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Glossary of ringing terms – P

Last updated on: 05-December-2016

Words or phrases underlined are defined within the glossary. Where it assists with clarity, a definition is annotated to indicate a part of speech. (n) = noun, (vb) = verb, (adj) = adjective, (adv) = adverb. Section references refer to sections within The Tower Handbook.  

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Two bells rung by the same person (normally handbells).
The state of a row as odd oe even depending on the number of pairs of bells that must be swapped to change it to rounds.
Palindromic symmetry
Characteristic of a method that is the same if rung backwards, ie if the sequence of changes is reversed. Most common methods have palindromic symmetry.
A row has odd or even parity depending on whether an odd or even number of pairs of bells must be swapped to return it to rounds.
A subdivision of a composition. Parts are delineated either by containing (almost) the same calls as each other, or by containing a more restricted set of calls than the turning courses that make the transitions between them.
Part bell
An observation bell that returns to its natural position (only) at part ends.
Not coursing together, in particular parted tenors.
Parted tenors
Split tenors.
Part end
The end of a part.
Part head
The lead head at the start of a part (normally a course head but not in a cyclic composition).
Partial (tone)
Distinct frequency within the sound of a bell. The partials are not harmonics, as their frequencies are not related by exact ratios, though good tuning seeks to make them as close as possible.
(eg pass the treble) Intersect the path of another bell moving in the opposite direction. Some people reserve 'pass' for hunting up, and use 'cut' forhunting down. Knowing where bells are passed (especially the treble and thecourse and after bells) provides useful landmarks that can help you check your own position on the blue line.
Meet and change places with a bell which is moving in the opposite direction.
Passing bell
(1) A bell rung at the point of death (ie passing) of someone, to scare away evil spirits who might snatch the departing soul, and to alert the faithful to pray for the deceased's safe passage to paradise.
(2) Sometimes used for the bell rung at a funeral. Also called burial knell.
The sequence of positions occupied by a bell, often drawn as a blue line, when performing the work of a method.
P block
A round block of plain leads, eg the leads of a plain course. Normally written in terms of the lead heads.
(1) A touch of at least 5040 changes (Triples and below) or 5000 changes (Major and above).
(2) Any piece of ringing. (As used from 17th century)
(3) Full performance of a call change sequence, eg 60 on thirds, (As used in Devon)
Peal board
A board, usually on a ringing chamber wall, inscribed with the details of one or morepeals.
Having been rung to a peal, eg a method, composition , ring of bells.
Pendulum slider
Slider hanging next to the bell and swinging like a pendulum. The stay (which may be shorter than normal) engages a block near the end of the slider.
A notable piece of ringing, eg a peal, quarter peal, date touch, long length.
In or out of phase have been used to describe the nature of rows as even or odd respectively.
The space in a bell frame within which a bell hangs and swings.
Pitman four
Set of four Surprise Major methods: Cambridge, Superlative, London, Bristol – composed by Albert J Pitman.
Pitch them in
Alternative term for West Country start.
Pivot bell
The place bell that makes the place at the half lead. It has symmetrical work, and spans a point of symmetry in the blue line.
 Pivot place 
Place made by the pivot bell at the half lead.
Pivot position
The lead end about which point the work is symmetrical, a point of symmetry in the blue line.
(1) The position of a bell in the row. Thus, the bell that strikes third in the row is 'in 3rds place'.
(2) Two consecutive blows made in the same position. Thus 'make a place'. See figure 15.2-4.
(3) (adj) A class of plain method with no dodges.
(3) class of method in which the paths of all bells consists of only hunting and place making.
Place bell
A way of naming different portions of the work of a method in terms of the bell that does that work during the first lead of a plain course. Thus if you are '3rds place bell' you are doing (or about to do) the work which the 3rd does at the start of the method.
Place bell order
See lead order.
Place notation
A means of defining the structure of a method by listing the places made in each change. All bells in positions where no place is made swap by default (in pairs starting from the next lowest place made). In the abbreviated form of place notation, places made in first or last position are omitted if they are implied by the internal places. A change with all pairs swapping is denoted X or and a dot is used to separate successive changes in the absence of an X or .
 For a symmetrical method, only the changes in the first half of the lead are specified, (including the half lead change), together with the lead end change. Thus Little Bob Minor is: X 16 X 14 (le 12) which abbreviates to X1X4 (le 2) and London Minor is 36 X 36.14 X 12 X 36.14 X 14.36 (le 12) which abbreviates to 3X3.4X2X3.4X4.3 (le 2).
(1) Plural of 'place'
(2) An extended portion of work (composed of places and probably dodges and points) in a pair of positions (eg 5-6 or 3-4), often characteristic of a particular method and named after it, eg 'Yorkshire places'. In some cases, the places may not be adjacent, eg Double Norwich Caters.
(1) A type of method in which the hunt bell has a well-formed path and strikes two blows in each position of the path within the lead. Usually this means the treble does a plain hunt.
(2) A lead at which no call is made.
(3) An abbreviation forPlain Bob when calling spliced.
Plain bearings
Bearing consisting of a brass block in which the gudgeon pin rotates. They need frequent lubrication and can become very worn if neglected. 'Hung on plain bearings' = old style of hanging
Plain Bob
The simplest plain method. All working bells plain hunt everywhere except at the lead end where 2nds place is made, causing bells in higher positions to dodge. The last place must also be made for odd stages.
Plain changes
Early form of method ringing. Uses only single changes.
Plain course
A course of a method starting and finishing in rounds. A touch with no calls.
Plain hunt
Hunt (continuously from front to back and back to front. See figure 15.2-1.
Plain lead
A lead with no call.
Plough the lead
Fail to change speed after hunting down, and as a result ring below first place
place notation.
Alternative name for snap
(1) The position in the row, where a bell strikes in the sequence, eg 5thsplace.
(2) (as in 'calling position') The position in a course determined by where the observation bell will be if a call is made. (If the observation bell is affected by the call, the position relates to the actual position, not what it would have been at a plain lead.)
(3) (ringing handbells) The relationship between the paths of the two bells being rung. It is defined by where the bells come together nearest the front, eg 1-2,2-3, 3-4 position, .... In the 1-2 position the bells are 'coursing' and when the bells cross in the middle, they are in opposites (some times called scissors but this has a more specific meaning qv). The tenors and trebles are coursing in a plain hunt.
A gathering where ringers ring together to improve or advance their ringing. Most bands run a weekly practice.
(1) - (vb) Write out all the rows of a method or touch (used in the 18th & 19th centuries).
(2) - (vb Produce a touch by transposing the lead head rows.
A type of method (in the broad sense), in which all working bells perform the same work, starting at different points, ie with no hunt bell. eg Stedman, Erin, Shipway, Duffield.
Analysis of a touch to establish whether it is true.
Proof scale
The list of false course heads of a method. A method without internal falseness has a 'clean proof scale'.
A right place Surprise method with Cambridge lead order. Basic stage is Major. One of the standard eight.
(1) (Loosely) Apply force to the bell rope.
(2) (More precisely) Apply force to the rope as it descends. This causes the bell to swing higher, and so ring more slowly. See also check.
(3) (as in 'whole pull' or 'half pull') Two blows.
(4) (as in 'five-pull dodge') Compounded to describe the number of dodges in a multiple dodge.
Pull in
(vb) Cause the bell to ring closer and faster.
(n) The phase during lowering in peal, when the bells cease double clappering. The treble increases the rate of descent and progressively overlaps the back bells until all are striking only on one stroke, with the treble following the tenor on the same stroke. If properly co-ordinated, there is no audible overlap, since the heavier bells progressively stop striking on the second stroke. Too early a pull in causes a long period of confusing overlap.
Pull off
(1) A bell - From resting against the stay when up, pull the bell over the balance to begin ringing.
(2) A clock hammer - fasten it so it cannot move into the path of a swinging bell.
Pulley block
Assembly with one, or a pair of, ground pulley(s).
Pulley box
Pulley block
Pure (doubles, etc)
An odd bell method with all changes swapping the same number of pairs of bells, ie two pairs for Doubles, three for Triples, and so on.
Put in (the calls)
(1) Call the calls when ringing a touch,
(2) Add calls to a composition.
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