Plain Hunt is the simplest repeating pattern a group of bells can ring. All bells that participate ring exactly the same pattern (so we say Plain Hunt is a principle), though each one begins at a different point in the pattern. At each stroke, each bell either stays in the same place (if it is at the front or back) or exchanges places with a bell next to it. For Plain Hunt on N bells, after N pulls (i.e. 2N strokes) every bell is back where it started. See the diagrams at right for a visual representation of what each bell is doing.
The coursing order for Plain Hunt on N is 2-4-…-N-…-3-1 (evens course up, odds course down). Although we conventially list one cycle through the coursing order starting with the 2, it repeats itself without end as in the circle at right.
The coursing order is the order in which many things happen:
Within the coursing order, two bells are particularly useful to know:
When you are about to lead, you will always find yourself in 2nds over your course bell; and when you finish leading, your next blow (in 2nds) is always over your after bell.
When you are at the back, you will always find yourself striking over your course bell and then over your after bell.
Plain Hunt on Five: if you are the 3, your course bell is the 5 and your after bell is the 1.
Immediately before you come into leads, you always ring in 2nds over the 5.
Immediately after you finish leading, you always ring in 2nds over the 1.
Plain Hunt on Six: if you are the 2, your course bell is the 1 and your after bell is the 4.
When you are at the back, you always ring over the 1 and then over the 4.
(When ringing methods later on, in which the treble rings a different pattern than all the other bells, the treble is not counted in the coursing order. However, for Plain Hunt all the bells ring the same pattern, and the coursing order won't help you unless you include the treble.)
You hunt out (= hunt up) by holding up one position each time, so that after ringing in nths you then ring in (n+1)ths. You continue to hunt out until you are at the back, or ringing after all the other bells, which is as far out as you can go.
(At the back
has no connection with backstroke
or with being at back
= in the backstroke half of a full pull).
You hunt in (= hunt down) by hurrying one position each time, so that after ringing in nths you then ring in (n-1)ths. You continue to hunt in until you are leading (= at the front), or ringing before all the other bells, which is as far in as you can go.
Leads
The Back
The two landmarks in Plain Hunt are:
Having hunted all the way in (to leads or 1sts place), you ring two strokes in leads (hand, back) before hunting back out.
Before Leads, you were ringing more quickly at hunting-in speed; in Leads, you ring at rounds speed; after Leads, you will start ringing more slowly at hunting-out speed.
Having hunted out to the back, you ring two strokes at the back before hunting back in.
Before The Back, you were ringing more slowly at hunting-out speed; at The Back, you ring at rounds speed; after The Back, you will start ringing more quickly at hunting-in speed.
Each bell hunts out to The Back, then hunts in to Leads; where in this cycle you start depends on your bell.
(Strictly speaking, where in the cycle you start depends on what place you were in at the last backstroke before you begin hunting; for beginners, Plain Hunt always starts from rounds, so your bell number and your place number are the same, but after you become more advanced, you may find youself starting Plain Hunt from sequences other than rounds.)
Odd bells begin by hunting out; even bells begin by hunting in.
If you have learned to ring in rounds, you have an idea of the amount of oomph you need to put into the rope at each stroke to keep the bell ringing steadily.
Bell rings |
Faster | if it swings |
Slower | because you pulled |
Gentler |
---|---|---|---|---|---|
Lower | Higher | Harder |
In order to make the bell ring faster, you have to allow it to ring lower, by pulling the previous stroke with less oomph. For successive strokes, once you have it ringing lower (and thus faster), you'll probably add just a bit of oomph to keep the bell ringing at that height.
In order to make the bell ring slower, you have to allow it to ring lower, by pulling the previous stroke with more oomph. For successive strokes, once you have it ringing higher (and thus slower), you'll probably subtract just a bit of oomph to keep the bell ringing at that height.
You'll find ringing Plain Hunt easier if you can practice and develop the habit of adjusting your oomph appropriately for Leads:
… and for The Back:
You'll want to practice the right amount of oomph at The Back for both odd N, where the two strokes at the back will be back-hand, and for even N, where the two strokes at the back will be hand-back.
For Plain Hunt on N:
You will be ringing at three different speeds
:
This will occur between your blows in leads and at the back; you won't be trying to move out (ringing more slowly) or move in (ringing more quickly).
All the strokes at rounds speed are at about the same speed (but see below for the difference between handstroke and backstroke).
This will occur while you are hunting out. Each blow will delay one position longer than rounds speed.
All the strokes at hunting-out speed are at about the same speed (but see below): they don't get successively slower, they just ring successively later (but by the same amount each time).
You will need to ensure you pull with enough oomph and let the bell rise enough to allow this slower swing to happen, especially for the first hunting-out stroke when many novice ringers place their blow only about a half-place out rather than a full place out.
This will occur while you are hunting in. Each blow will hurry one position shorter than rounds speed.
All the strokes at hunting-in speed are at about the same speed (but see below): they don't get successively quicker, they just ring successively sooner (but by the same amount each time).
You will need to ensure you pull with less oomph and keep the bell from rising too far to allow this faster swing to happen. Novice ringers often do not decrease the oomph enough at the first hunting-in stroke, and place their blow only about a half-place in rather than a full place in.
For example, for bell 2 in Plain Hunt on Four:
Note that these three speeds involve four different intervals between blows, because of the handstroke pause that occurs between a backstroke row and the next handstroke row. Ideally (at least at my home tower), one leaves a pause between the last bell of a backstroke and the first bell of the next handstroke, in contrast to the last handstroke bell which is immediately followed by the first backstroke bell. This pause is one bell's worth (or perhaps a little less). Thus when I am counting the strokes for six bells, I will count this pattern steadily:
1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 oh 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 …
Speed | Strokes | Interval between blows |
---|---|---|
Rounds speed | Handstroke to backstroke | |
Backstroke to handstroke | ||
Hunting-out speed | Handstroke to backstroke | |
Backstroke to handstroke | ||
Hunting-in speed | Handstroke to backstroke | |
Backstroke to handstroke |
(This topic is also discussed under Ringing Speeds.)
Follow
sequence for four
Odds start out, evens start in.
Odd bells initially hunt out (odds start out), even bells initially hunt in (evens start in).
It has to be this way, since the treble (the 1) can only hunt out; it can't get any earlier than its initial position before all the other bells, so it has to begin by moving to 2nds. That means somebody has to move to leads so the treble can be in 2nds after it, and the only bell that can get to leads in time is the 2, so the 2 begins by hunting in. The same reasoning applies by induction to all the higher-numbered bells.
There is an exception, though: Odd last bell starts in place, then in. If an odd number N of bells are hunting, the N rings another blow in Nths while everyone else is starting in or out, and then starts in.
(If you are in pretty close to the right position,
you can also confirm you're in the right spot—and
adjust the next blow more exactly—by
listening to when your bell strikes.
And you can look for the eyes and expressions
of the ringers around you,
to confirm that the ringer who should be ringing over you
is looking at you
and that no one is giving you puzzled or
you're in the wrong place
looks.)
It's most effective to use a combination of all these.
Sequence of which bell to
watch
for Plain Hunt on 6
Sequence of which bell to
watch
for Plain Hunt on 5
Jump two.The bell that you follow in Plain Hunt jumps around the circle of bells two at a time, following the coursing order (2-4-…-3-1). So at each stroke shift your glance two bells over in preparation for the next stroke.
When you get to the end you can't shift your glance two bells over, because there is no bell two bells over.
Instead of following yourself, you strike two blows at leads, following the tenor (if there is one) or ringing in the right spot after whichever bell is in Nths.
Then hunt out, striking your blow in 2nds over the next bell after yours in the coursing order (your after bell) and resume Jumping Two.
At the back, simply skip yourself in the coursing order. If you work it out in the chart, you will see that you strike your first blow at the back following your course bell, and (since you skip yourself) you will strike your second blow at the back following your after bell.
Sequence of which bell to
watch
for Plain Hunt on 9
Suppose you are ringing bell 4 in Plain Hunt on Nine. Even bells begin by hunting in (evens start in), so you are prepared to hurry up your first stroke. In rounds you are in 4ths place following bell 3. The coursing order for Plain Hunt on Nine is 2-4-6-8-9-7-5-3-1, repeated over and over; since you are initially following the 3 in rounds, let's list the coursing order starting from there: 3-1-2-4-6-8-9-7-5. Your course bell is the 2 and your after bell is the 6. In the coursing order, 3 is succeeded by 1; so when the hunt begins,
Remember to give your first stroke in Leads a little extra oomph so you slow down to rounds speeds for the second stroke, and give your second stroke in Leads even more oomph so you can hold up a bit on the next stroke to hunt out to 2nds.
Remember to give your first stroke a little less oomph so you'll be in rounds speed for the second blow, and to give your second stroke even less oomph so you'll be able to hunt down at the following stroke, placing it cleanly in 8ths (after the 6).
And so forth.
This isn't essential, but it's helpful when you get lost.
It always works (in Plain Hunt) and doesn't rely on ropesight, which is good for me because when I get lost it's often because my ropesight has temporarily failed me.
Hunting in or out? | At handstroke | At backstroke |
---|---|---|
Out | Even position | Odd position |
In | Odd position | Even position |
I find it most helpful
for hunting in;
no matter where I get lost,
sooner or later I will need to hunt down to leads,
and I'll have to arrive at leads (position 1)
at handstroke.
There's a good chance
someone will shout advice to me;
in my tower this is often something like
Follow the 2 down!
which tells me
and unless I'm completely scrambled I'll be arriving at the critical moment of leads myself at a handstroke, not a backstroke.
But it also turns out to be broadly helpful whenever I'm not sure I'm in the right spot, both in Plain Hunt and in more complicated patterns.
You take your
course bell off leads.
Your after bell
takes you off leads.
You take your
course bell off the back.
Your after bell
takes you off the back.
(You probably won't notice at first that your last blow before you arrive at the back is under your course bell, or that your first blow after you come off the back is under your after bell.)
Lead off the tenor, if there is one. If there is a tenor behind or two or more covers, it's easy: you lead off the tenor.
Otherwise,
Lead off the bell(s)
almost halfway round the coursing order from you.
Odd N: Lead off the same bell twice. | |||
Even N: Lead off two different bells, in coursing order. |
The second of the two will be exactly across from you in the coursing order.
Don't try to memorize this table! You may find it interesting, though.
Don't memorize |
Singles (3) |
Minimus (4) |
Doubles (5) |
Minor (6) |
Triples (7) |
Major (8) |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
1 leads off | 2 | 2 then 4 | 4 | 4 then 6 | 6 | 6 then 8 |
2 leads off | 3 | 4 then 3 | 5 | 6 then 5 | 7 | 8 then 7 |
3 leads off | 1 | 1 then 2 | 2 | 2 then 4 | 4 | 4 then 6 |
4 leads off | 3 then 1 | 3 | 5 then 3 | 5 | 7 then 5 | |
5 leads off | 1 | 1 then 2 | 2 | 2 then 4 | ||
6 leads off | 3 then 1 | 3 | 5 then 3 | |||
7 leads off | 1 | 1 then 2 | ||||
8 leads off | 3 then 1 |
The coursing order is 2-4-3-1.
Follow
sequence for seven
It's actually easier for larger numbers of bells, since then you can get more of a rhythm going of shifting your glance two-bells-over in between the times you have to do something different (at an end, at yourself).
The coursing order is 2-4-6-7-5-3-1.
Plain Hunt on Two
(same as Places in 1-2)
Plain Hunt on Three
Plain Hunt on Four
Plain Hunt on Five
Plain Hunt on Six
Plain Hunt on Two
with tenor behind
(same as Places in 1-2)
Plain Hunt on Three
with tenor behind
Plain Hunt on Four
with tenor behind
Plain Hunt on Five
with tenor behind
Plain Hunt on Six
with two covers