There can be no “mass production” system for the extension of methods since there is no system of extension which can be rigidly applied to all methods. Actually, there are relatively few methods which will extend satisfactorily and most methods have their own particular problems.

In the past, the systems most commonly used were as follows:-

(a) Extension backward toward the lead head by adding an initial section with the treble in 1-2 (e.g. New London Court)

(b) Extension forward toward the half-lead by adding an ultimate section with the treble behind (e.g. Shipway’s Court)

(c) Extension by the insertion of additional work in the centre of the half-lead. This system is essential for double methods but could also be used for non-double methods.

Some methods will extend by both systems (a) and (b) giving two extensions which have an equal right to be regarded as the correct extension of the parent (e.g. S.Clement’s Minor to both S.Clement’s Major and Ashbourne College Major).

When applied to elementary methods, one or other of the above systems will usually give a non-controversial extension, provided, of course, that the method is capable of extension. But when it is applied to more complex methods, the results are not so satisfactory since, owing to the great variety of combinations of places employed, the resultant extension although mathematically sound may introduce features which are not present in the parent and so be unacceptable as an extension to the Exercise (e.g. Langley Surprise).

Of course various composers have produced other systems of extension apart from those given above which have produced legitimate methods on the next higher even number. Although they may be mathematically sound, considerable controversy sometimes arises from them through the introduction of features foreign to the parent (e.g. Craven’s Bristol Royal with its different sequence of lead-ends to Bristol Major).

We believe that the objective in extension should be to produce a method acceptable to the practical ringer (not so much the mathematician) as the obvious extended form of the parent. This can only be achieved by preserving in the extension all the distinctive features of the parent (e.g. place-making, work with the treble at front and back, etc.), and also the correct sequence of lead ends (if this is possible). No new blocks of places should be introduced except such as are additional reproductions of blocks existing in the parent. Of course, additional dodging and/or hunting are unavoidable as compensation for the longer path of the treble. We are of the opinion that it is impossible to frame a set of rules which will satisfactorily control the whole subject, and that mathematics alone cannot accomplish this.

Recommended Rules

After a great amount of investigation, the following criteria are put forward in the hope that they will be generally accepted as being necessary for any extended method to have the approval of the “ordinary” ringer. In any case, we would certainly recommend that any band which proposes to ring an alleged extension should submit the figures to the Methods Committee for approval.

  1. Lead-end places

    (a) When the parent is a second place method, the extension shall be likewise.

    (b) When the place of the parent is in the ultimate position the place of the extension shall also be in the ultimate position.

  2. Half-lead places

    The half-lead places in an extension may be either the same number of places from the front or from the back as in the parent.

  3. Place-making

    No sequence of places made by the same bell in any one dodging position shall be introduced into an extension unless such places conform to a “pattern” already existing in the parent except where such places are an “enlargement” of a sequence made by the pivot bell in a “slow-work.”

  4. Contiguous places

    (a) No contiguous places in the parent shall be omitted from an extension.

    (b) No contiguous places which have no counterpart in the parent shall be included in an extension.

  5. Sequence of lead-ends

    There has, in the past, been much argument on this subject, usually, we fear, with the object of “proving” that someone’s particular extension was correct, but very little attention has been given to the views of the ordinary ringer. We believe he will judge an extension by a comparison of the “work” contained therein with that of the parent, and by the order in which such “work” is performed. This latter is governed by the sequence of lead-ends, which, in turn, is governed by the bell making the half-lead pivot place. We believe that some rules are necessary governing this important point, but we have been unable to reconcile theory and practice up to the present and so are not yet in a position to recommend anything to the Council on this subject. As far as we are aware, this matter, when solved (if that is possible) will complete our investigation, as we believe all important points will then have been covered.

Signed for the Committee


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