Never thought of myself as being in a heavy metal band!





Ah, nice, another ringer, and a far more experienced one than myself. I'm sure you can correct some of the errors I've made in my descriptions (and I'm fine with that if you do).

My daughter and her husband live in New Brighton, out of interest.

I have some photos and videos from today if anyone is interested in seeing the churchyard in less spooky circumstances than in my video.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/8Wxwt4R1crvG2aLa9

Cheers,

Keith

Offline close2u

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #45 on: November 11, 2018, 11:33:06 pm »
You've regaled us with a great story and some wonderful background Keith - and volunteered for something most worthy.
Good vibes.

Offline brianlarsen

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #46 on: November 12, 2018, 11:35:43 am »
Ah, nice, another ringer, and a far more experienced one than myself. I'm sure you can correct some of the errors I've made in my descriptions (and I'm fine with that if you do).

I'd see myself as the equivalent of having finished the Beginners Course in bell-ringing  ;)
You gave a pretty decent account of it and I didn't notice any mistakes.
 
I like the 'inclusivity' of it- everybody- including visitors- always welcome.
Our tower caters for pre-teens to octogenarians; three nationalities; absolute beginners to life-long ringers, including a blind ringer and her guide dog  :)

Did you see my June entry, Beelzebub's Bells, in the monthly competition section?
As you're a ringer, you might be interested in the lyrics (on the youtube page)
Feel free to turn them into a 'proper song' and share with your tower (and me!)

https://youtu.be/YKJwBX_zRh8

Ring on!
Brian

Ps That's my son, Tor, beside me. He's been learning bass, but after watching Bohemian Rhapsody, he's now switching to electric guitar  8)

Offline DavidP

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #47 on: November 12, 2018, 02:46:11 pm »
I have some photos and videos from today if anyone is interested in seeing the churchyard in less spooky circumstances than in my video.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/8Wxwt4R1crvG2aLa9

Cheers,

Keith

Good vibes, Keith, and thanks for the pictures

Offline Majik

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #48 on: November 12, 2018, 03:07:53 pm »
I'd see myself as the equivalent of having finished the Beginners Course in bell-ringing  ;)
You gave a pretty decent account of it and I didn't notice any mistakes.
 
I like the 'inclusivity' of it- everybody- including visitors- always welcome.
Our tower caters for pre-teens to octogenarians; three nationalities; absolute beginners to life-long ringers, including a blind ringer and her guide dog  :)

Did you see my June entry, Beelzebub's Bells, in the monthly competition section?
As you're a ringer, you might be interested in the lyrics (on the youtube page)
Feel free to turn them into a 'proper song' and share with your tower (and me!)

https://youtu.be/YKJwBX_zRh8

Ring on!
Brian

Ps That's my son, Tor, beside me. He's been learning bass, but after watching Bohemian Rhapsody, he's now switching to electric guitar  8)
@Brian Ah yes. I forgot about that song and video. When I first watched it, I had no idea that ringing was in my future. Good stuff.

At some point, I'll start to learn what things like "Plain Bob" and "Steadman" entail.

I'm still learning to do basic rounds reliably at the moment (which, just like guitar, is about practice) and have only briefly tried some very basic changes.

Full change ringing and methods are a little way in my future. At the moment, just watching and trying to follow experienced ringers doing simple call changes messes with my head a bit. I understand the concept, but the practice isn't so easy.

@DavidP thank you very much. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I'm not going to post that more about the subject now, as this is a guitar forum and I'm sure people have had enough of this little diversion for the time being.

Cheers,

Keith

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« Last Edit: November 12, 2018, 04:33:10 pm by Majik »

Offline Majik

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Re: So, it looks like I'm in a band
« Reply #49 on: February 15, 2019, 09:58:40 pm »
Just a quick update. This probably won't mean much to anyone except Brian, but I rang my first Quarter Peal this evening.

https://bb.ringingworld.co.uk/view.php?id=1271879

Cheers,

Keith

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