Adding call change compositions
You add a call change composition by selecting the Edit menu, clicking on Add Composition, then on Add Call Change Composition. This dialog then appears:
Notice that the title bar of the dialog says "Called Up", "Called Down" or "Called by Place". This reflects the setting of Abel's options - see Call Changes for details.
Type a name for this composition so that you can recognise it easily later. For example, you might enter the description "Call 2-5 up" or "Random calls on 5+tenor".
Next set the number of bells you want in the call changes. If you give an odd number, Abel will generally add a tenor behind (though this is optional for 5-bells, and in any case can be removed again before you start ringing).
Set the number of whole pulls (handstroke+backstroke) you want between calls. If you’re a learner, you might set 3 or more, to give yourself time to think; more experienced ringers will usually set 2 or 1.
If you want Abel to call random changes on the number of bells you’ve specified, click the Random Composition box. Abel will call a sequence of about 100 changes, different each time you start the composition, ending in rounds. Click OK, to save the composition.
Otherwise, enter the sequence of changes you want called. There are two ways to do this:
Whichever of these you do, a new row appears in the Rows box, and the number of the first bell you would call appears in the Composition box. The new row is highlighted. Now repeat this for the next change, clicking between two bells in the new (highlighted) row or typing the number of the next bell to call up (or down). Continue until you’ve input the whole composition, normally ending back in rounds.
If you click in the Rows box at the end of the highlighted row, or insert a 'p' (for "plain") in the Composition box, a new row will appear that is unchanged from the previous one - this allows you to repeat a musical change, or to give the ringer a rest!
If you're typing in the Composition box, you can include spaces, tabs and newlines to improve the readability of the composition. You can also include a comment at the end of any line, by typing a # followed by the comment and a newline. For example, you could type:
# Call 6 bells into Queens and back to rounds 2 4 2 # Into Queens: 2to3, 4to5, 2to5 5 3 5 # and back to rounds
If you enter an invalid change - for example, if you try to call up the last bell in a row - Abel will tell you. Abel checks the composition is valid every time you click or type into it, so if you don't correct an error immediately you'll get reminded about it frequently!
You can edit the composition you've input, to alter it:
Note that when you make an alteration in the middle of a composition, this can invalidate a change in the later part of the composition. For example, if you insert a change that makes the 3 the last bell in the row, but later in the composition another change tries to call the 3 up, the latter becomes invalid. You'll get error messages every time you click on or type into the composition until you correct the error!
When you have finished, click on OK to register your composition with the current method collection.