Plain Hunt

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Plain Hunting is the most basic form of Change Ringing. It is also refered to as Original. The term Original is more often used when the intention is to have Calls whereas Plain Hunt would usually mean that there are to be no Calls.

Contents

The Theory

As with all ringing, the bells start off ringing in Rounds. For the purposes of this example, we will look at Plain Hunt on five bells:

1 2 3 4 5

The order of bells is then altered in a particular way to bring a different combination of bells. This is known as a "change". Plain Hunt (and all methods) is a collection of rules that determine the way in which the bells are mixed up.

Rule #1

Firstly, each pair of bells switch position. As there are an odd number of bells, the 5th remains in the same position.

1 2 3 4 5
 x x x  |
2 1 4 3 5

Rule #2

If we apply this same rule again, the order would return back to rounds. Therefore we add a second rule: keeping the first bell in the same position and switching all other pairs:

1 2 3 4 5
 x x x  |
2 1 4 3 5
|  x x x
2 4 1 5 3

If we apply this rule a second time, we would return to the previous order, so we apply the first rule again:

1 2 3 4 5
 x x x  |
2 1 4 3 5
|  x x x
2 4 1 5 3
 x x x  |
4 2 5 1 3

Continuing in this way produces 10 different combinations (or changes) before coming back to rounds:

1 2 3 4 5
2 1 4 3 5 <- First change
2 4 1 5 3
4 2 5 1 3
4 5 2 3 1
5 4 3 2 1
5 3 4 1 2
3 5 1 4 2
3 1 5 2 4
1 3 2 5 4
1 2 3 4 5 <- Tenth change

This is known as Plain Hunt.

In Practice

Although this is how Plain Hunt is constructed, most ringers would not learn to ring it by looking at the above grid. Instead they study where there bell should sound on each stroke. For example, if you highlight the treble in a grid of Plain Hunt, you can see a clear pattern:

1 2 3 4 5
---------
2 1 4 3 5
2 4 1 5 3
4 2 5 1 3
4 5 2 3 1
5 4 3 2 1
5 3 4 1 2
3 5 1 4 2
3 1 5 2 4
1 3 2 5 4
1 2 3 4 5
---------
2 1 4 3 5
2 4 1 5 3
4 2 5 1 3
4 5 2 3 1
5 4 3 2 1
5 3 4 1 2
3 5 1 4 2
3 1 5 2 4
1 3 2 5 4
1 2 3 4 5

The Next Step

On five bells, there are a maximum of 5! = 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 120 different rows (or changes) possible. The next step in order to ring these 120 changes is to ring Plain Bob.

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