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The Art of Devon Call Change Ringing (Music Section)

Sat. 13 July 2019 at 2:30 pm

On Saturday 13th July 2019 at St Mary the Virgin Church, Laira, Plymouth, the Music Section is repeating a joint project with the Devon Association of Ringers. We hope the following précis of the 2016 event may encourage you to join us in Plymouth for this popular event (see below for full details):

The event began with old friends reunited – one-time ringer become singer, Paul Wilson, introduced Jon Bint, one-time singer become ringer. By the end of the event, musicians, singers and ringers realised they shared more of a common heritage than they had imagined.

Jon laid the foundation for the afternoon by describing the origins of Devon Call Change ringing, the divergence of the more common Method or Scientific ringing, and the social history that surrounded these, particularly the period when Church reformers sought to expel unwelcome “socialising” from the privacy of the ringing chamber. Then, the period of reconciliation and convergence in which he shared ringing techniques with friends in the Midlands. He characterised the present styles as being like two streams of music, such as classical and jazz, each having great merit, one formal the other more improvised.

Graham Sharland, Cbairman of the Ringers’ Association, followed with a technical description of the bells and the musical patterns, the stages of ringing a peal and the changes that alter the order in which the bells ring. Then, a team of six of the most skilled ringers from various Devon towers rang a 60-on-3rds competition peal; at the same time, the tune was projected onto a screen with the call changes highlighted as the bells changed position.

The third component of the afternoon, saw Paul singing songs inspired by bellringing tradition and pointing to the way the arrangement of the Devon bellringing songs mimicked the call changes, with the tenor note steady at the end.

Then, the finale, a Devon cream tea when the audience, singers and ringers could relax and enjoy discovering there really was a lot they had in common.

Kathy Wyke
Music Section Committee member

Donations on the door please, non-members welcome. Refreshments will be available to purchase.

DA Music Section Call Change Ringing


Sat. 13 July 2019
2:30 pm
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Music Section (Pam Wallinder)


St Mary the Virgin Church
Federation Road, Laira
Plymouth, Devon PL3 6BR