Methods and Compositions by Anthony J Cox

St Andrew's, Backwell, bells are to be rehung and augmented; if you find any of these compositions of interest, you may like to consider making a donation to the Backwell Bells Appeal.

These pages will, as time permits, contain a collection of peal and quarter peal compositions for methods I have produced or rung over a number of years. The methods and compositions have, in the main, been designed to be rung by bands in the Bristol area and have been tailored to the strengths of the band we had available at the time and the bells we were to ring on. Thus they have been optimised to conditions which may, or may not, be appropriate elsewhere. The compositions are being made available to provide a record of the development of methods and compositions, particularly in the Bristol area, over the last 30 or so years and in the hope that they will be useful to other bands and conductors and give an indication of what we have found enjoyable to ring. Where I have used an existing composition by other composer, or a variation of an existing composition, for a new method, the composition for the method is also included with an appropriate assignment to the composition. If a name is not included against a composition, I have produced it and have not seen the composition published elsewhere, but do not believe it to be original, simply a suitable composition for the method. While I have tried to make the information provided as accurate as possible, it is always possible that mistakes or misunderstandings will occur, so any conductor wishing to use one of these compositions should always verify that the composition is true to the method(s) they intend to ring it to, by proving the composition independently.

I have attempted to provide consistent information on all compositions, so it is easy to compare the musical features of different compositions and methods and both the pros and cons (and not just the pros) can be seen. Choice of composition is often a matter of personal judgment, there is usually no best composition for any method, it is simply a matter of what is best for a particular band, on particular bells, on a particular day. There may well be cases where compositions I have produced, have been made independently by other people at about the same time or earlier and where I was unaware of the other work, I therefore make no claims that I have necessarily been the first person to produce these compositions. If you feel that you should be credited as the first composer of a particular composition, please let me know. Of course in the current age, where computers can generate all compositions for a method meeting certain criteria, or rapidly test the truth of ideas, the intellectual effort in producing many compositions has been greatly reduced and so the association of a composer's name to a composition has rather less meaning than it used to. However I feel it does still have some value in that, by assigning a `composer's name' to a composition, one is indicating that, in the composer's opinion, this composition has some particular merits that separate it from all the other available ones. Where compositions we have rung have been produced with the assistance of a peal generating program and the result is simply the output from the program, this is acknowledged.

I would also like to thank Glenn Taylor for allowing me to use his programs for composing spliced and checking courses against falseness groups, these have allowed me to do things I would not otherwise have been able to do and to provide more detailed information about compositions' applicability.

Follow the links in the left-hand panel, or below, to access the individual compositions.
Notation: cru (combination rollup): XX78 in Major, XX7890 in Royal, XX7890ET in Maximus, where XX is 56,65,46,64,45 or 54.
LB4: runs of 4 `little' bells (i.e. 1234, 4321, 2345, 5432, 3456, 6543, 4567, 7654)
LB5, LB6: runs of 5 (i.e. 12345, 23456, 34567, 54321, 65432, 76543) or 6 (i.e. 123456, 234567, 654321, 765432) `little' bells.
Little bell runs off the front are noted separately from those at the back.
For cyclic peals a simple count of forward and backward 4-bell runs anywhere within the change is used, this means, for instance, that a 6-bell run counts as 3 4-bell runs. This measure is a quick and simple way to compare the `runniness' of cyclic compositions.

Good ringing!

Anthony J Cox
gotone at

Peals: Surprise: Major, Royal, Maximus | Delight: Major, Royal, Maximus | Spliced: Major, Royal, Maximus | Other: Major, Royal | Caters | Cinques

Quarter peals


Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional