Standard8

Every now and again I get asked where my nick “Standard8” comes from. As I got asked again last weekend, and the answer isn’t as simple as some, I thought I’d blog about it and give some links at the same time.

As some of you will already know, I live in England. One of the things that started in England (and is still fairly unique to England) is the “English Art of Change Ringing“. This is also know as Bell Ringing, and sometimes incorrectly called Campanology which is the study of Bells.

My web site has a description and overview of Change Ringing (written by my wife a while ago), and wikipedia also has some good starting information.

For those of you that have never seen English bell ringing, here are some of the best links I’ve found showing what goes on and are well worth a look:

I have been Bell Ringing (as my hobby) for about 19 to 20 years. When we ring bells in the English style, we don’t just ring the bells in any order/way we like, we have a structured form, a bit like pieces of music (although they don’t sound like conventional music). We call these methods.

There are many methods that we can ring, some are very easy, some are difficult. When learning to ring, there is a general consensus on the methods that you learn initially. As you progress and get reasonably advanced, there’s is one set of eight methods, that are commonly rung and mixed (spliced) together in one piece of ringing. These are surprise major methods, know amongst ringers as the “Standard Eight”.

So that’s where my nick comes from. So can I ring the “Standard Eight”? Well, I’m a little out of practice on them at the moment, but with a bit of revision, a good band and a good tail wind, I could probably ring it reasonably well.

7 thoughts on “Standard8”

  1. Whoa, that’s a pretty awesome hobby to have! I’m wondering, is there a specific pattern in the ringing at http://www.taize.fr/ext/sound/mp3/bells.mp3 ?
    They’re five bells, and rung mechanically. I’ve never been able to really find a stringent pattern in them, but maybe that’s just me, and it’s different if you know a lot about how to ring bells… There’s a video of this bell tower at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70d-GIAeMcU

    Would be interesting if you could tell me what you think. Thanks! 🙂

  2. @RichB yes, very different to handbell ringing, though I have done some of that as well.

    @Gijs I very much doubt there’s a specific pattern there. The bells are being swung-chimed, and although being run mechanically, I’d expect a bit of randomness in there.

    They do seem to start off with one bell first, then introduce the others, and possibly fade out that way, but I think that’s about the only pattern there is.

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