INTRODUCTION

This collection attempts to act as a useful source of compositions for the conductor as well as being a comprehensive historical record and consolidation of published and previously unpublished works covering a period of some 55 years.

There are three main sections which are determined by the number of bells ie Major, Royal and Maximus. Each section commences with compositions of 2 methods and continues in ascending order according to the number of methods. Consequently there is no detailed index.

Where a series of compositions has been identified these compositions are grouped together in the final section for each number of bells eg Pitman's series of 4 to 9 will be found together in the Series of Surprise Major section at the end of the Major section rather than as 6 individual compositions in each of the 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 method sections. It is intended that this method of classification will make it easier for a band looking for a series of compositions to embark upon, without hindering those seeking a single composition.

Wherever possible a Ringing World reference consisting of the year and page (cc = Central Council supplement) of publication has been given alongside the composers name. It is hoped that this reference will be a useful indication of trends in the history and development of compositions of Spliced Surprise. Single compositions have been ordered chronologically using the Ringing World reference whilst series of compositions have been grouped alphabetically according to the composer's surname.

The formatting of n-1 part compositions has become a minefield of ambiguity and inconsistency over the years. This collection attempts to overcome this problem by showing the individual lead heads in full for the first part.

Compositions which contain "phantom" course heads have these course heads shown in brackets and on the following line the methods are indented by one character to indicate continuation of the previous course. This convention, along with the presence of "/" within the methods to indicate a call, is intended to assist the conductor in the learning of a composition.

Methods are generally referred to by the first letter of the name. Where this is not the case the designated letter is shown in brackets in the method distribution below the composition.

In most cases the composition has been proved prior to inclusion in the collection and every effort has been made to keep any additional editing to a minimum, thereby reducing the scope for errors. Compositions with more than 52 methods and those with multiple choices, or more than 10,000 changes fall outside this category and conductors should always satisfy themselves that what they intend to call is true.

Tremendous thanks are due to John Goldthorpe for developing the software to enable the proved output to be presented in what is hoped will be perceived as "conductor-friendly" and consistent format.

A collection such as this will sadly but inevitably contain some errors and for these I apologise. The widespread availability of computer facilities for checking truth etc will I hope minimise the effects of any such errors.

The compiling of this collection has, for a number of reasons, taken over 3 years since Peter Sanderson first suggested it to me. I would like to accord due recognition to my wife Terri, as without her support, patience and encouragement it would have taken considerably longer.

This task has been a fascinating experience for me and I hope that readers will find the results worth the wait.

RODDY HORTON


Bibliography

An Index to Compositions in the Ringing World - Anthony P Smith
Composition 500 - John N Longridge
Composition 501 - John N Longridge
Composition 502 - John N Longridge
Major Compositions 1981 - Central Council
Compositions in the Popular Major Methods 1966 - Central Council
The Ringing World
Various individuals who submitted material
Grateful thanks are also due to the St Mary Abbots Kensington Guild of Ringers, the Society of Royal Cumberland Youths and the Beverley and District Ringing Society for access to Ringing Worlds.